Friday, February 16, 2007

iTunes has some major faults

I have previously been very positive about the work of Apple, but iTunes is appauling. How can most people that review this software rate it as good?

Allow me to explain what I see as some of the issues are with this program:

1. Syncing with the iPod.

It can automatically sync when the iPod is docked. The sync operation works accurately. As the iPod needs docking to charge it mine is plugged in most of the time.

I regularly change iTunes, add music, edit the MP3 tags within my music files so it is all filed properly and modify playlists. I have lost count of the number of times I have gone away, or got to my car and gone to listen to new music or a new playlist and it is not on my iPod.

iTunes is well aware when I change anything. Why does it not immediately replicate when I make a change? I used to have an Orange SPV mobile which ran Windows Mobile. I loved this o/s- why are there no modern ones on an non-Orange network?? It's sync software was Microsoft ActiveSync. Immediately I add a contact in outlook the Activesync icon would flash and it would update my phone. Just what you expect.

How can someone who comes up with some really well designed stuff miss this one?? Grrrr.

2. You can't listen to and browse your music at the same time.

If I start an album playing in iTunes then continue to view and navigate my music library iTunes goes quiet after the current song finishes. It forgets I asked it to play a whole album. There may be some way round this by opening another window, but I've not sussed it out and shouldn't have to.

3. Podcasts.

I really like the Manager Tools podcast. Each week they provide hints and tips for managers. This is not topical and it is a series.

iTunes seems to take old podcasts out of its podcast section. Annoying, but the podcast people have a website. I have just been downloading some of the first podcasts which they often refer you back to. I cannot add these to the Podcast section in iTunes because they did not come down via its podcast download service. The latest podcasts are in the Podcast section and do not appear in the iTunes music library because they did come via the download service.

This really is very poor. To find them on the iPod they appear under a Podcast Genre which is not shown on the PC application.

4. Last played timestamp and Library sharing.

Whenever you play a song on your iPod or on your main iTunes PC a play count and last played timestamp are updated. This is great - I love searching for stuff I've never played when I want a change of music.

Also iTunes serves your local music to any other copy of iTunes on your network.

Two great features!

But when I access my iTunes library over my network from my PC in the lounge connected to my TV and decent hi-fi the album art in the music is not available, and the play count and last played figures do not update, ever. The Party Shuffle feature cannot see any of my remote music.

5. iTunes version updates.

Every time a newer minor version of iTunes come out they change the quick icons in iTunes to do difference features. Why is there not a customise option so I can make the 3 or 4 icons do what I want? I now have to go through to menus to get the visualiser on. There is also no longer a sync to iPod icon which used to make it easier to live with the first problem I discussed.

I can't find a way to contact the Apple team with my gripes. I won't give up trying and hope they fix these major issues in a potentially good program I am forced to use as an iPod owner.


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