iTunes - Worst Software Ever Written?
I finally succumbed to peer pressure and joined the digital media bandwagon by buying the latest Apple iPod Nano complete with iTunes.
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I have already ripped all of my legally purchased CD's onto my hard drive for a more convenient catalogue and playback through Windows Media Centre (which does a fantastic job BTW) so I just needed a portable device - and why not go for the king of MP3 players?
Upon arrival, the small, neat, packaging presented a shiny new iPod in a well-made perspex display case with everything packed in tidy and efficiently - the sign of things to come? The first thing I did was to turn the iPod on. Having never used an iPod before I was a little uncertain about the location of the on/off switch but when I pressed the menu button the screen lit up with a welcome sign prompting me to select my language. With that done I set about navigating the menus using the touch wheel - it took some getting used to! I find it a bit too sensitive and often move off the intended item while pressing enter.
Now I need some music on my iPod, so I headed over to Apple.com to download the latest iTunes software (my iPod Nano did not come with any) so when that finally downloaded (~60mb) I installed it and started it running, choosing a folder for my existing mp3's and let it go away and locate everything.
At this point, I must say that I was expecting it to search through the folders finding mp3's and cataloguing them in the same manner as Windows Media Center (WMC), that is it reads the MP3 tags for album/artist/genre and shows the album art.
Boy was I mistaken! I don't know what it did, but after half hour of disk thrashing I had over 2500 "albums" each with 2-5 tracks in them, some duplicates, most of the cover art was missing and everything filled under the "Other" genre. Most of the tracks had the wrong titles and albums were split up into multiple sections. The whole thing was a mess, then the program crashed.
After a bit of scouring on the web, I found that iTunes is very finicky about the tags in the mp3's and that it isn't intelligent enough to spot an extra space in an album title for example (unlike WMC), so I set about going through each and every mp3 with Windows Explorer and verifying the tags. With that done, I went back into iTunes, cleared out the library and started again. It processed most of the items correctly this time, but around 800 songs were not assigned to an album or artist, so I went through and re-assigned everyone from within iTunes.
Feeling good, now that I had sorted this out (after two days of playing with files) I started copying the files onto the iPod, but I noticed that there were a few albums missing, and I had only got to 'C'. A quick glance at the stats showed 2453 tracks listed - a little short of the 6825 mp3 files reported by Windows Explorer.
I set about manually adding these files into iTunes without luck. Apple has a policy of graceful erroring, so that if an error does occur - you don't know about it. At least Windows tells you that there was a problem importing a file!
After more net browsing I found a tip about stripping all tags from a mp3 then importing it, which does seem to work, but I now have to retag nearly 4500 files! And worse still - WMC is now totally screwed up because the tags have been changed by iTunes!
iTunes has just crashed again, and now it takes around 3 minutes after clicking on the icon to load up.
Four days of editing tags, assigning albums/artists/cover art and I still have not put anything on my iPod! Worst software ever!
Last updated on: Saturday 17th June 2017
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