iTunes is a piece of crap

I don’t mean to regularly post about iTunes crappiness as far as media playing software goes, but it really stinks. Without fail, every time I’ve connected any one of my iOS devices to my computer (iPod Touch 1G, iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch 4) the software says my device has some sort of system error and that something failed and everything seems to work afterwards. Okay, fine. I understand that designing software is not Apple’s forte, but today the software has been unquestionably shitty.

To rewind a bit, I just got my iPod Touch 4 delivered today. The device itself is super sleek and sexy. I’m afraid it’ll break in half it’s so thin, and I cannot tell when it’s in my pockets. These could all be negatives but they’re in fact positives. The retina display looks spectacular. The cameras are good and the in-built speaker is a much needed feature that has been missing for ages. Great. Let’s use it. I should just be able to turn it on and go, right? Wrong.

Enter iTunes. As soon as I start the device, it asks me to plug it into iTunes. I groan. I guess this is the activation acrobatics. Fine, it activates. Oh wait, no. First I have to download iTunes 10. Okay, done. Now it activates. It then asks me to set up my device. I name it “iJolokia” to go with my recent theme of pepper-flavored computer devices. iTunes has it’s unbounded progress bar think for ages until it tells me “The device could not be set up. A file could not be copied” or some idiotic message like that.

The iPod page on iTunes lists my device as having 4GB of hard disk space. I bought a 32gig model. I disconnect and reconnect the device and iTunes tells me the iOS software needs to be updated. I update it. It then takes me to the “Set up as a new iPod” or “Restore from backup” page. I choose setup as new and try again. Fail.

Next, I jump through all the above hoops again. This time I restore from a backup of my iJolokia failed sync, not expecting it to really succeed. It tells me “iTunes could not restore the iPod iJolokia because the backup session failed”. This time I try to restore it from a backup of my old iPod Touch 1G, groaning because it will spend all the time syncing my old apps which I don’t want. I end up groaning for a different reason. The same message pops again.

What the hell?

Time for my first call to Apple Tech Support.

iTunes kills the iPhone Experience

This Black Friday I made the jump to purchasing an iPhone. AT&T had a pretty awesome deal going on which allowed me to snag a refurbished version of the 3G-S 16GB for a mere $49+$18 upgrade fees+some taxes. Total price was around $70, the condition being a 2-year contract, which I’m not too worried about since I’ll probably be staying with AT&T anyways. I was already paying for a BB data plan, which is equal to the iPhone one, so no extra charges there.

The phone itself is beautiful. Of course, having used the iPod Touch for nearly a year now, I knew what I was getting myself into. I was able to activate after a few issues and copied over all my apps from my iPod Touch using iTunes. So far so good. Next, I found a tutorial on the web that essentially used iTunes to create ringtones. Splendid, right? So I created a couple. Then, I thought, “Oh, I might as well get all my music into my iTunes.” This was possible now finally that I have my Windows 7 Homegroup set up properly. So I went ahead and added the music folder to iTunes and went and did my P90X workout and showered.

Once I came back, I was ready to crank out some ringtones manually. Not. iTunes was busy “Determining Gapless Playback Information”. A feature that I really don’t care for. And one that is programmed badly enough that it ends up using all of iTunes’ resources, rendering the program unusable. Now, iTunes wasn’t a fantastic program to begin with, being slow and clunky, so imagine how the end user experience is when your mouse events are delayed by 5-10 seconds. Ridiculous. Luckily, there was an “X” right next to the message, and I clicked it and decided to hunt around in the Preferences for a way to disable it.

Midway through my search of the first Preferences tab, I noticed my mouse events slowed down again. “What?” I thought to myself. After about half a minute more I was out of the preferences dialog and to my disgust I found that iTunes had decided once again to “Determine Gapless Playback Information”. Annoyed, I clicked “X” again and sure enough, about 5 seconds later, it was back! Not only that, but it started from the first track every time! Looking around on the internet for a few fixes, I found a couple that should have worked but didn’t. I realized that now that I have bought my first “real” Apple product, I will have to enter that realm where I sacrifice a few of my rights as the owner of a device to do what Apple wants me to do. In this case, this means that I will have to let it run for the 30-60 minutes it must take to set up this feature which I don’t care about, anyway, and come back to do my ringtone-making tomorrow.

And they complain Windows 7 takes a minute to boot up…