Tuesday, September 16


If you're a regular Mac user, or just an iTunes freak, then you know Apple came out with Version 8 of the world's most popular music player/store application.

But if you're like me: a long-time Mac user (as in the original, little, green-screen Macs), and serious iTunes user, you don't like some of the changes. Once again, Apple has gone and "improved" their product. Here are some of my issues with this update:
  • The skin (a.k.a. the look of the application): One of the things I love about Macs is the way you can trick out the look of it: customized folder backgrounds, custom icons and folders, along with graphic desktops allow you to make your computer a one-of-a-kind user eperience. But now, when you're not using iTunes, it turns white. When you're in the app, it turns grey. This may seem like a minor detail, but it is throwing off the entire look of my Mac.
  • Store links: It used to be you could turn these stupid things off, but now, they're on all the time. You think Apple would be happy as the #1 online retailer of music, and clawing their way to number two, behind Wal Mart among all music retail sales. But no, they need to really push the store on you. "Do you want to gift this playlist?," those little arrows ask. But if you say yes... well, we'll get to that.
  • New album layouts: Enough. Stop f*cking with the interface. Or if you're going to mess with it, at least make it work. For some reason, some of the albums I have are split up, with two different place holders for the same damn album. (And no, the sorting information isn't different, I checked.) For others, iTunes decides not to show the artwork I downloaded, and just throws other artwork on top of it. I mean, work the bugs out before you force-feed a download on your customers.
  • Minimizing: It used to be, when you minimized, or maximized (the little green button on the player), if automatically jumped you into iTunes. I loved that. It was a great way to jump apps (with the mouse). Now, it mini/maximizes the app in the background. Why, I'll never know. Why would you open up the information layout in a format you can't see? Apple used to be intuitive in its design, but this...?
And then there's the new Genius options. Apple launched a new "feature" called Genius, which is supposed to go through your playlists, and recommend items you might want to buy. It also allows you to gift individual songs, or entire playlists. Sounds interesting, right? But to do this, you need to "turn Genius on," which amounts to sending your playlists, and all the information stored in those files, to Apple. Big Brother, anyone?

They claim this information will be kept in an anonymous account, not linked to your iTunes account. But if that's the case, how do they know who to recommend the purchases to? And does Apple really need to know what other sites I'm buying my music from? Or what music I have, at all, for that matter?!

Macs have always been about freedom, and individuality, and this is a step in the wrong direction. Shame on you, Apple.

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