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Apple Delays Simpler and Cleaner iTunes 'to Get It Right' 252

Posted by timothy
from the what-kinda-reason-is-that? dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "iTunes has been criticized in the past for being slow and growing increasingly unwieldy as more and more media types have been added to what used to be simply a music player. Apple announced iTunes 11, the latest version of the program, at its iPhone 5 event in September and said the update would be released by the end of October, but Apple's deadline for the upgrade has slipped. 'The new iTunes is taking longer than expected and we wanted to take a little extra time to get it right,' Apple told technology site AllThingsD. 'We look forward to releasing this new version of iTunes with its dramatically simpler and cleaner interface and seamless integration with iCloud before the end of November.' The update is said to be the most significant upgrade to iTunes in the 11-year life of the program, which has grown from a simple music player to the most powerful retailer in the music business — and a force in the movie, television and e-books businesses — and, on Apple's PCs, the portal to its app store."
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Apple Delays Simpler and Cleaner iTunes 'to Get It Right'

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  • Better upgrade (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 54mc (897170) <samuelmcraven AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday November 01, 2012 @12:46PM (#41843453)
    Thanks for the warning, Apple. Now I know that I need to upgrade now, before you remove my favourite functionalities.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Thanks for the warning, Apple. Now I know that I need to upgrade now, before you remove my favourite functionalities.

      As much as I hate Apple, it's assholes like you that made iTunes the elephantine mess it is today. "THIS IS MY FAVOURITE NICHE FUNCTIONALITY YOU TOSSERS SO YOU BETTER KEEP IT IN OR ELSE. Why not just get rid of all those useless other features I don't use? I'm certain I won't mind. Just ignore everyone else who posted this exact same message in regards to a different feature and keep focused on ME."

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Glad to see someone uses Ping.

    • Re:Better upgrade (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dhermann (648219) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @01:01PM (#41843607)
      Not trying to flame you, but to what features do you refer? The Visualizer? iTunes DJ Shuffle? Ping? I would really love it if iTunes were streamlined for PC so I could quickly plug in my iPhone and sync, not much else. I like the iStore, so please keep that? I could kind of do without 30 modal popup window clicks every time an iPod is plugged in and not recognized. Or maybe, my iPod would always be recognized, like I ran on a Mac. That would be cool.
    • I wouldnt worry about that, Im sure theyre trying to make sure it runs as well as possible on OSX while remaining as buggy as possible on Windows.

      They really have a knack at that, and Im looking forward to what they managed to pull off this time.

      • Re:Better upgrade (Score:4, Interesting)

        by JDG1980 (2438906) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @01:46PM (#41844189)

        I wouldnt worry about that, Im sure theyre trying to make sure it runs as well as possible on OSX while remaining as buggy as possible on Windows.

        That makes little sense from a business strategy perspective. They make most of their profits from portable devices; desktop and laptop hardware, despite its visibility, is secondary in financial terms. When they had the only decent smartphones and tablets, they could get away with having iTunes work crappy on Windows and hope to maybe guide a few users onto OSX with promises of better support. But now that Apple faces serious competition from the new generation of Android devices, this roadblock risks losing market share in portables for no good reason. I think they're serious about fixing iTunes on Windows this time.

        • Oh, it never made any sense. Ever. If you're going to offer a service, offer a good service (it just works, right?). I imagine that the first introduction to Apple for many folks was an iPod. On Windows. So with iTunes being the enormous cluster-fuck that it is/was and likely will be on Windows, where is the Apple Experience?

          Even if they had to hire programmers from Microsoft themselves, it seems like they could have been arsed to do a better job.

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Why did he get labeled "troll" for speaking the truth? Hell ALL the big companies have been royally fucking up the UIs left and right trying to make everything for the damned tablets! Apple, MSFT, hell even Linux is now in on it with Canonical and Unity, the "future" is gonna be mass consumption whether you peasants like it or not!

      The royal bitch is now that they are also forcing "the cloud" down everyone's damned throats a lot of times you can't even hang onto the old software, because it won't interface w

  • Good for them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @12:50PM (#41843495)

    As much as I dislike Apple, kudos to them for admitting the new iTunes isn't ready and postponing the release rather than pushing out potentially buggy and incomplete software. Too many software companies will just shove whatever they have finished out the door, whether it works or not.

    (Although it is possible to err on the opposite side. See Duke Nukem Forever)

    • Re:Good for them (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Nerdfest (867930) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @12:59PM (#41843581)

      They could have admitted this before they started bolting on stuff. It's needed a complete overhaul for a very long time. If people weren't forced to use it, most probably wouldn't.

      • by jitterman (987991)
        I agree that it needs an overhaul, but I'm certainly not forced to use it. Yamipod will still put things on my old 160gb classic, and CopyTrans Suite puts music on my phone just fine.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Tx (96709)

      "As much as I dislike Apple, kudos to them for admitting the new iTunes isn't ready and postponing the release rather than pushing out potentially buggy and incomplete software. Too many software companies will just shove whatever they have finished out the door, whether it works or not."

      Like that company that pushed out iOS 6 with the Maps application that everyone was so impressed by? What were they called again?

      • Re:Good for them (Score:5, Interesting)

        by SomePgmr (2021234) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @01:25PM (#41843909) Homepage

        Like that company that pushed out iOS 6 with the Maps application that everyone was so impressed by?

        Like that company that recently shoved the VP's in charge of those bungled releases out the door.

        • Re:Good for them (Score:4, Insightful)

          by agentgonzo (1026204) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @01:41PM (#41844129)
          So some guy that I've never heard of got fired for the maps mess. It still hasn't made my maps app any better.
          • by SomePgmr (2021234)

            Ok? Next time don't buy an iphone?

            Point was nobody should be surprised they're trying to be a little more careful about software releases.

          • by Mex (191941)

            Just because you haven't heard of the guy who designed both the Maps app and Siri doesn't mean it wasn't a very significant move for them to sack him. I don't know the names or importance of any Obama cabinet members in the US but I bet they're kind of significant.

            Presumably it will make things better in the future, but a public apology and important heads rolling is at least an acknowledgement that they want to do things better.

    • Re:Good for them (Score:5, Insightful)

      by war4peace (1628283) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @01:24PM (#41843903)

      I agree to this. Furthermore, some personal background for anyone who cares.
      The main reason which has stopped me from buying an iPod (though I like them a lot) was iTunes. I am a man with very simple needs. I need my MP3 player to connect through USB and be recognized as a drive, so that I can copy over whatever I want without the need of additional software. Sure, I can accept some tiny, fast software that acts as a middle-tier between my player and my PC, but iTunes was everything BUT that. Then again, were it an opt-in software, I would have used a workaround, but so far it was required, so no thanks.
      Make iTunes faster, smaller, simpler and I'll buy your nice iPods, because I like them, but right now, it's like buying a nice Ferrari with manure-filled seats.

    • You dont understand, the lack of bugs is the problem. Theyre working hard to make sure it upholds the iTunes legacy in full. What would iTunes on Windows be without bugs?

    • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @02:16PM (#41844569) Homepage Journal

      As much as I dislike Apple, kudos to them for admitting the new iTunes isn't ready and postponing the release rather than pushing out potentially buggy and incomplete software. Too many software companies will just shove whatever they have finished out the door, whether it works or not.

      (Although it is possible to err on the opposite side. See Duke Nukem Forever)

      Seconded.

      Of all things Apple that are worthy of bitching about, this ain't one of them.

  • by Not-a-Neg (743469) * on Thursday November 01, 2012 @12:50PM (#41843497)

    Even when I had a Mac Mini and a MacBook, every upgrade to iTunes would have video playback issues until the library was deleted and re-created (backing up all your content before-hand of course). The same thing happened with the last 2 updates that were released 10.6.x and 10.7. The last 10.6.x update caused a slight drop in framerate and 10.7 caused a massive drop in frame rate on high end systems and crashed iTunes on low-end systems. It took a deleteion of the library file to get it working again. Given they're past failure to fix this issue over the last 6 years, I have no hopes of them fixing it with 11.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Given they're past failure to fix this issue over the last 6 years, I have no hopes of them fixing it with 11.

      Well, if they are past failure over the last six years, why do you think they won't be past failure this time?

  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @12:57PM (#41843559) Journal
    My issue with iTunes was never the interface. It was usually pretty intuitive. My problem was the lag - the program was always clunky and slow to respond, and on my laptop would sometimes lock up completely. The stability issues didn't seem to affect my workstation, but it was still rather laggy. I don't ask for much out of my software, but a quick response from the program interface is one thing. That's why I've stuck with Winamp over the years and just manually managed my music collection.
    • I agree. Every song I play in iTunes on a PC has at least 1 random 0.1 seconds to sometimes a whole second somewhere in the track where there is a slight stutter, pause, blip, distortion, or something. I can play music on Media Player, KMPlayer, or WinAmp using the same file and this not happening. It is small and it is subtle but it still happens.

    • That Winamp which has become increasingly bloated and laggy as well? Go AIMP2 and never look back ;)

      • by Fnord666 (889225)

        That Winamp which has become increasingly bloated and laggy as well? Go AIMP2 and never look back ;)

        Fortunately WinAmp 2.91 [oldapps.com] still runs just fine.

    • by Teckla (630646)

      My issue with iTunes was never the interface. It was usually pretty intuitive.

      I wish it was intuitive to me. :-( I purchase, download, and install an app from the app store to my iPad, then start iTunes to sync the iPad, and before I get a chance to start the sync, iTunes downloads the app again, but this time, just to the Mac. Err, or something like that. Why? Why does it do that?!

      Or, I delete a program from my iPad, go into iTunes sometime later to sync, and even then, it downloads the app that I just deleted and never, ever want to see again. I hated that app and deleted it for a

  • Fixed that (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @12:58PM (#41843563)

    It is said to be the most significant upgrade to iTunes in the 11-year life of the program, which has grown from a simple music player to the most unnecessary bloated piece of sh!t in history.

  • Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @12:59PM (#41843583)

    You should be lucky to get itunes11 in November, it takes Apple 2 weeks to update one webpage.

  • why is iTunes relevant anymore, as a music player it is awful, even as a three pane music browser its awful, as a way of interacting with Apple lecacy devices its awful. I must have used 10 different music players on the desktop [I'm using clementine] all better than itunes, and will work on linux[It didn't just work].

    It should never have crossed the line into movies and apps. Googles cloud based stores do not require such arcane methods of controlling your Android devices. connecting as a Mass Storage Dev

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by geek (5680)

      It neither works as a music player, or device management...it never did.

      Strange, I work with dozens of people that use it for those purposes every day. Melodramatic much?

      iTunes does just fine, sorry your hardware and OS are old and outdated and things lag but on my Macbook Air iTunes runs just as fast as any other app on my machine. Granted, Ping was stupid but its gone now. As to the rest of your rant, whatever. Millions of people use it successfully every single day, purchasing billions of songs and movies every year. The evidence is very much against you.

  • Final Cut Pro X (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slacka (713188) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @01:02PM (#41843619)

    Apple's dug themselves into a hole in this one. They have an app that suffers from feature creep and is a resource hog. The only way to fix both issues is a complete code rewrite and interface redesign. Best case they will successful in both areas, but people will still complain that they don't like the new UI. Worse case, they just pull a "Final Cut Pro X" and still have a memory/CPU hog that does less than before. Hopefully they chose the former, and are just taking their time to polish it up.

  • get it right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @01:04PM (#41843647)

    Apple,

    I don't have and don't want an iPod, so don't make me install an iPod service.
    And get rid of whatever the hell Bonjour is. I don't use it, and I don't care what it is, but iTunes goes ape shit if it's gone.
    And get rid of the updater service. I don't trust you to ship an update that doesn't bork my music collection. I've been burned by you guys on that too many times.

    In short, get rid of anything that runs in the background. The only Apple binary I ever want to see in ProcessExplorer is iTunes.exe.

    -Anonymous Coward

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Honestly, Bonjour is a great protocol idea. Avahi/Zeroconf provides this on Linux and it's an open protocol that saves the ordinary household user from worrying about things like the IP address of their printer. It's used for the iPod Touch and iPhone on iTunes, and I agree it shouldn't be forced to be installed. It's also used for sharing your music library to other computers on the network.

  • by sootman (158191) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @01:05PM (#41843667) Homepage Journal

    Now that Forstall is gone, they're going to take a couple days to remove the stitched-leather look.

  • I like winamp. But then i've been using it for 10+ years. don't care for it playing video files, but whatever.

    Of course, I do NOT buy music online. I am not giving my money to any of the media corporations. Nor would I ever buy new music from anywhere except from an artist that is selling directly. I'd rather pirate the music and donate money to the band without dealing with the corporate arm that takes most of the money.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @01:15PM (#41843767)

    I still use iTunes. It's my favorite way to buy music. If i can't find an album there, it's probably not available for digital distribution at all. (Once or twice amazon has had an album that iTunes has not)

    I don't even like to download torrents/rapidshares/whatever of albums unless they're lossless. I've downloaded too many albums with bad encodes that sound like garbage. I'll go to ebay/amazon and get a physical CD before I download some random mp3s

    It's not perfect, but I still like it. iTunes is one of the few programs Ive used that actually shave bloat with later iterations. Recently they shed the quicktime requirement (Even apple admits that quicktime is a niche product now) And now they're chucking ping and other unnecessary things.

    Since iOS5, apple has moved to make the iOS devices independent of PCs. You don't need a computer to use and iOS device now, and they're changing itunes to reflect that.

  • by john.willis1 (2759567) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @01:16PM (#41843783)
    .. Could it be Skeuomorphism.. Hmmmm?
  • Can't get the 2nd FA to load, slashdotted and/or Sandy-related issues? Here's a dupe - I guess - Apple Delays iTunes Update | NBC Southern California [nbclosangeles.com]

    Have been a Foobar2000 stalwart for years myself. Only use iTunes for managing iPods and only want one added feature - to be able to delete an item from a playlist and have that file deleted from the iPod too. You'd think that would be no big deal. CopyTransManager stands in for iTunes and has this feature but it's very sluggish.

  • Itunes is possible the number one reason I switched back to a PC from my macbook. I simply can't stand it. It's bloated, laggy, and just a plain mess if you ever need to do anything complex to it's god-awful database. And if you wanted to offload your massive music collection to a netwroedk location....impossible. Back in the day I wanted to run itunes off a NAS drive - mother of god was that a mistake. I still am forced to use it to back up my iphone but that alone may be driving me to android - that

    • I dislike the fact that flat out tells me that video files 'are too big to play on your PC' when I can right-click, 'show in windows explorer,' and play the file with, say, WMP, no problem.
  • I've believed for a long time now that synchronization with devices should be separated from iTunes. It made sense back in the days when you needed it to sync your music with your iPod, but with the advent of iOS and the need to synchronize more content (apps, photos, config backups, OS upgrades, etc) iTunes has become a gigantic misguided clusterfuck.

    If iTunes could be reverted back to being strictly a multimedia player and store client, it would back on track. People who don't own iDevices but just want a

    • by BenJeremy (181303)

      Yup, and the thing is, they have the "iCloud" app that does some syncing... just not everything. It handily zaps my photos taken to my PC - I like that, but why not my videos? Why can't I use it to consolidate my backups? Why does the iCloud client not do everything the iCloud web site does?

      I also want a file browser in that iCloud client to pull files off of my iPhone.

      Put all the sync activities in iTunes into the iCloud client, and I think everybody is happier. iTunes as the media player and store interfa

  • long time (Score:4, Interesting)

    by halfelven (207781) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @02:12PM (#41844509)

    They've been delaying it for a decade now.

  • by BenJeremy (181303) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @02:19PM (#41844605)

    I just need to manage my iPhones. I need separate profiles (since I have multiple devices) so they don't try and sync up apps with whatever the last person did. I don't need music playing when all I wanted to do was drag some tunes into my phone.

    Maybe I'm using it wrong? I'm not an apple fanatic. I just needed to get into the iOS development game, and it was a good deal on a decent phone (now that the iPhone 5 is out, iPhone 4/4s is a heck of a deal if you are in a contract anyway)

    Apple should have an iOS Device Manager that does all the syncing and such, and keep iTunes separate.

  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @02:21PM (#41844635) Homepage

    Of course it's a mess. iTunes is a music player, a video player, a file manager, a sync program, and a shopping cart. Quicktime is also bundled in there somewhere.

    The main function of iTunes is to create a direct connection between Apple and your bank account. So Apple is unlikely to separate the shopping cart function from the other functions.

  • With an operations guy in charge, what do you expect? It's roughly equivalent to Microsoft being run by a sales guy. If you want a great show, you need a show man. Steve Jobs for example. If you want a great engineering organization you need an engineer in charge. Larry Page for example. With an operations guy in charge or any other kind of paper pusher, Apple is doomed to a long slow slide into technological irrelevance. Which is fine by me. I wish Tim Cook a long but not terribly happy career riding Apple

  • It's been nothing but downhill since iTunes 4. Every update since has progressively sucked more.

    When my iPod dies, I'm looking elsewhere for a music player. The hardware is good, but using iTunes is now a miserable experience. Blechhh.

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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