if you have paid any attention over the years to this corner of the wired world then you have may have noticed i have never had much love for apple and its various shiny toys.
up until recently this denial was based upon one simple reason :
i hated the idea of the ‘walled garden’, the very concept just bit hard.
also, a few years back before my rule kicked in properly, i decided to have a play with the core product of the universe, itunes, to see if it would be of value.
i installed it on my little old tower pc, only to find the bloated behemoth soak up all resources and effectively kill my pc in a mere few minutes.
uninstalled, and back to windows media i went.
and i never tried again.
until last week when a certain promotional trick pulled on my urges.
i created the all necessary apple id, provided various details (credit card details !), and downloaded the software onto my new laptop.
and lo’, there it was : the album i was wanting to hear.
i hit play and started to enjoy the tunes. happy times.
however, my inner curiosity started nagging. could i port these itunes files onto my windows phone ?
thankfully, i did not humph for too long as a friend pointed me to a nice tutorial that advised on how to convert the files to mp3s.
i performed the task and then started digging under the covers.
i right mouse clicked on one of the album tracks and asked to see the folder in which the files were stored, and that’s when things got weird.
you see, the album displayed and played fine, but in the relevant folder were only a handful of the albums tracks. baffled? i most certainly was.
i moved up a directory level, and found a ‘downloads’ folder, within which were several folders each named after one of the missing tracks, and within each of these folders was a file called download.
“ahh”, thought i, “the download must have got interrupted. how very clever of itunes to sort this out .. “
i deleted the album, and downloaded again.
no errors, no messages, just a successful album download from the troublesome icloud to my lovely laptop.
yet still, under the covers, the file structure of the album was a bloody mess.
by this time i was beyond caring, i had created my m4a versions, and so created my own clean folder for zune to import, thereby allowing me to port the music onto my phone.
i deleted the shortcut to itunes, thinking that i may use it for the next big name promotion and nothing else.
fast forward a few days, and i’m doing a routine check on my event log, and there, hidden away were hundreds of warnings re a ‘bonjour service’.
google explained that this could be due to a damaged installation of itunes, and to resolve, reinstall. well, sod that, i hit the uninstall in the control panel thinking that would be the end of my little trip into the garden of eden.
itunes was now gone and my laptop was clean of an unnecessary evil.
if only that were the case.
a quick look though my installed programs revealed the presence of 3 apple related ‘products’ : the event log filling bonjour application, apple software update, and something re apple mobile devices.
i glared, i huffed, uninstalled each product individually, and then looked upon my clean program listings with pride.
so, now i have a semi-educated list of why i hate itunes :
- credit card details required to download and use it : sorry, but wtf !!? this is plainly wrong if all i want to do is rip my cds into a digital archive and listen to them. i care not re your plethora of add-ons that will drain my finances. to me this is a seriously massive turn off.
- crappy file structure under the covers as explained. if an album does not download cleanly into a proper single folder, then tell me, and make me download again (or, even worse, is this a standard part of itunes/icloud downloads, over which the end user has no control ?)
- the dirty footprint that’s left behind once you uninstall. there was no advise during installation of these extras that are added to the system, and even more importantly, no warning prior to uninstalling that these leftovers would remain on the system unless dealt with.
and, last but not least, the original reason for my stick in the mud attitude
- the walled garden.
to think this is the product that a very very high percentage of digital music listeners use.
it clearly is a mad mad world.