I have this love-hate thing with iTunes. Scratch that; it’s more like a tolerate-hate relationship. It’s bloated, crashes when I try to scroll through my 65,000 song library, is plagued with syncing bugs, the Windows version is awful–the list goes on. But in the absence of anything else that can do what iTunes does, we’re stuck with it. Or are we? This comes from Wired.
For longtime customers, threats of “I’m quitting Apple” are the digital equivalent of the eternal promise to ditch Manhattan, San Francisco, or fill-in-the-blank for someplace more affordable and tolerable. But unlike moving out of town, moving out of iTunes is feasible. TJ Connelly—a DJ for the Boston Red Sox, the New England Patriots, WZBC, and elsewhere—wrote the impassioned step-by-step manual “I Deleted My Entire iTunes Library and You Can Too!”
When iTunes, started, he says, it was essentially a music player. That changed with iTunes 4.0 in 2003. “You got the music store, and that was awesome,” he says. But the iTunes Store introduced a new set of concerns and UI decisions. To prevent piracy, Apple made it impossible to move music from an iPod or iPhones or iPad back to a computer. More controversially, the iTunes Store locked all files with DRM from 2003 until 2007, when Steve Jobs personally lobbied for its removal.
But Connelly, who’s been an Apple user since the 1980s, understands all that. Where it started to go wrong was with the extras no one asked for, and few used. Genius. Ping. Movies. Podcasts. Ringtones. iTunes University. “They just kept adding more crap into the app,” he says. “I don’t even know how many things just showed up in the task bar that I had to turn off. Then [with an iPhone] mobile apps also end up in the music player to control your phone.” (Apple declined to comment in any way for this story.)
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