Marco Arment: iTunes is a "toxic hellstew"

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by Rogifan, Jul 26, 2015.

  1. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #1
    Pretty damning. Let's not forget Tim Cook used the "toxic hellstew" phrase during an Apple keynote in reference to Android. Yes he was quoting someone from ZDNet but he still used it.

    http://www.marco.org/2015/07/26/dont-order-the-fish

     
  2. boltjames macrumors 68030

    boltjames

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    #2
    All true, but it can't change.

    iTunes is where the credit card numbers go and iTunes is installed on every Mac and PC ever made going back 15 years. It simply can't be deconstructed. And before anyone asks, making the streaming portion (Beats) as a standalone app wouldn't be the answer either as you'd have a low adoption rate and confusion caused by competing products, would make the acquisition useless.

    There is really nothing Apple can do besides make the code better and apparently that's not working.

    BJ
     
  3. HopefulHumanist macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I don't understand this at all. You're just declaring that it can't be deconstructed and re-built from the ground up without any explanation or evidence. I see no reason iTunes cannot get a Photos style reboot. iOS apps could be rolled into the Mac App Store and just called "App Store". IBooks is already separate. Seems like they could do the same with Music, Podcasts and Videos.
     
  4. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #4
    Of course it can be deconstructed. iTunes isn't where the credit card numbers go, your Apple ID is where the numbers are.
     
  5. flur macrumors 68000

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    #5
    As a coder myself, and an efficiency specialist, I promise you - it CAN change. Apple have to chose to change it.
     
  6. boltjames macrumors 68030

    boltjames

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    #6
    You are not understanding the point. Of course Apple could split iTunes into several apps. But there is a good reason they won't do that and why they hold onto that one bloated application for dear life:

    The typical iTunes user owns a 3 year old iPhone on a crappy 5 year old Windows PC and asking them to replace a single iTunes shortcut on their desktop with 3 or 4 different programs that do the same thing would be suicidal. They would not be adopted by a large group of users and it would cause confusion for those who do download them. While the upside of better performance would be nice, the downside of consumers opting-out or failing to understand or not signing in properly would be chaos.

    iTunes is Apple's cash cow. They can't mess with it. It's properly installed as a single shortcut on clunky old Windows desktops and they can't risk it being deleted or misunderstood.

    BJ
     
  7. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

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    #7
    Yes indeed.

    iTunes is one of several Cash Cows in Apple's Pasture.

    Apple's hardware product lines aside, the massive hourly flow of revenue iTunes itself generates 24/7 365 is the envy of every Fortune 500 Corp. on the list.

    Apple's got money making down cold :D
     
  8. HopefulHumanist macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Well I don't really care about windows. They don't even have good Photos support, so clearly Apple isn't interested in mirroring the Mac experience. They totally could split it on OS X. As I explained, they already removed iBooks from iTunes, which goes against your logic but whatever lol.
     
  9. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #9
    Jason Snell had a good phrase for iTunes: it's become too big to fail. I agree and I don't see Apple doing anything about it.
     
  10. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #10
    How many people that own five-year-old Windows PCs are even using iTunes on the desktop? I would bet that the desktop version of iTunes is use predominately on Macs. Especially now that one hardly needs to use iTunes with their iOS devices. You can download software updates over the air, backup via iCloud and buy content right on your device. What do you need iTunes for?
     
  11. boltjames macrumors 68030

    boltjames

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    #11
    It's good that you don't care about Windows. Good thing you aren't a shareholder though, you'd have a bit of an issue with that belief.

    Windows owns 91% of the desktop market while Mac isn't even 5%.

    So, yes, it probably really does matter how iTunes for Windows is handled. I don't know, perhaps it's a wee bit important.

    BJ
     
  12. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

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    #12
    I agree. The problem is they've been treating iTunes like a "sacred cow" for many years.
     
  13. boltjames macrumors 68030

    boltjames

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    #13
    Well then, why did you start a thread calling iTunes a 'toxic hellstew'?

    Managing a 25,000 song library with it's associated 100s of playlists directly on an iOS device is a nightmare. Backing up data is far faster via lightning cable in iTunes than via wifi on the Cloud. Managing shared apps across an entire family's devices is next to impossible. If you have a connected home audio setup, using iTunes on a notebook to stream music to Apple TV and wi-fi speakers is easy and has functionality that a standalone iOS device can't compete with.

    iTunes is very useful. It's UI is atrocious. But it's very necessary.

    BJ
     
  14. boltjames macrumors 68030

    boltjames

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    #14
    It is a sacred cow.

    Breaking up iTunes into smaller pieces in a desktop environment would be suicidal. It would be like Google telling everyone they're changing their bookmarked URL from "google.com" to "newgoogle.com". Genius.

    BJ
     
  15. Ulenspiegel, Jul 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015

    Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

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    #15
    When I used it on Windows, I had it to transfer my mp3 songs on my iPhone, including my own ringtone, last but not least to change the plece as well as order of icons. Nothing more, nothing less.
     
  16. flur macrumors 68000

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    #16
    They don't even need to break into multiple apps to make it more efficient and more user-friendly. They just need to re-design it.

    "Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology."
     
  17. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

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    #17
    "...Better than he was before. Better...stronger...faster." ;)
     
  18. HopefulHumanist macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    My point is that iTunes has always been a sack of **** on Windows. Besides, those numbers are meaningless unless you have numbers of who uses iTunes on that platform. Yeah, there's a lot of Windows computers but most of em are NOT running iTunes. A lot of them are enterprise or education machines, you know.

    And again, they clearly haven't implemented the same strategy on Windows because iTunes on Windows still has iBooks in it. Stop being obtuse man, they have not treated the platforms equally in the past and don't need to in the future.

    But keep on chugging that chicken, man.

    Exactly, we just want better software. We don't care how they get there.
     
  19. schlaufox macrumors regular

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    #19
    It's funny – I usually agree wholeheartedly with high profile Apple commentators, but not on this one.

    iTunes 12, to me, seems to be a great achievement in managing complexity, especially with clever touches such as UI elements that hide away and only appear when you need them. These aren't hamburger menus, either – they do make contextual, intuitive sense.

    Examples being the way that Playlists slide in when you click and drag music, the use of ellipsis for browsing media types, a dropdown for selecting view filters (artists, albums, etc.). Actually, it's interesting that a lot of these types of elements of iTunes 12 are so clearly reflected in the iOS 8.4 Music.app.

    I can agree that iTunes isn't the most streamlined of apps. When you put it next to Photos.app, maybe it does appear bloated. But let's remember that Photos.app manages photos. iTunes manages music, videos, podcasts, playlists, radio etc. etc. And the features you don't want/need/use? Maybe most commonly for people: iTunes U, Tones, and Apps – well they're more hidden away and non-interfering than ever.

    The idea of splitting these media types into separate apps on a desktop isn't even worth talking about, I think. Not when you remember you like being able to sync all your media at once. And not when you remember that each app would be a copycat in terms of UI to the other. It would be silly. It would be what Microsoft does with Windows.

    And briefly on Apple Music: iTunes purchases, ripped CDs, and Apple Music: all side by side, in your iTunes library. It's great, it's the future, and it's the biggest boon of Apple Music on a desktop. iTunes is more than ever a complete experience, and that is what Apple does best.
     
  20. jsmith189 macrumors 65816

    jsmith189

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  21. boltjames macrumors 68030

    boltjames

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    #21
    I find it very sluggish on all my Windows machines. I think it has too many features. Instead of a simple hub it's more like a media operating system.

    BJ
     
  22. boltjames macrumors 68030

    boltjames

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    #22
    Please, stop with the automatic OSX argument counter of "show me numbers" already.

    If 91% of the computers in this world run Windows and the iPhone is the single most popular smartphone in the world, it stands to reason that 91% of iPhone users run Windows. Could be more, could be less, it'll be in that ballpark.

    iTunes for Mac is meaningless. iTunes for Windows is a cash register.

    BJ
     
  23. boltjames macrumors 68030

    boltjames

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    #23
    iTunes makes it too hard to figure out where you are. Simply getting from the Store to the Library and then to Playlists isn't intuitive, it's confusing. It takes forever to launch and hangs and hangs too often. And building a Playlist, a hobby of mine, is now a difficult chore whereas it used to be a pleasure. When Apple took away the ability to open Playlists in seperate windows they eliminated the ability to drag/drop easily, very disappointing.

    Subscription Apple Music is not going to ever be more than 10% of the market so it makes zero sense that Apple would cripple iTunes with it in a lame attempt to fleece their loyal customers. Spotify has been around for years and the paid subscribers only account for 4% of the market. People simply don't want to rent music, especially when its free all around them. FM Radio, iTunes Radio, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.

    BJ
     
  24. HopefulHumanist macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 28, 2015
    #24
    That's terrible logic. Especially, since you're lumping in personal computers with enterprise ones. And like another user already pointed out, there's no need for most people to use iTunes at all. I know a lot of people that have iPhones and windows computers but the two do not ever interact.

    And again, Apple has not treated both platforms equally in the past, so I see no need for them to in the future. But whatever man, clearly you like iTunes running like a POS.
     
  25. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #25
    You can call me old fashioned but I use it as a hub to import music to my computer and sync the music with my computers, iOS devices and iPods. :cool:
     

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