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Apple iPods and iTunes still suck



June 13, 2011 – Comments (19)

I really don't get why people are so in love with this garbage product ecosystem.

Today's unnecessary morning annoyance for what should be a 3 minute task (and is, with Zune...)

I go to download half a dozen kids shows to put on my daughter's little iPod touch (for a long plane ride) and here's what iTunes gives me.

Some kind of "you are not authorized to..." crap, requiring me to dig out an authorization process for an iPod and computer that have been the only iTunes enabled devices ever used on this machine

TV (album) art is completely screwed up. The Sesame street cover art pulls in an image of a Chinese classical guitarist... Dora the Explorer grabs art from another random artist from the music folder.

66% accuracy on what should be an error-free load, plus an irksome, unecessary "authorization" process, and this is the "magical, wonderful" experience that everyone is so in love with? Every time I use iTunes and this iPod, I have to spend an hour fixing junk like this, and I have to jump through hoops to get iTunes to stop trying to calculate "gapless playback information" on my music collection, which makes it hang and become unuseable. (This means unplugging pieces of the home network to disconnect the media library, the only way to get moronic iTunes to stop with the OCD and get down to business.)

The emperor's bare buns are hanging out, but all anyone sees is sweet premium denim.


19 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 13, 2011 at 8:39 AM, CluckChicken (< 20) wrote:

"and this is the "magical, wonderful" experience that everyone is so in love with?"

- You are looking for a rational explanation of a religious experience.

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#2) On June 13, 2011 at 8:49 AM, TMFBent (99.24) wrote:

That's true, it seems.

Apple = Religion in believers' brains.

That would explain why so many zealots remain so happy about such a lousy experience.

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#3) On June 13, 2011 at 8:51 AM, TMFBent (99.24) wrote:

Oh, and to correct the initial post, I got a little iPod Nano (not touch) for the kiddo (disposable, and has a hardware lock and external speaker, which is good for her kiddie tune needs, and the occassional video, if iTunes works.)

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#4) On June 13, 2011 at 8:57 AM, DaveMarcus82 (32.76) wrote:

Haha, love it Cluck.

TMF - I had a similar experience with my iPod a few years ago, and haven't made an Apple purchase since

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#5) On June 13, 2011 at 9:12 AM, willylowman (< 20) wrote:

The only venerable thing Apple has cultivated is an image, certainly not the product line.

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#6) On June 13, 2011 at 9:34 AM, cthomas1017 (98.75) wrote:

Gee, why don't you get a coloring book and interact with her on the plane trip?  At the time you're complaining, you're unwittingly developing the mindset of what you claim to dispise.

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#7) On June 13, 2011 at 1:45 PM, TMFBent (99.24) wrote:

I appreciate your deep interest in my daughter's well-being, and your insightful parenting advice, cthomas. Just so you don't worry too much about her development, I'll clarify for you.

We do plenty of coloring. Plus swimming almost every day, block building, reading, drawing on the magnadoodle, sliding, playing in the dirt and water, helping with chores, feeding the dog, walking down the trail, playing in the creek, going for rides in the bike trailer, making magic hats and boxes out of felt and glitter glue, playing dress-up in mommy's closet, riding the tricycle, riding the baby car, playing house in the big cardboard box, reading animal flashcards, counting, separating toys by color, finding the magic hidden objects in the house, dressing baby dolls, dressing teddy bears, dressing the dog, sticking parts onto Mr. Potatohead, playing the xylophone, dancing to ziggy marley, and a dozen other games.

It's 95% of what we do.

But, it's not what she wants all the time, and more importantly, 95% of that's not possible on an airplane.

So, if she wants a break to watch sesame street for half an hour when she's locked in a child seat on an airplane (or in the back seat of a car), that's fine with us.

And if Apple's lousy product can't "magically" sync half a dozen episodes onto a pristine iPod without screwing up 30% of them, I'm going to call BS on the iHalo.

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#8) On June 13, 2011 at 6:47 PM, PainterPoker (26.08) wrote:

My ipod shuffle is the shiz. It went through the wash on extra large warm/cold and still works. I easily download hours and hours of podcasts (How Stuff Works/ Things You Should Know) in minutes for FREE. There are litarally thousands of podcasts out there including a free Motley Fool one. Word.

All I needed to get acqainted with Apple products was a friend to sit by me and show me how they worked. Now I can't be happier, I say this because I know what it's like to own sub-par quality products and live like a chimp.

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#9) On June 13, 2011 at 7:58 PM, TMFBent (99.24) wrote:

There are thousands of free podcasts out there, and luckily for those of us who don't like to screw around, there's WP7 to load them flawlessly, with the proper cover art.

Alas, my 2-year-old's baby music and occassional video needs would be better served by an iPod nano that could sync correctly. Maybe I don't believe hard enough to get better than a 66% success rate from this majikal product.

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#10) On June 13, 2011 at 8:02 PM, TMFBent (99.24) wrote:

Ah, no big deal. Just a well-known problem since 2006...

Simple requires a bunch of screwing around with deleting either artwork, or all your media (depending on whom you ask) and then resyncing, and maybe trying that a few times.

Magic. It just works.

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#11) On June 13, 2011 at 9:29 PM, Seano67 (24.31) wrote:

Agree, Bent. iTunes DOES suck, and royally so. It's so fricken unwieldy and unstable I just really almost cannot stand it, but for ease of connectivity with my iPods, that's what I use. Maybe that's my fault for not just pitching it altogether, but there are almost no alternatives, so it's one of those kind of deals where I just have to grin and bear it I guess. Most frustrating though...

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#12) On June 13, 2011 at 10:02 PM, CluckChicken (< 20) wrote:

I moved away from iPods after my short experience with iTunes back in 2nd Gen days. Since then I have used Cowon products which have always featured a file manager folder system that you just drag and drop (not sure about video I don't use them for that).


I understand that Rockbox has done wonders for people that do not like the Apple OS systems on the iPods (no personal experience).

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#13) On June 14, 2011 at 5:39 AM, fiscallyGIFTED (< 20) wrote:

Nice that you got to vent, but millions upon millions of happy customers > you.

And whoever said there product line is weak, show me a better one. iPods, iPhones, iPads, iMac's, Macbook's > any product line on the planet. 

I read reviews (Amazon, Consumer Reports, CNET, etc.)  before I buy ANYTHING. It's no coincidence that the majority of electronic products I own are Apple, they are consistently ranked AT the top or very near it in every category they are in. Never had a bad experience YET, but who know's maybe I'm just lucky. 

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#14) On June 14, 2011 at 9:05 AM, CluckChicken (< 20) wrote:

And whoever said there product line is weak, show me a better one. iPods, iPhones, iPads, iMac's, Macbook's > any product line on the planet.

 - That I know of there is no other company that makes such a mix of products but if that is the criteria then you can use such a tag line for thousands of companies. I don't know much about jet engines but I have little doubt that I could say GE has the best product line that includes jet engines and light bulbs.


Apple product reviews you need to understand come with a high amount of fan based reviews that never see a flaw (no there is nothing wrong with the iPhone you are just holding it wrong) and many professional reviews do not give poor Apple reviews because Apple has a long history of banning those people and publishers from future test products. For example it is very well known that the iPhone is a junk phone but finding reviews that actually talk about the phone quality of the iPhone is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. When it comes to Apple products reviews should be taken with several large grains of salt.

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#15) On June 14, 2011 at 11:42 AM, lemoneater (57.13) wrote:

@ #7 Hooray for Mr. Potatohead!

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#16) On June 17, 2011 at 10:37 AM, TMFBent (99.24) wrote:

Nice that you got to vent, but millions upon millions of happy customers > you

I could make the same argument regarding Microsoft-based computers, which command many times the market share of Macs, but no doubt you'd respond differently, claiming that these users are somehow held hostage by a windows monopoly, which is the standard apply fanboi line.

Unlike the Apple fanbois, I have always used both mac and MSFT products, and I have always found the Mac products to be equally crappy, and in most instances, much, much crappier.

This iPod is without a doubt the lousiest multimedia player I've ever owned, and that's including some cheap sandisk players, the first-generation Zune, and others that Mac fans would scoff at. None of those had trouble keeping an album art database from corrupting, and they got a lot more use than this iPod.

iTunes remains the worst product in the lineup -- looks like a spreadsheet, and it can't even find album art for 5-10% of the CDs in my collection. Real market-leader there.

Whenever I speak to non apple fanbois (just the suckers who bought apple products because they were told they're the best...) it turns out they have similar problems. Somehow, they don't hold Apple accountable for the crappiness.

But cults are like that.

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#17) On June 17, 2011 at 10:46 AM, TMFBent (99.24) wrote:

Wow, even worse than I thought. Looks like I have to erase everything on this lousy iPod in order to update the firmware on this thing to fix bugs (though I note it will not fix the biggest bug, which is that you can't flip the thing sideways, or the "cover flow" crap UI tries to start, and it resets the device every time, making it a looping brick...).

Good thing it's only an 8 gig device. How on earth do people not think that's a bogus process? I upgraded the firmaware on my Zune and windows phones without having to lose everything on the device.

Truly, a magical* experience, each and every time I use it.

*"magical" = you have to screw around with it for half an hour or more to get it to do stuff it should already be doing properly, but that's OK, because clearly it's the best product ever, because it has an apple logo on it...

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#18) On June 17, 2011 at 12:05 PM, fiscallyGIFTED (< 20) wrote:

I guess I am nuts even trying to argue with someone who complains about "album art". Never in my life met a person who is so obsessed with wanting to see the cover of an album so bad. 

No fanboy here, just a happy user. If it's so lousy I don't understand why it's the best selling mp3 player out there. Maybe they've tricked the entire world into liking there products? 

Would it make sense for me to call you a Microsoft fanboy because of how much you like them? 

Typed on a MacBook Pro, which is infinitely times better than the machine your using, and my previous ASUS laptop with Windows 7.

BTW: Real life portfolio I'm shorting AAPL. Not too much like a fanboy huh?

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#19) On August 14, 2011 at 3:53 AM, TMFEdyboom223 (94.15) wrote:

Maybe they've tricked the entire world into liking there products? 

 I would argue that yes, they have!  I'm a teacher, and my students who are as young as 8 years old want Ipads and Iphones.  They don't know anything about which tablets or phones are better.  They simply recognize the name, and that's why they want it. 

 There are plenty of people uneducated about computers who will continue to follow the cult though they don't know enough about product comparisons to truly make THEIR OWN decision about what is better.  They simply rely on what they've been told, and they are followers because it is "the cool thing." 

 Now, there are some students who would prefer a Galaxy S or a Galaxy Tab, but that's only because I am teaching in Korea.  The Korean people do have a strong loyalty to their own country's brands.



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