There are two pieces of software out there that are more greedy and bloated than Apple’s music-playing, music-downloading title: AOL Instant Messenger and Microsoft Internet Explorer.

I hate iTunes.

I’m sick and tired of Apple getting a pass on quality control just because they gave us the Holy Roman iPod Empire and, by a roll of the dice, beat out 10 comparable music download services, both of which are jam packed into our worlds and force-fed to us through iTunes, a software title that just about creeps by on 4 GB of RAM.

It started out innocently enough with iTunes for managing and syncing your iPod and downloading new songs. But where did this incompetent “Genius” come from as it utterly paralyzes my computer from doing the one thing I’m actually trying to do — play a single song from my library?

What’s a decent sized audio library for anyone in their mid-20s? I have 2,000 songs that fit into a space under 8 gigs and play perfectly find on both my new Nano and my original third-generation iPod. Why is it that these same songs can bring a multi-core computer to its knees under the banner of iTunes?

And who gave Apple permission to try and install Safari and several other programs on my computer under the false auspices of “upgrading my iTunes to the latest version.” AIM tried to do that around the same time the term “adware” was coined.

Seriously, is Apple still so desperate for exposure that they will literally try and sneak their software into someone’s computer? No I don’t want Mobile Me. Thanks though.

When dragging a song from my library to a playlist is a 45 second, six click ordeal, there’s a problem here.

Strip it down! Turn off automatic art downloading. Save the Geniuses for the chess club.

In a way this is all our fault. We adopted the whole package and forked over our credit card numbers without asking questions. We can’t switch, right?

Now excuse me, there’s a new MGMT song I have to buy off the iTunes Store.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

39 Responses

  1. Knut Svendsen

    Sure you are using iTunes? I have a 2003 Powerbook with 512MB ram that runs iTunes perfectly. By the by, you don’t ‘click’ to add a song to your playlist, you drag-and-drop, Genius is not automatic, you activate it; you don’t have to download Safari; art downloading you control yourself. If they had a manual for this thing I would ask you to read it, but most people don’t need it because the app is self explanatory and works great. And that’s why so many people use iTunes.

  2. MacBlows

    Knut, I think the 2nd-3rd letters in your name need to be rearranged, you putrid Apple apologist.

  3. Mike

    When a better software comes out for catalogging music I’ll use it. I have 16,000 songs in my itunes library in Apple Lossles format and I do not have any problems with speed. Things like auto art downloading are completely optional, though even with it on I rarely notice any speed problems as well. It sounds like a hardware issue on your end.

    Not to mention Genius works better with a larger collection. 2000 songs is sort of lacking in terms of music. I have 2000 CDs sitting in the other room, for Christ’s sake and I’m 30.

    • Norm Peterson

      It came out several years ago. It’s called Zune. Wander outside the walls of the Apple cult and you’ll be amazed at the advances of those ignorant people.


      • John

        “When a better software comes out for catalogging music I’ll use it.” Software, not hardware. Ass.

  4. Manuel

    You have seen the light brother!
    About time people who don’t know to CUSTOM INSTALL, realize what seemingly ‘simple’ programs install; the mother load of RAM sucking vampyre programs JUST to work mediocre and cross platform, all the while sucking up internet bandwidth priority as well.

    Maybe people should just realize as tech advances, it’s gonna get more complicated, it’s not all gonna be just ‘button-mashers’. The more you want a program to do, the more you’re gonna have to work the sliders of adjustment to get it.

  5. Robert

    I ran into this post in search for something else, but it caught my eye none the less… I grew up on Windows (98, 2000, XP Vista, I’m 32), but when Apple went to Intel and platforms became cross compatible, I moved to Mac… I’m in the design world, but regardless, my point is that I have experience on both DOS and UNIX. Let me remind everyone iTunes wasn’t made for Windows, so naturally it runs like any other application on a Mac. But due to the popularity, and solid marketing (because of a solid product) they pushed it to Windows to expand market saturation. I have PC’s and Mac’s here in my home studio, and though the Windows versions of iTunes run a little heavier than one might like, its compensating for the lack of capibility on DOS so it can’t perform the same. Call it a bit of a patch for iTunes on Windows. Point, it still runs acceptably. Like all software and hardware issues, the majority are the user. I would suggest before writing an article out of of frustration, you should do your homework first… May be you’d find that the sluggish performance is due to the vast amount of other possibilities and variables. Obviously, you don’t have to take anyone’s word, simple look at the two companies stocks, customer satisfaction records, better yet, look at quarterly sales over the years… A bit of knowledge for ya just to spark interest… Windows follows Apple, they have since the beginning… Ever heard of “plug’n’play”? Before PC users knew the coined phrase, Apple was doing it on their systems long before… Vista alone has copied so many of Apple’s techniques and approaches its insane. Why’d Jobs asshole Gates and give him the shitty DOS instead of the solid UNIX? One reason is obviously due to security issues… Mac’s don’t get worms, viruses and other such crap… I don’t care how faithful you are as a PC, facts are facts. Which company conducts entire business, production of machines, and offers tech support based only in America? (which you should like, right!!!)… Need I say it, Apple. I could go on and on with factual examples and provide docs to stand on, but no sense doing it here. If you really want to bitch, at least do humanity a favor and educate yourself. I guess thats the problem with the Internet… Everyone has a voice, even if it doesn’t mean shit. It interesting in the beginning of your article you say, “There are two pieces of software out there that are more greedy and bloated than Apple’s music-playing, music-downloading title: AOL Instant Messenger and Microsoft Internet Explorer.” One of them is your own IE from Microsoft, how funny!!! You should be bitching about what Microsoft isn’t doing, instead of what others are doing… Research Microsoft’s new leader and his background, reason Gates promoted him to lead as he stepped down… Facts speak louder than words boys…

    • scott

      Itunes sucks period, there is no way you can defend that piece of crap. I am coming over from the Windows world and have always heard how great itunes is. Let me count the ways.

      1. how about an update every few weeks that is a 100 meg install, and it kills any shortcuts
      2. manually having to delete dll and ocx files to get it to work becuase of version 8
      3. how frikken slow can this application be
      4. thanks for renaming all my music shitty application
      5. wow, you really can’t find album art how retarded are you
      6. ninety-two clicks to do anything nice User interface engineers

      Say what you want about Windows at least if a MS version sucks you can find 10 other vendors who’s software is better and still works.

      oh yea no silverlight or flash on web safari is a scam too!

    • loud facts speaking

      Macs are made in China, not America. Not that it’s relevant to the usability of iTunes, zealot.

    • Wayne

      Give me a break! Apple did NOT invent Plug and Play!!! haha Not to mention the mouse, the GUI or any of the other things you idiot Apple morons try to say. XEROX created the idea of a GUI which required a pointing device as well as many other things. (Ethernet!) Read up on what came out of the Palo Alto Research Center idiot.

      Oh and Windows hasn’t been DOS based since Windows ME. Don’t come on here talking about DOS vs Unix/Linux. I’m guessing you can’t even tell me what CHOWN or CHMOD are without looking them up in Google based on your comments. DOS doesn’t exist in Win2K, XP, Vista or 7. They are ALL NT based.

      Next you’ll tell me that Macs don’t get viruses right?

      Now YOU do humanity a favor and educate yourself.

  6. itunesSucks

    I really like how you explained that you used windows. It really hides what a huge fan boy you are. He did not say anything about mac os x but you still have to tell everyone how awesome it is. This post is about what a steaming pile of crap itunes is, most likely on windows. I need to use itunes because I have an iPhone (no I don’t hate apple just people like you, even though that pisses me off too) and it is by far the slowest, most bug filled program on my laptop. For example, it is SIGNIFICANTLY faster to unlock my phone and look up an app then to just search for it on itunes when itunes is already OPEN. It takes 40 second just to go to my music. This is when it works which it RARELY does… BTW the reason macs don’t get viruses isn’t because their safer(they are actually much less secure). Its because hackers don’t bother focusing on such a tiny market, just like most game, application, and web developers…

  7. North

    As a windows user (though by no means a microsoft fan), I have suffered the mind-numbing, will-to-live-draining, soul-crushing experience that is itunes for PC. Multiple restores of my ipods, several clean reinstalls of itunes when it went from working poorly to not working at all, and the simple waste of time that results from attempting simple tasks in itunes when it IS working. The entire program at times goes unresponsive during sync, not even allowing the window to be minimized. All versions i’ve tried in the last several years have had issues with lockups, or long hangs and massive resource consumption while itunes works its unseen “magic”. Well, yesterday, i finally cast off the shackles, and switched to third-party freeware to sync my ipods. My ipod manager is small enough to fit on my shuffle, so i can use it on any PC without any install required. It also allows me to transfer files from my ipod to any PC, and, most surprisingly, it actually syncs my ipods quicker than itunes ever did! My 60gig ipod video is now, for all intents and purposes, a PC-compatible portable hard drive.
    PC users, free yourselves from the tyranny of itunes!! There are a number of options available to us, so don’t take a hammer to your ipods just because itunes sucks out loud under windows! I have Yamipod and CopyTrans (CopyTrans is my fav, so far), but Winamp will do the job, and MediaMonkey comes highly recommended for those looking for a more comprehensive media management suite.
    Forget itunes. Who needs it?

  8. KIF

    iTunes is the #1 reason I’ve never purchased anything from the iTunes store and don’t own an iPod or iPhone. Ever since QuickTime 7.0 wanted to push iTunes down my throat and iTunes wants to push Safari down everyone’s throat, I’ve decided to say “piss off, Apple”.

  9. Itunes Sucks

    Itunes SUCKS. I dont care what credentials you push around Robert. Itunes sucks. End of story. Someone get back to me when Apple creates an MP3 importer that doesn’t screw up your music selections.

  10. Ravi

    Why am I here? To Vent.

    iTunes has been built by lousy programmers – period. The software designers suck, too. Apple is awesome at physical design and beautifying an everyday object to the extent that you dream about owning one.

    They really should outsource their software development to folks like Matlab,, etc., who really know how to write good, dependable, resilient software.

    iTunes is lousy, and the insufferable, self-appointed protectors of the Apple brand should really get over themselves and face it. In fact, being the loyal drones that they are, they should be the first ones to get Apple to fix this miserable piece of excrement.

  11. John F

    I use both Apples and Windows machines. Itunes sucks, the platform doesn’t matter. Who is in charge of this garbage at Apple? The problem is serious enough that a class action lawsuit should be filed. Hit Apple in the pocketbook, that is usually what it takes to get attention to a problem. Obviously Jobs is no longer interested in Apple he’s got his own problems to work out, but who else is minding the show? Since Jobs has little tolerance for others “of equal IQ” I would guess that the remainder of Apple management is milquetoast. Sell that Apple Stock Now!! They can’t make Itunes work and all of their computers are overpriced. The Chrysler of the computer world.

  12. JV

    Anyone who defends iTunes is a Mac moron who has never used any other software before or after. Of course you ”don’t have a problem with speed” if you think this is normal.

    My iPod is much faster than iTunes on ANY computer I’ve ever had it on (5 in all). SPOTIFY is a MIRACLE by comparison, even though it has to load the music FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY OVER THE INTERNET while iTunes loads it from my own hard disk. Oh, it also doesn’t pester me with ”updates” every god damn week that all contain bloody Safari.

    I know I don’t have to install Safari. I can click no to it. But, Mac Morons: NO OTHER SOFTWARE THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SAFARI EVEN PESTERS ME TO INSTALL SAFARI.

  13. Brendan

    I agree. iTunes is the worst popular software product on the market. I just got so mad at iTunes that I searched for “iTunes sucks” in google to find fellow disgruntled users so I didn’t feel so alone!

    Sure enough, there are thousands of us…

    I’ve got a 3GHZ quad core processor with 8 gigs of DDR3 ram…and iTunes is STILL sluggish. I wish Google would make an iTunes the same way they made Picasa (which just works).

    /end venting

  14. Tamer

    sorry – I have to agree…iTunes is bloated and slow to respond. Especially with the Genius feature turned on. A feature that is ok for my 13 year old daughter’s shallow taste in music. But try clicking on any song that is not English language, try clicking a Frank Zappa song and see what iTunes “Genius” feature turns up. Try clicking an Om Kolthoum song and see what iTunes comes up with.

  15. Tom

    iTunes does functionally suck, but it’s also way cool to find old music and download it vit the store. If APPLE would put the effort into quality that is required, then maybe it would no longer suck.

  16. gnrlyspking

    I have to admin, I agree that iTunes is not that great. I have 80 gig of music and I never make it through a single session with iTunes without it crashing, hanging, or hogging. I can’t take it anymore…I may have to find another player other than my iPod to try to synch to that is compatible with Windows. I’m not a huge MS fan, but if the two kids can’t play together than what are you gonna do…we can’t continue to suffer from this madness…

  17. Everett Mobly

    I too hate iTunes. Ok, so I do and always have ripped all my music with Windows Media Player, and change the ripping settings so that each track is about 1 MB, but then I import it into iTunes which copies every track into the iTunes folder…taking up a whole 6 GBs of my 18.5 GB RAM.

    • iPod recipient

      First check your settings, tracks don’t need to be copied. Second don’t use iTunes, it sucks.

  18. iPod recipient

    I received an iPod as a gift and quickly learned that I did not need to use iTunes. Winamp can add and remove music on iPods very easily. On Windows iTunes is horrible and on Mac you don’t have any other choices for managing and playing music. iTunes is tolerable on Mac, but I will never use it on Windows.

  19. Bryan U

    It is so sad that Itunes ruins my Iphone for me. If it wasn’t for all the bugs and problems with Itunes I would love my Iphone. How can a company that can create a piece of art like the Iphone put out such a crappy piece of software like Itunes?

  20. jonny

    iTunes kind of sucks functionally. I’ve noticed Apple products don’t give users that much control over anything. It also re tags my music to its own liking for some reason. I haven’t found a solution yet. I would switch over to something else, but I still really like the layout and navigation features of iTunes. Anyone have any recommendations?

  21. a

    add me to the list of people who are frustrated with itunes. I am super happy with my ipod nano gen 2. the interface i easy and fast. why is it that when i try to work with my playlist on itunes i have so many problems? not huge problems either, just annoying slowness and inconvenience. i hate the updates every week and i don’t want any other programs.
    they could do a much better job.

  22. Theo

    It’s appalling that almost a year after this piece was published, Apple and iTunes still suck – with wild abandon.

    Steve Jobs is riding Apple into the ground like the guy riding the bomb at the end of ‘Dr. Strangelove’.

  23. Ragah

    Vell, you know (the “V” was intentional; a German thing), iTunes is great for people who have neither the time nor the inclination to manage their own directories. Data is data, but lot’s of people want bots to shelve it for them. That’s okay, but those of us who care who played on such and such a Mendelssohn sextet would never have a use for a simplified interface like WMP or iTunes in the first place. So suck it, everyone else.

  24. Danni

    I hate Itunes as well, so you are not alone.
    I use CopyTrans, and anted to use Itunes simply to rip a CD and then transfer it to copytras, to my Ipod. WELL. as soon as I tried to Sync my CD and Ipod together, Itunes pick up that some (all) of my music was not synced from Itunes. SO. Guess what it did without me comfirming? Deleted all the music from my Ipod. hmm. HATE ITUNES

    • Otsego

      Just use a program called FreeRIP Basic, it is free and it rips your CD’s to whatever folder you want in multiple formats

  25. Andy

    Apple sucks as well! There, I’ve said a bit more.
    Apple makes it easy to open an account, but if you get eroneous charges on your account…try closing the account to protect yourself. It won’t be possible unless you fill out an online form and wait for some PHATASS to get around to investigating your claim. all the while the Hacker just keeps using your account to ride on your dime.

    My advice to Apple/Itunes, focus on customer service, not entrapment!!!!

    My advice to every customer, cancel your credit card and get a new one issued. don’t even bother trying to work with these idiots at Itunes. Once Apple/Itunes realizes that their lack of customer service is pinching their pocket, they’ll get on the ball or go the way of the dinosaur.

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