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iTunes is bloated? Discuss.
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lpkmckenna
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Jan 20, 2011, 09:57 PM
 
Everyone says it, but is it true? Is iTunes really "bloated" ??

Certainly, since iTunes is built using older application tech, it's not as nimble as it could be. And certainly, it's a dog on Windows since Apple uses a crappy conversion process to run on Windows.

But is iTunes really suffering from "feature bloat" ?? I don't think it is. I mean, what would you remove? The iTunes Player and iTunes Store are a natural fit. That the iBookstore and App Store are part of the iTunes Store makes sense to me too. And handling iPod or iPhone sync with iTunes makes sense to me too, since it's iTunes content that is being sync'd.

For the bloat complainers, how do you think Apple should do it?
     
imitchellg5
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Jan 20, 2011, 10:18 PM
 
At least Windows has a 64-bit version.

I also don't necessarily think it's bloated in terms of content, but it isn't really set up efficiently. However, the iBookstore isn't a part of the iTunes Store and it should be.
     
lpkmckenna  (op)
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Jan 20, 2011, 10:34 PM
 
You're right! How does one browse the iBookstore on Mac? How does one read iBooks on the Mac? I just doubleclicked on Winnie the Pooh and nothing happens!
     
besson3c
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Jan 20, 2011, 10:39 PM
 
I think it does suffer from feature bloat when you consider that its original functionality and title is suggestive of a jukebox app. Why not move all of the iOS management stuff into a separate app?
     
Wiskedjak
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Jan 20, 2011, 10:57 PM
 
I hate that it's required to do anything with my tablet computer and smartphone, including getting photos and contacts in bulk onto them.

Also, merge all the stores (itunes, books and Mac) into one and pull them out of iTunes,
     
ort888
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Jan 21, 2011, 12:08 AM
 
I don't understand why there is so much venomous hate for the program. I think most of it stems back to the Windows version, which I'm told sucks.

That and people who like to do everything by hand and hate having to redo their whole organizational scheme to use an iPod. Again, mostly hardcore Windows geeks.

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Laminar
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Jan 21, 2011, 12:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
I hate that it's required to do anything with my tablet computer and smartphone, including getting photos and contacts in bulk onto them.

Also, merge all the stores (itunes, books and Mac) into one and pull them out of iTunes,
So if I wanted to buy a new song and put it on a playlist on my iPod, I'd have to use one application to buy the song, import it into another application to organize it into a playlist, then a third application to actually sync it onto my iPod? I don't want to defend a workflow because it's my workflow but that just seems awfully complicated for something that I can do right now in 2 or 3 seconds (literally).
     
imitchellg5
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Jan 21, 2011, 12:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
You're right! How does one browse the iBookstore on Mac? How does one read iBooks on the Mac? I just doubleclicked on Winnie the Pooh and nothing happens!
You can't do either, which is a huge issue IMO considering you can use Kindle on any platform.
     
ort888
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Jan 21, 2011, 12:25 AM
 
Yeah, I see it as a tool for getting content onto my iPod. That's the only way I use the program, so I'm happy it's a one-stop-shop.

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lpkmckenna  (op)
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Jan 21, 2011, 01:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Also, merge all the stores (itunes, books and Mac) into one and pull them out of iTunes,
Making the Mac App Store a separate app was a great move.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 21, 2011, 03:06 AM
 
I'm annoyed basically at two things:

One, that I have to sort iBooks content and movies through iTunes - it's just not good at that. Spin off or beef up (I actually wouldn't mind the latter, but that would get the OMGBLOAT crowd up in arms).

Two, that iTunes doesn't work with folder aliases/symlinks. There is currently no way to manage a library across several drives, but media collections grow. Bad.

As for bloat, iTunes got a LOT less sluggish for me since iTunes 10.
     
besson3c
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Jan 21, 2011, 03:14 AM
 
I think that with proper dynamic loading of features the idea that more features = slower is simply not true. My comments about spinning off some features had nothing to do with performance, but usability. I think the fact that iTunes has become so central to everything is a usability nightmare.

Maybe nightmare is too strong a word, but...
     
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Jan 21, 2011, 03:38 AM
 
So, that explains why the lounge is dead then. All the apps threads are doing a foreign exchange week with the lounge threads.
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Spheric Harlot
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Jan 21, 2011, 05:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
So, that explains why the lounge is dead then. All the apps threads are doing a foreign exchange week with the lounge threads.
Is twue!

     
Oisín
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Jan 21, 2011, 07:16 AM
 
Bemovinated.

(Hey, I was sleeping, c’mon!)
     
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Jan 21, 2011, 08:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
My comments about spinning off some features had nothing to do with performance, but usability. I think the fact that iTunes has become so central to everything is a usability nightmare.
In that case I agree with you. iTunes was originally a music player. It eventually gained more parts for new tasks without ever being a coherent whole. That never works, no matter how good the parts are - it becomes Frankenstein's monster.

I think Apple should move to a different setup.

* One store application, where you buy applications, music, videos, books etc. This could be integrated into Safari, as has been rumored
* One syncing app that the user never sees - it only ever syncs between a portable device and a shadow on the local HD. This is the old iSync framework.
* One setting application for each device - opened by doubleclicking the device itself. This is where you control what is synced to each device
* Various "viewers" for music, books, videos and whatnot.

As long as you keep some shortcuts between these applications, it's not a problem for current users, and it makes a lot more sense.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
OreoCookie
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Jan 21, 2011, 10:09 AM
 
@P
I agree. However, I think overall, it may hurt Apple's business -- especially for new customers who don't really have a clue. Unfortunately/Fortunately, it has been ingrained into the people that iTunes is the place where you do all that.

I'd also prefer a music player that does just that. Since Apple has released an app store app for the Mac, they could, in principle, move all the iPod and iPad apps there -- although I don't think they'll do that. They could do a lot more with the DJ feature and Genius is anything but.

Instead, they may go the opposite direction and integrate iTunes with Safari as a way to make Safari a more popular browser. (If they do that, they better integrate the proposed per-view thread separation they have proposed in WebKit2.)

Funnily enough, there are some features I'm still missing in iTunes, e. g. easier access to the `play next' feature. Instead of an item in the context menu, I'd like something more prominent and a shortcut for it as well.
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Laminar
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Jan 21, 2011, 10:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
* One store application, where you buy applications, music, videos, books etc. This could be integrated into Safari, as has been rumored
* One syncing app that the user never sees - it only ever syncs between a portable device and a shadow on the local HD. This is the old iSync framework.
* One setting application for each device - opened by doubleclicking the device itself. This is where you control what is synced to each device
* Various "viewers" for music, books, videos and whatnot.

As long as you keep some shortcuts between these applications, it's not a problem for current users, and it makes a lot more sense.
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
So if I wanted to buy a new song and put it on a playlist on my iPod, I'd have to use one application to buy the song, import it into another application to organize it into a playlist, then a third application to actually sync it onto my iPod? I don't want to defend a workflow because it's my workflow but that just seems awfully complicated for something that I can do right now in 2 or 3 seconds (literally).
How does it make more sense when it takes longer and is more cumbersome to accomplish?
     
The Final Dakar
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Jan 21, 2011, 11:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
So if I wanted to buy a new song and put it on a playlist on my iPod, I'd have to use one application to buy the song, import it into another application to organize it into a playlist, then a third application to actually sync it onto my iPod? I don't want to defend a workflow because it's my workflow but that just seems awfully complicated for something that I can do right now in 2 or 3 seconds (literally).
Eh, it depends on how you work already. If you shop from amazon instead of iTS, their extraneous program automatically adds the songs to iTunes so complaining about having to importing it feels disingenous.

As far as syncing goes, unless you're actively organizing and manually syncing your devices frequently (we'll say once a week at least), I don't see the appeal of doing it through iTunes. It's not as big of a deal as it used to be for me, but I don't appreciate that the program always beachballs whenever it's syncing with an iPod. I swear, a lightweight synching program could boot when a device is detected faster than iTunes works now. If they managed to smooth this out, there wouldn't be much left for me to gripe about (until I upgrade to iTunes 10).


If anything is bloated it's the general design of the iTS, rather than the app.
     
The Final Dakar
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Jan 21, 2011, 11:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
Making the Mac App Store a separate app was a great move.
Seemed inevitable. iTS was like George's wallet from Seinfeld. One more thing and its going to explode. (Not to mention Mac Apps have nothing to do with iTunes or devices)
     
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Jan 21, 2011, 12:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
So if I wanted to buy a new song and put it on a playlist on my iPod, I'd have to use one application to buy the song, import it into another application to organize it into a playlist, then a third application to actually sync it onto my iPod? I don't want to defend a workflow because it's my workflow but that just seems awfully complicated for something that I can do right now in 2 or 3 seconds (literally).
Not exactly. You'd use one application to buy the song. The song would then be placed in the Music directory and the browser app be notified that it's there - hopefully in a view like "New Songs" or something. A shortcut in the buying application sends you to your browser/player window - that happens to be in a different application, but the noobs wouldn't notice - where you can organize your data as you'd like. Your iPod would sync as you plugged it in, and that the progress bar came from a third app isn't exactly relevant here. By default, you sync all files to it, and if that's what you'd like you never touch the settings app. If you'd like to sync the content of a certain playlist, then you'd set it to that once and the syncing would happen as the playlist was updated in a different app.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
besson3c
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Jan 21, 2011, 01:27 PM
 
Some people are saying that this Windows ffmpeg GUI wlll do the trick:

|MG| Super 2010 Build 42 Download

It might work in WINE, but otherwise Fusion/Parallels/Virtualbox should do the trick. Otherwise, it looks like the ffmpeg CLI will do the trick (and a simple conversion using it is not all that hard)
     
mduell
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Jan 23, 2011, 07:37 AM
 
I wouldn't say it's bloated in terms of scope - it's a reasonable feature set for a single application.

The execution is miserable. So fing slow.
     
OreoCookie
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Jan 24, 2011, 06:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Not exactly. You'd use one application to buy the song. The song would then be placed in the Music directory and the browser app be notified that it's there - hopefully in a view like "New Songs" or something. A shortcut in the buying application sends you to your browser/player window - that happens to be in a different application, but the noobs wouldn't notice - where you can organize your data as you'd like.
That'd be very much dependent on a coherent interface -- and then it won't matter so much whether you technically have two (or more) different apps doing the same thing or just one. Either you end up with the same convoluted mess or you start confusing some users.

From an aesthetic point of view, I'm right with you, you could clean up the whole app by taking out parts that have been integrated into it at one point. However, I think there'd be a strong negative impact on the success of the iTunes Stores as many users get confused if your app happens to have more than one (visible) window.
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voodoo
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Jan 24, 2011, 09:00 PM
 
Oh yes, iTunes is bloated. Simply because it does many things, but none of them very well (excepting perhaps playing 'tunes')

iTunes chokes when plugging and syncing an iPod, it's a really bad movie player, it's a terrible manager of movies, it's mediocre in managing the iPod, it has mediocre podcast interface and management, it contains Ping which is bloat and not needed when playing music, its music and app store is mediocre to simply bad and the list goes ooooooon.

It's not that slow or anything like that, but bloated oh yes. Feature bloated.

It's a decent music *player*, but for anything else it's nothing to brag about.. in fact it's nothing to talk about.
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