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Kevin Kline

Want Another Reason to Hate iTunes?

I'm not one to whine. Really. I'm totally not a whiner. However, I'm going to sound like one with this statement...

I fricken HATE iTunes.

There, I said it. I'm already starting to feel better.

Playing on Elisebeth Barrett Browning and her fantastic poem, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.", I'm going to count some ways that iTunes is filling me with inhuman, Hulk-like rage:


  1. Ridiculously frequent updates. Not the "Update Tuesday" sort of thing we get from Microsoft, but the "I'm going to interrupt you all the time, any time sort of upda..." - hold on, iTunes wants me to update it.
  2. Genius. You're an idiot.
  3. Shuffle. You don't.
  4. Home Sharing. If by "sharing", you mean making it impossible to get music onto other devices without copying and moving it manually, you're perfect.
  5. Relentless Focus on Making a Buck. Yeah, I know that Apple is the biggest capitalized company since the Iron Age and that they had a better Q4 in 2011 than the rest of humanity combined. But couldn't you give it a rest for plain ol' music, especially if you're a user who still uses CDs? It seems like they'd monetize punctuation marks if they had the opportunity, for Pete's sake!
  6. Duplicate Songs in Library. Take a few minutes and Google on 'Remove duplicates from iTunes library'. (See it on Let Me Google That for You). People are about to grab torches and pitchforks on this one. WHY ISN'T THIS BUILT IN?!? WHY DOESN'T THE TOOL HANDLE THIS?!!!? Someone please make an app for this!
  7. Duplicate Songs on Disk. So my last disk backup took a lot longer than usual. Hmmm, I wonder why? So I looked at my backup info and saw this (image). Just in case you don't see what I saw - 70.3 GB of hard disk sucked down for music. Keep in mind that I actually have only about 6 GB of music files. So, in the vernacular, W-T-F?!?


I'm now going to spend hours of precious time burning down iTunes and rebuilding my library. And I must've already done this two or three times in the past few years already. Look, Apple, I don't fricken need this. I need troublefree music that doesn't require an IT certificate to manage. Didn't Apple used to be the company where everything was slap-your-mammy easy? Well, it ain't so now. And it's pissin' me off.

I'm sure that there are other things about this product that makes your blood boil. Lay it on me! I want to hear your rant!



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Published Wednesday, February 22, 2012 10:42 AM by KKline
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Drew Jones said:

I second those emotions

February 22, 2012 12:54 PM

Just Awhiner said:

Seems like whining to me!;-)

February 22, 2012 1:43 PM

AaronBertrand said:

Well I am not using iTunes on any Windows machine, so I can't speak to the update frequency there, but on the Mac where I use it I've had about one update per month, give or take:

If we're going to talk about mad updates, it seems that every time I start up or restart a Windows VM, I have to wait while the system "configures updates." I have it set to automatically run updates because doing it manually was getting in my way; letting the system do it automatically gets in my way even more. I'm not being sarcastic at all when I say *every time* - I use a variety of VMs on various hosts and at any given time at least one of them has an update to apply.

The iTunes updates don't interrupt my life as often or as harshly - and wouldn't even if they occurred once a week.

I don't find Genius all that bad, shuffle works fine for me, and home sharing has worked fine here as well. I've shifted to buying most of my music online, simply because it's easier, but I haven't had any issues with CDs I've purchased since that switch or that I've finally gotten around to digitizing (I have about 1,500 CDs in various tupperware bins, and I'd guess 10% of them are in my iTunes library). I haven't felt the need to spend any more money on music than I did in the past - in fact I spend less because I used to buy $13 CDs for one song, now I can just buy the song for $0.99 - and if I want to complete the album later I get $0.99 off.

Does that mean I think iTunes is perfect? Absolutely not. I agree with you about wasteful space consumption, and in particular the pain involved with removing duplicates (I bought an app called Dupin for that - not sure if it's available on Windows).

All in all, iTunes is like a lot of software I use. It has pros and it has cons, and the pros largely outweigh the cons. If I discarded all software with any cons, I wouldn't be in the computer industry. :-)

February 22, 2012 2:56 PM

AaronBertrand said:

February 22, 2012 3:03 PM

Tony said:

The reason I hate iTunes? The dev team at apple clearly have no interest in building software that runs well on Windows (instead they just blame windows for their software's shortcomings on that platform) - an impressive accomplishment that a music player manages to be more bloated and perform worse that Visual Studio!

February 22, 2012 5:40 PM

Paul Hales said:

Kevin, do yourself a favour - get a WP, use Zune and a Zune Pass then ditch iTunes.  

February 22, 2012 5:43 PM

Mike Lawell said:

That's not whining Kevin... that's an appropriate rant.

February 23, 2012 9:17 AM

Carla Davis said:

two words... media monkey...

February 23, 2012 12:27 PM

KKline said:

Carla, thanks for the tip. I'm checking out Media Monkey now!

Drew, Tony, and Mike - thanks for the +1s!  Good point on the dev issues, Tony!

Paul - that's exactly what my wife is telling me. :^)  

Aaron, to explain a bit more, Shuffle always seems to play songs I rarely play.  Perhaps that's by design, i.e. bring in stuff you haven't listened to in a while.  But in my case, I haven't listened to them in a while because I haven't wanted to.  The main thing I want to ask you is - can I borrow some CDs? 1500?!?  Man, you have got TOP bragging rights afaik!

February 23, 2012 1:41 PM

matt said:

first world problems. i'm just sayin.

February 23, 2012 5:13 PM

Koos said:

Why is this on SQL Blog? It doesn't have anything to do with SQL Server.

February 27, 2012 8:24 AM

KKline said:

Matt, I don't dispute that at all!

Koos, are you familiar with blogging? A big element of blogging is getting to know the blogger.  If you want strickly SQL Server content, stick with books on-line on the official Microsoft websites.  Plus, the title clearly indicated the topic which, being not SQL Server, is one you could easily avoid.

February 27, 2012 1:36 PM

Cali Beach Guy said:

Ditto everything you said and then some! This program is a friggin JOKE for sorting. A few simple clicks of 'Get Album Artwork' this morning and suddenly I have ten albums split into sixty! WTF!

I have spent two hours checking and double checking sort fields to no avail. Sadly I have an ipod touch so I feel chained, but this is certainly not the first time I have had this and other issues with itunes.

You at least made me laugh while I was wanting to instead put a fist through my monitor. more coffee today. :O)

April 10, 2012 10:19 AM

Papa_T said:

I received an iTunes gift card.  I had never bought music from iTunes and did not like the application itself when I first tried it some 7 or 8 years afo, but since I had a gift card I decided to give it another chance.  Well, I downloaded the music but it came as the default file type, .mp4?  .m4p? Something like that.  Anyway, it would not allow me to convert the purchased music to mp3 so I can burn it to a disk and play in my vehicles, which support WMA or MP3.  There was no option to burn as MP3 either. I had to burn an audio CD then re-rip as no-name MP3's, manually rename them, then add to a CD with other data (mp3/wma) music files for use in the trucks.  I could go on another few paragraphs with iTunes rearranging my music like Cali Beach Guy mentioned, but I am sure people are aware of that headache too.

May 15, 2012 5:59 PM

AW said:

itunes is designed 100% to deliver apple content to apple devices.

don't attempt to do anything else with it.

MediaMonkey, WinAmp, and a billion other MEDIA players are for media. itunes won't even play FLAC, because it thinks that AAC is better (because aac supports a sync/download/device count? maaaayyybbeee...)

aaronbertrand, your obvious macgasm fanboyishness is quite unbecoming. and look at all your apple devices. and all your itunes purchases. this is exactly why itunes is crap software, and will continue to be so. Because the consumer loves everything mac.

of course his "experience" will be different, because he's tossing his cash out to apple.

now, if he had 10,000 MP3s that he's had for several years kept in a digital library... you'd never put it into itunes, because it would get fricken destroyed.

Here's one ever try to sort files from a data recovery from an ipod? if the metadata is corrupted, what a freaking nightmare.

screw apple. screw windows. use linux. TOTEM!


November 26, 2012 1:35 PM

AW said:

Follow up -- if you recall back about 12 years ago when that famous pod got popular, there was only one jukebox-style music player - realjukebox, which was awesome, until it was updated.

then w/ the pod, in comes along itunes. Anyone here know the ipod was first offered up to Real networks? How different the world would be today if they'd bought the IP.

November 26, 2012 1:37 PM

AaronBertrand said:

AW, I did bring a rather large library of MP3s into iTunes. It hasn't been "fricken destroyed" (yet), but you can be sure I didn't import it and then immediately blow away all backups. Only a moron would trust any piece of software, on its own, to safeguard something that valuable.

And "macgasm fanboyishness"? Really? Let us all know when you want to converse like an adult.

November 26, 2012 11:19 PM

KKline said:

Unfortunately, I have been that moron from time to time.  I keep thinking that they'll make the product, well, work right.  Otoh, I have eventually learned to always keep backups before importing into iTunes.

"Macgasm" actually struck me as kind'a funny.  But I can see your point. Now, on to further sophomoric humor and fart jokes!

November 27, 2012 11:52 AM

AaronBertrand said:

Yes, perhaps a bit harsh choice of words there. But I was acting in self defense, your honor. :-)

November 27, 2012 11:58 AM

Tiffany said:

I hate ITunes so much. It's a horribly done program overall, and utter garbage on PC .It's not a true Windows piece of software but a MacSoft emulator, which means it runs like shit and bugs out constantly. What annoys me about it more, however, is the proprietary relationship Apple has with it, making it impossible to get many free podcasts without installing this piece of garbage. Every time I process something in my Ivona Reader to an mp3 file it wants me to install iTunes and I tell it it can suck an iDick.

May 11, 2013 1:27 AM

AppleCritic said:

I do not really need any more reason to hate iTunes. Hate it enough already.

And Apple OSX even lies to you, telling you that it needs iTunes absolutely to work. What a joke!


Itune it down, Apple


Apple Critic

April 6, 2015 3:48 PM

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About KKline

Kevin Kline is a well-known database industry expert, author, and speaker. Kevin is a long-time Microsoft MVP and was one of the founders of PASS,

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