Thursday, March 11, 2010

iTunes + Quicktime = invasion

I feel that I'm slightly addicted to iTunes. Back when I got my first iPod, a Video (may he rest in peace), iPods were quite literally the only mp3 players I knew about, and to some extent, they were ahead of the competition. So I naturally installed iTunes on my PC, mostly because I didn't know much about iPods or mp3 players in general, so I figured that iTunes was the only program available. 3 years later, I'm afraid they have me trapped.

First let me say that I have detached myself from the iTunes store. DRM never really bothered me, mostly because I had ways of getting around it, but I mostly continued to use it because (1) the only other online store me or my brothers had tried was Walmart, which sold DRM protected WMAs, with volumes that SUCKED, and (2) I liked how it got credited to my iTunes account, automatically got added to my library, etc. Well, a while ago, I finally got around to getting an Amazon account, and a nerdy friend suggested to me that their mp3 store was better than iTunes, and I agree. Amazon doesn't have DRM, has a higher bitrate than iTunes (256 vs 128, I believe), and is MP3. So I haven't actually bought any songs off it yet, but I know that's what I'm going to be using. Plus, if you get the Amazon MP3 Downloader, it automatically adds them to your iTunes library, and saves them to a specified folder (two things I loved about iTunes store).

But anyway, I'm still fairly addicted just because now that I have a Touch, you pretty much have to use iTunes to sync the apps and such, otherwise they wouldn't be backed up, and I don't want to lose the ones I buy. Plus, really, nothing syncs everything as good as iTunes, especially with the Touch because it's so new.

So I stick with iTunes, regrettably. I'll admit, most of the time when they pop up their annoying "There's a new iTunes version!" window, I sigh with disgust and close it. But eventually, I put it off for so long, I decide that I might as well.

Anyone else notice that iTunes gets worse and worse with each release? And I'm not talking about a few steps in the wrong direction, I'm talking leaps and bounds. Every new release seems to be twice as bulky, twice as slow, and twice as buggy as the last. It's funny because I use iTunes version 6 (or maybe it's 4....) for certain reasons (certainly not ones that have to do with removing DRM) and I'm always amazed at how fast iTunes 6 (or 4) is in comparison. Sure, it doesn't have as many features, but most of them, I never wanted or use.

If that wasn't bad enough, iTunes is bundled with Quicktime. I dislike Quicktime. Possibly more than iTunes. Why? Maybe it's because I'm so used to Windows that the Mac-ish interface confuses me. Maybe because it doesn't support all the files I want to play. Maybe because it's spyware. It's bundled with iTunes even though it doesn't need to be (sure, parts of Quicktime may be needed by iTunes, but I sincerely doubt all of it), and every time you install it, it sets itself as the default for media files.

Let me say that again: every time you install it, it sets itself as the default for media files. If you're a nerd, is that ringing any alarms? A program that sets file associations for common files without asking you? Sounds like spyware to me. Plus, it recreates Start Menu shortcuts every time it installs. That means that if you moved iTunes or Quicktime shortcuts around in your start menu, you're going to have duplicates now that you have to delete.

So every time iTunes updates, I have to reinstall Quicktime, a program I never wanted, asked for, or use, and then reset my file associations to MPC. Usually, I would call this just "annoying" except it's by Apple. Apple has got to know that this is annoying. But instead of making Quicktime optional, or even asking you "Do you want to make Quicktime the default program for opening files?" like every other good program out there, they force it on you, which sucks.

Apple, why don't you just stop being jerks and actually try to please the consumer rather than trick them? If Quicktime is good enough for me to use, then by golly, I'll use it; I'm someone who installs heeeeecksalot of freeware, and if Quicktime is free, I'll gladly install it. But if you trick me, I'll just throw it in the darkest nether regions of my hard drive, never to see the light of day, like Windows Movie Maker.

Resisting the invasion (partly),

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