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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Challenge Accepted: Going without iTunes for one week

Challenge Accepted: Going without iTunes for one week
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NewsPoster
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May 18, 2016, 05:51 PM
 
You seem nice, can't you do do something about this? I am being directed to quit iTunes, and not open it again for a week. Now, if you're one of the many who find this software confusing, you could well be shrugging. Yet compare and contrast: MacNN managing editor Mike Wuerthele has devised this series about being forced to reexamine one's workflows and device preferences. I had to quit iTunes, while he had to force himself to wear an Apple Watch. The humanity.

Only, he was very specific about quitting iTunes and not, say, Apple Music. He really meant I was to find out what it was like quitting listening to my own music in the app. Call me mad or call me thorough, but I don't think that's enough. So when you and I are done here, I am quitting iTunes in every way.



No listening to my music collection, no listening to Apple Music. Also no backing up my iOS device, no copying files to and from apps on my iPad. No watching videos, no streaming them from my Mac to my TV. No listening to radio stations, not via iTunes. No converting tracks from one format to another.

Granted, that last doesn't come up much, but when you've got an AIFF track that you want to hear on your iPhone, it's iTunes that will easily turn it to MP3. Well, I say easily: to change the format of a track, you first decide what format you want, and you do that in the section where you import CDs. You haven't imported a CD since the Shiny Disc Age, so this isn't the clearest part of iTunes.

Then again, the title for Least Obvious thing to do in iTunes is a hotly-contested one. If the critics of iTunes are to be listened to, we don't need this bloated app. So maybe this is going to be a very easy week. Or maybe I'm going to find out just how much I rely on this single app across all of my work.

Currently listening to: nothing.

-- William Gallagher (@WGallagher)
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Jun 1, 2016 at 12:59 AM. )
     
HPeet
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May 18, 2016, 06:00 PM
 
This is stupid!
     
Mike Wuerthele
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May 18, 2016, 06:34 PM
 
I read your not-so-productive comment to really be "I don't understand why you're doing this."

The point of the exercise is to see how critical iTunes is to an OS X and iOS heavy user's daily life. To see what options there may be for music playback, and other tasks that we take for granted.
     
panjandrum
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May 19, 2016, 10:48 AM
 
It will be great to see what alternatives you come up with. I'm sure you won't forget Stream to Me / Serve to Me since you've already reviewed that product here in the past That's the way I deal with everything now; iTunes has become simply a "music encoder and iThing backup manager" and other than that I never have to touch iTunes (or Music on iThings). I would really like to find products to eventually completely replace iTunes for those functions also (I don't trust the Cloud based iOS backups so I prefer to do it locally). I am a bit confused about the focus of the challenge however, since you specifically mention not listening to your own music collection etc. Possibly I misunderstood something; but it would seem to me that the most interesting things to look at would be how to continue using your existing collection without utilizing iTunes or Music (or limiting that use as much as possible.)
     
Mike Wuerthele
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May 19, 2016, 12:36 PM
 
Yeah, I've clarified the situation with William on the "existing collection" point.
     
NickChapin
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May 19, 2016, 03:20 PM
 
I like the last comment, Mike. Thanks. I can't imagine not listening to my music all day as I program, but am not fond of many things that iTunes mis-handles; I look forward to what's available to listen to my music (in the cloud) w/o iTunes.

Personally, though, I almost never backup my iDevices via iTunes - letting the cloud take care of that.
     
Steve Wilkinson
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May 19, 2016, 04:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by NewsPoster View Post
No listening to my music collection, no listening to Apple Music. Also no backing up my iOS device, no copying files to and from apps on my iPad. No watching videos, no streaming them from my Mac to my TV. No listening to radio stations, not via iTunes. No converting tracks from one format to another.
I'm glad Mike has clarified the 'no music collection thing' as that would be primary purpose of iTunes, no?

But, the rest of that is what should be somewhere else these days and NOT in iTunes. That said, I fear if they did break them out to individual apps, they'd all end up like Disk Utility. Maybe we shouldn't go do this road.

Originally Posted by panjandrum View Post
iTunes has become simply a "music encoder and iThing backup manager"
That was the best! And, good thing for that too for the backup manager, as until this last update, my iCloud backup wouldn't function for nearly a year on my iPod touch or my iPad. I've stopped getting the messages again now, so I need to check it's working again, but I think I saw a recent backup-to-cloud date when I last attached to iTunes.
------
Steve Wilkinson
Web designer | Christian apologist
cgWerks | TilledSoil.org
     
   
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