iTunes needs to break up with itself

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by Rogifan, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    From the MacObserver.

    At what point do Tim Cook and Eddy Cue realize what a bloated mess iTunes is and do something about it? Just bolting more and more stuff onto it makes for a horrible user experience and won't make fixing it any easier.
  2. flur macrumors 68000

    Nov 12, 2012
    When iTunes first came out, I hated it. I thought it needed a lot of work. I thought the same thing about Windows Media Player. I avoided them both for many years (more than a decade, I suspect). But in the last few years I've started using WMP on my PC. It works for what I need it to do (very little) and it's simple and intuitive (again, for the very few things I need it to do). I can see that MS had put a LOT of work into it, and has listened to customer complaints about it. With iTunes, I see the same problems from years ago are STILL problems. Apple isn't fixing it. It's like they've spent years accessorizing a broken car. Now with AM, they've hooked up an airstream to it. But no matter what they add, at the end of the day, it's still a broken car.
  3. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    Agreed, Always thought that Apple music should be a separate app and not just something else added to Itunes. One of the reasons I am not even willing to participate in the free trial.
  4. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    I don't have an issue with it to be honest. It's all in one place.

    How would you guys split it?
  5. tkermit macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2004
    WMP is abandonware as far as I can see. Absolutely no development is taking place there. Microsoft's WinRT-based media apps which are apparently supposed to replace it, e.g. Groove Music, are absolutely bare-bones and can't even be used to edit metadata last I checked.


    iTunes (more or less) in its current form is here to stay. It's Apple's Windows XP at this point. In fact I fear for all my AppleScripts and other apps interfacing with iTunes if Apple should ever replace it. Instead of a ground-up rewrite which would be bound to fail, they're letting it evolve, adding, rewriting and, yes, removing (books for example) components one part at a time, improving UI performance on their way.
  6. flur macrumors 68000

    Nov 12, 2012
    Like I said, I do very little with WMP, idea if you can edit the metadata. I've had a mac since 2011, so I don't use my PC very often anymore. BUT the basic functionality (playing songs, ripping CDs) works. iTunes works well if you know it well, if you've used it for years and have adjusted to the (convoluted) workflow it forces on you. But there's a lot that could be done to make work better, to take steps out of the various workflows. To simplify without losing functionality. One of the obvious ones that comes to mind is to allow an option to automatically add music added to the music folder to iTunes. Apple wants you to buy all your music from them in digital form, which is why it works that way. That's a crappy reason, IMO. Just give the option, so there's no more hunting through the folders for stuff when someone rips a CD or buys from someone else. And that's just ONE thing that could be better.

    I'm not saying they need to start over. I'm saying they need to look at the monster they've built and think about how to make it work better, faster, more efficiently. Fix the broken car.
  7. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    Honestly I think Apple Music and iTunes should be split. And in some ways they are. There's no buy button anywhere in Apple Music for instance. In iOS iTunes, iBooks, Music and App Store are separate apps yet on the desktop it's all in iTunes (along with device management). That's nuts.
  8. jsmith189, Jul 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015

    jsmith189 macrumors 65816


    Jan 12, 2014
    I truly don't think iTunes is bad. Breaking it up would make it a disjointed mess to me. I'd hate to have different apps all for essentially the same thing (music). Much like I hated, and still despise, Facebook and Messenger being separate. People need to get out of the mindset that iTunes is just a music player. It's a media hub.
  9. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    What does a media hub have to do with the App Store and device management? iTunes is separate from the music app on iOS why should it be different on the Mac?
  10. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    I don't mind that iTunes can do a lot. What I do mind is Apples tendency to rework the GUI for every release for no apparent reason other than having the GUI be fresh, as this quite often makes it even worse to work with.

    I'd like to see them go back to the UI of iTunes 10, but with colors like iTunes 9 and prior.
  11. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    I would like Apple to add a user preference setting to iTunes with something along the lines of "I don't want to try Apple Music so please make all the crap that only works with Apple Music disappear from my iTunes". ;)
  12. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    I don't have a problem with it either. I actually don't like that iBooks is now separated from it, nor do I like that my audiobooks and podcasts are also separated from the Music app, even though those apps are decent.

    Hell, I've always hated how I can't manage photos within iTunes itself and have to use iPhoto/Photos and Image Capture. Or that Memos has always been half baked.

    Why do I have to open a separate app to sync content to my device? I don't necessarily want to do that, sometimes I just want to charge my device and so I'd just tell it not to open when I connect. So you're making me have to think of the fact that now when I WANT to add some new music or whatever, I have to open up this new app just to do that. It again goes along with having to deal with Image Capture.

    In fact, I use iMazing BECAUSE it lets me deal with my photos the way I have it setup on my iOS devices, including the folders, and I'm not forced to keep them within some app, or having to figure out where that one shot I need is among the thousands of photos listed.
  13. Narcaz, Jul 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015

    Narcaz macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2013
    As others pointed out, there isn't everything in one place. I think itunes tries to do to many things and makes a lot of things overly complicated (even before Apple Music). The media hub functionality should be cut off. In my opinion there shouldn't be any special libraries for photos/books etc. I would like to have a dedicated library app with quicklook, the ability to sync with iOS devices and manage what is uploaded to the cloud and what not. And with library app i mean an app, where really all your relevant files like media/books/contacts/pdf will be gathered.

    And then we can have dedicated apps for viewing or editing this stuff. E.g. apps like Quicktime could have access to the movie section of the library and access the movie section of the iTunes Store. Itunes could be a lightweight music player again with access to the music part of the itunes store. And Apple Music could be a completely autonomous app for streaming. Maybe it could create its own library for the offline DRM files. And matching would be limited to a read only mode of your own library. Just a thought, now you guys can rip it apart, because i have no clue about clever interface design and software engineering.
  14. AlliFlowers Contributor


    Jan 1, 2011
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    I'd like to see iTunes manage tunes. Period. I'm still waiting to not have to sync my device to iTunes in order to get my books into iBooks, or manage my photos...which has what to do with tunes?
  15. kmj2318, Jul 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015

    kmj2318 macrumors 68000


    Aug 22, 2007
    Naples, FL
    I think this will happen eventually. The new podcast icon in iOS gives a hint that a new podcast app is coming to the mac. The new one can be adapted to a Mac icon much better. It reminds me when the reversed the gradient on the the old Music icon to make it match iTunes.

  16. boltjames macrumors 601


    May 2, 2010
    iTunes for Desktop is a hub in concept, but it's a mess in the real world. It's slow as all hell, and I'm a pretty sharp guy and I can't even figure out how to navigate it half the time. The thing isn't intuitive. It's confusing.

    Adding Apple Music just adds to the slowness and adds to the confusion. Really disappointed with Apple on this one.

  17. Planey28 macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Manchester, UK
    What would be ideal is iTunes is split into Music, Videos, Podcasts etc as it is on iOS. That would go a long way to making the experience feel leaner and more fine-tuned to the type of content. The iTunes Store could live within each app.

    Bring back an iSync style app to manage the syncing of content to iOS devices and iPods.

    I think this is likely a long term goal for Apple as they have already split iBooks out of iTunes. It's probably Windows that is holding it up, although they could continue to have iTunes as is on that platform and work to improve their own platform.

    Either that or they need to work heavily to improve the interface and performance of iTunes, it's one of the worst apps on OS X for its UI, adding Apple Music to it feels more like its been "bolted on" rather than properly integrated.
  18. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere

    I agree with Narcaz' comment 100%.
  19. tomekosiowy macrumors regular


    Dec 7, 2013
    iTunes problem is its name and icon. iTunes is not media-hub only, but it is also content (files in fact) manager for iOS devices (for in-apps documents).

    Apple's biggest mistake is "things" philosophy (and not "folders and files"). And yes: it has been started by S. Jobs.
  20. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    And how they absolutely ignore their own human interface guidelines and standardised UI. iTunes is the only app that uses custom UI components. Like: custom context menus that look and behave different, different overlays, different button styles, bigger and smaller fonts than elsewhere, a completely different navigation and logic. iTunes is a complete and utter mess design-wise, it is like they outsourced its development to a different company. It is so painful to see how they do not care about it. I’m a UI purist and I really, really like consistency. iTunes makes me mad.

    Add to that the countless bugs and serious performance issues. I am currently using Apple Music and I dislike having to admit that Apple Music is not a product I would recommend to any of my friends. It is that bad. It is complicated and not logical; it requires a lot of time figuring it out, in particular if you were using iTunes before and are now puzzled how it all works with your existing library. Whenever people who don’t like Apple mention iTunes and use it as an example of how bad Apple software is, you know that they are right and can’t defend it. Apple is going to release an Android app soon and it could make or break Apple Music’s cross-platform success. I am really looking forward to see what they come up with, but if iTunes and Safari for Windows are an indication, it will be another painful release and everyone will know once more that Apple sucks at writing software for non-Apple systems and that iTunes a.k.a. Apple Music is as bad as ever.

    iTunes needs to be fixed and Apple needs a strategy. It needs to be simplified and split into different parts. Apple wants it to do so much, but doesn’t care enough about it to make it work.
  21. manu chao, Jul 25, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015

    manu chao macrumors 603

    Jul 30, 2003
    No, integrating Apple Music with existing iTunes libraries is the biggest differentiator between it and other streaming services. Without it, it would just be another streaming service.

    That doesn't mean that non-music stuff could not be moved out of iTunes (eg, move movies and TV shows to a separate app, move apps and synching to a separate app). There are two main reasons why they have not split up iTunes the same way they have done in iOS (Music + Videos + Podcasts + (Audio)Books + App Store + iTunes Store): 1) It simplifies things to have all the stuff that is synced to iOS devices in the app that does the syncing and 2) It is much easier to let people on Windows install one app (iTunes) to setup and sync their iOS devices than asking them to install half a dozen apps (and splitting up iTunes only on Macs will result in much bigger differences in the codebase for the two platforms).

    Fortunately, as cloud services become ever more prevalent, iTunes had to do less and less syncing:
    1. Contacts & calendars are synced via iCloud
    2. Backups are done to iCloud
    3. Photos are synced via iCloud
    4. Podcasts are synced via the cloud (at least with third-party apps)
    5. Stuff (music, movies, apps) purchased from the iTunes Store gets downloaded automatically (or on demand) to the devices directly
    6. Music library is now synced via the cloud
  22. manu chao macrumors 603

    Jul 30, 2003
    But would things really be automatically so much better if the different 'tabs' in iTunes (the icons at the top left) were individual apps, if they were icons in the Dock instead? It might simplify the UI a bit but there are downsides: For example, you would have Home Sharing settings in your Music app, in your TV Shows app, in your Movies app, in your Podcasts app, in your Audiobook app etc..

    We all think we know the magic bullet that would solve all problems and we think that Apple is really stupid not to use this magic bullet. That is not to say that your suggestions might not improve the situation, but acidly trashing Apple for not applying your magic bullet shows an at least equal arrogance of believing in your own intellectual superiority.
  23. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

    Jan 28, 2009
    I find this news version is hard to even keep closed. I have it set to do nothing when my phone or a cd is inserted. but it will open up then refuse to close and then open again sometimes when nI put another cd in (ripping audiobooks.)
  24. manu chao macrumors 603

    Jul 30, 2003
    Really? You have the 'tabs' at the top left for the different categories [that you want as separate apps]. Why is using those tabs instead of Dock icons [if they were separate apps] such a challenging task that it keeps confusing you?
  25. manu chao macrumors 603

    Jul 30, 2003
    You mean the presence of the 'Radio' 'sub tab' in the music section in iTunes is really such an unbearable thing? Because that is the only difference to the previous version of iTunes prior to the introduction of Apple Music if you disable Apple Music, Connect and iCloud Music Library.

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