Over christmas, I got my new iPod Touch. It is a really cool, well-designed piece of kit as are most Apple devices and programs. However, to use it I have to go through the horror of iTunes. It totally spoils Apple's reputation and is the worst designed and least user-friendly program I have ever come across.
On Christmas morning, I had to activate my iPod to use it. So I go to iTunes and it prompts me to register for the iTunes store. Problem #1. Registering to use my paid for gadget is not a way to impress me.
So I go through all the steps and as it asks for ridiculous amounts of personal information (No other MP3 Player manufacturer has ever asked me for any phone numbers, or my address). Problem #2. I don't like giving out personal information unessecarily.
Then it asks for a credit card. Problem #3. I'm 15. It's not even ****ing legal for me to have a credit card so why the **** is this nessecary. (You have to be 18 to have a credit card here) I'm never going to be using the iTunes store for music, as I have plenty of CDs at home. the only use I have for it is cover art (which WMP does without registration) and freebie apps.
So after getting my dad to enter his CC details, I start to put music on my iPod. So I point iTunes at my music folder (2k+ songs, 20GB of space used). it offers to convert my WMAs to AACs for the iPod. I accept as it sounds convenient.
2 hours later. Problem #4. Songs are all added to iTunes, I think.
So I start copying them. I don't have much time so I pick my favorite albums to start with. I then stumble onto Problem #5. Half of them aren't there. I double check the folders and find something strange. All the ones in WMA format have been transcoded to AAC but it hasn't added a single MP3.
So I add the folders manually. It doesn't go in. Problem #6. I try again. Still doesn't go to the library. I try dragging it to the iPod. An error pops up. It says "The files were not copied as they will not play on your iPod". I stare at problem #7 in shock. I look through it then find the only difference between them and the MP3s iTunes create. It is this: Mine are higher quality (320kbps as opposed to 192kbps).
I mean seriously, come on. My €50 MP3 player from 5 years ago could play them, my €200 MP3 player from 3 years ago and it's telling me my cutting edge iPod that cost €400 can't?! Despite the fact that the Apple website says it can.
So I copy what I can then move onto videos. Video number #1. Plays fine on VLC and WMP on my computer. On iTunes and the iPod, the audio is high pitched and too fast. Problem #8
Video Number #2. 300, the movie. iTunes doesn't like the format either so I get the dvd and rip it again in a format iTunes does like. Turns out it's too high quality for the iPod so I use iTunes Create iPod Version. 2 more hours of Christmas day wasted. Problem #9.
I start to use my laptop for other things now. I leave iTunes on to charge the iPod. My new laptop is grinding to a halt. I check for the problem (#10). ITunes decided it has to "Determine gapless playback information". It has decided it needs both processor core's full power and all 4GB of RAM to do this rendering my new games unplayable at the same time. I watch it for 10 minutes. 22/1800 songs done. Great. I click the X button to stop it.
Two minutes later and the laptop slows to a halt again. Problem #11 It has restarted determing gapless playback information. I turn off iTunes and plug my iPod into my Xbox to charge from that instead as having it in my computer won't let me close iTunes. Problem #12
Now normally, you'd be hard pressed to find someone to bash Microsoft faster than me or praise Apple/Linux/Everything over Microsoft more than me but in this case, Windows Media Player is clearly superior to iTunes. For the past 5 years, EVERYTHING has just worked for me with WMP 8,9,10 & 11 and I've never been prompted to register for anything.
In future apple, when I buy your products, I will first make sure that it doesn't require the crapware that is iTunes and lets me use something else instead.
I spent most of the morning on christmas day trying to get my iPod to work because iTunes is crap.