Why does iTunes often get called 'bad software'?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by 226896, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. 226896 Guest

    Sep 13, 2008
    I've always sort of heard the odd person moaning that iTunes is junky software, but the other day I was watching a video by Chris Pirillo (I'm sure many of you know who this guy is), where he says iTunes is, "no matter what anyone says, a really bad piece of software". He went on to say, "it sucks on Mac and just blows on Windows."

    What is so bad about it? I use it on my MacBook and it's always fast (mostly), works without a hitch and I wouldn't replace it with anything else. I'm aware of the fact that it doesn't automatically strip out duplicates but that isn't exactly a big deal. I'm curious as to what is actually causing a lot of well known techies to not like iTunes? Is it badly coded? Does it suck up resources?

    I hope some of you guys can enlighten me.
  2. bbydon macrumors 6502a

    May 18, 2005
    Over the years it has become a little bloated, with poor organization. I think if they just reorganized it, it might be friendlier, tabs or separate windows. As far as MS windows all i know is it eats up all of my sisters ram.
    Just my thoughts
  3. chaos86 macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2003
    Yeah I've never had a problem with it.

    I think Chris is talking more about how it only syncs with iPods and iPhones, and how it DRM's the crap out of (now everything but audio) from the iTunes store, so that once you're in iTunes you can't leave with your content.

    Like the above poster, I've watched as iTunes got "bloated" and less orgnaized (why are apps only viewable as icons?), but I've never seen it slow down at all or thought "gee I wish they left out such-and-such so the whole thing would load faster".
  4. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    iTunes isn't 'bad' at all. It's just the very limited minority who choose to voice their dislike/hate of iTunes louder than the people who say they love it.

    I love iTunes :D

    iTunes on windows is definitely not as smooth (scrolling down lists, coverflow, coverflow and coverflow). And how is iTunes bloated?
  5. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    Way too many features I don't use that have been added over the years that just slow down my machine. I'd switch to Songbird, but the PPC version is terribly slow on 512 MB of RAM, and still has a lot of issues.
  6. chaos86 macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2003
    Bloated meaning it used to play music, organized into simple playlists, plus it had online radio and the ability to burn CDs.

    Now they've added:
    iTunes store
    App Store
    Movies and TV Shows
    iPod, iPhone, and some crappy motorola phone syncing
    Genius playlists
    Smart Playlists
    Cover Flow and Album Views

    So yeah, it seems "bloated" to those of us who loved the elegant and simple mp3 playing app which opened in half a second on old OS9 machines.
  7. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    That's true, but I mean bloated in the negative sense, that it was slow and cumbersome from the weight of the features piled on, but it isn't...at all. I'd rather the single 'feature-rich' app than a small handful of apps. Besides alot of those functions (such as the media) don't affect the performance if you don't use them/disabled them from the preferences.
  8. sbking macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2009
    Limited file support and very bloated. But personally I don't think it's bad, I just wish it was faster. I tried foobar2000 and it is much faster.

    I use the windows version though, I've heard the mac version is much better.
  9. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Have you ever used iTunes in Windows? If you think the performance on a Mac suffers... you don't even know the half of it. Anyway; I agree with most of the others... it's just become too much in trying to be an all-in-one media app. Throw in the various software/DRM restrictions and it's a lot of sound and fury for very few features.
  10. Bimmi macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2002
    I've never known a Windows user who didn't loathe iTunes, so I can only conclude that it does Very Bad Things on a PC.

    I'm getting a little tired of it myself. It no longer seems like a particularly well-thought-out solution for media playing.
  11. gnasher729 Suspended


    Nov 25, 2005
    There is the usual thing that iTunes users fall into two categories: Those that just use it and don't take particular notice of it (after all, I don't _intend_ to use iTunes, I intend to listen to music or watch videos or copy music on my iPod), and those that don't like something and complain. You don't hear the first category, you only hear the second. Software like iTunes isn't noticed if it works right.

    On top of that, on a site like MacRumors you will have a certain amount of Apple haters who will hate iTunes because it is made by Apple.

    It would make sense if Apple had one of its engineers spend a week or two on optimizing the code that reads XML files into dictionaries. I don't think the code they have is particularly bad, but the library XML file is large.
  12. Gryet macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2009
    Hi all

    Being a Windows user, I think one of some of the main reasons why iTunes is being called Bad Software are:

    1. You cannot install iTunes without installing the highly annoying, almost unremovable and very aggressive extention stealing program QuickTime.
    2. iTunes does not work well with Windows Media Player, Windows Explorer and Windows Media Center, meaning you mostly have to use ONLY iTunes OR the other 3 standard players.
    3. iTunes can only interact with Apple programs, meaning if you have a new Sony TV in the same network as your PC, you cannot play the iTunes playlists - only the Media Player / Media Center playlists.
    4. iTunes does not work with DRM if not from iTunes Store.

    Besides that, iTunes has some annoying lacks of user control, like iTunes does not offer easy editing of content like Genres and stuff like that. If you create your own Genre icons, you have to reinstall them every time you update iTunes.

    I myself like iTunes for the Coverflow and that you can just drag and drop a music file on iTunes, and it will be converted to MP3 and placed in the correct folder according to artist and album.

    But to sum it up, iTunes is not really worth the space it takes up on a PC.
  13. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Its not bad on a PC but Mac is much better.

    I find out that most people who hate iTunes think its DRM riddled, only plays a proprietary apple format, wont import non-iTunes songs and think its too complicated.

    In other words, they haven't ever used it. They just hate it cause apple makes it.
  14. chocolate632 macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2007
    The integration between my first gen iPod nano and iTunes (even on windows) led me to buy a Mac and get into the whole apple community. I used to have a creative mp3 player, took ne a while to sync songs to it
  15. TJRiver macrumors 6502


    Jan 14, 2009
    iTunes definitely runs better on our macs vs the PCs in the house. That having been said, for all of its functionality, iTunes works great. No complaints from our household.
  16. twist2b macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    North Carolina
    it works fine for me, however, syncing with ipods/iphones = hassle. You HAVE to ONLY sync with THAT itunes... and yeah, overall it can urk me, though just listening to music a joy for me. o_O
  17. OutSpoken macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    It may seem bloated with all the features, many I dont use...but to me it works fine....
  18. kunal123 macrumors member

    May 4, 2009
    I like itunes but on windows it has a enormous performance issues. I have to wait for 10-20 seconds every time i connect my ipod as it hangs.

    Another complaint is that browsing for apps is highly inconvenient as it does not support tabbed browsing.

    I tried to convert a mp4 file to mp4 (at a lower resolution so that it would play) for my ipod and all it did was extract the audio.
  19. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    It's due a rewrite. It has code left over from the SoundJam MP days.

    I don't think it's as bad as everyone says it is. The Windows version is by far buggier than the Mac version. However, none of Apple's Windows applications have ever been as good as their Mac ones. QuickTime has been a dog on Windows since the beginning.

    The poor quality of Apple's Windows development is sort of ironic considering there are more Windows iTunes and QuickTime users than Mac users.
  20. instaxgirl macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Edinburgh, UK
    Agreed. I wish I could just choose to knock out some of the particularly useless things. All I ever do with iTunes is import something then sync my iPod/iPhone to it. It's such a counterintuitive pain in the arse to use that I never use it to play anything.

    It's nothing to the complete mess it is on windows though. iTunes still works on my computer, even if I think it's full of useless features.

    I wish they'd just make it faster and reorganize it.
  21. spillproof macrumors 68020


    Jun 4, 2009
    You must be my twin. I didn't like Creative's media player after I experienced iTunes. I figured if this works so well, a Mac would be great.

    I like about 90% of iTunes. I don't like App organization (iTunes 9 fix? hopefully), its sluggishness when clicking on Applications and Get Updates buttons, inability to select only the Apps I want to update instead of having to Update All or sit there and click get update for each, and that you have to download the SD version when you buy the HD version.

    Other than that, I'm a happy camper.
  22. BaldiMac macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    Most of the features listed can be disabled or simply not used. I worried about "bloat" in the 90s when bandwidth and drive space were hard to come by. Now it should be about performance. I think the word "bloat" is just a carry over that people like to use as a derogative because it is so variable in its meaning that it's hard to argue with.

    iTunes supports most file types through Quicktime codecs.
  23. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    In most cases it's lack of knowledge (i.e. soaking up your processors with torrents and blame itunes). In addition, pirated music are often not encoded properly or not tagged properly and users blame itunes instead of themselves.

    If you actually get music via itunes or buy cds and load it yourself, you won't have any problems.

    That's PROBLEM WITH WINDOWS. Read up on differences between windows and UNIX (aka OS X).

    iTunes follows UNIX style multi-threading rules, which are not implemented in windows due to Microsoft incompetence. Keep in mind Microsoft have tried close to 10 years to include UNIX technology into windows, but ended up with Longhorn which is also known as the failed Vista.
  24. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Having used iTunes in OS X since 2003, I just started using it in Windows this year... I remember when my best friend first installed iTunes for Windows -- to some extent, it has a persisting, Vista-like identity issue, because early builds in Windows were pretty terrible in terms of crashes and erratic behavior. iTunes 8 in Windows XP hasn't been a bad experience for me. I suppose if I got duped by Mojave I'd similarly have nicer things to say about Vista...

    I think there is some truth to some aspects of the bloat issue...

    - On something less than top of the line hardware (particularly... on anything below the Core Duo kind of performance level), on both Windows and OS X, I do find it has an obnoxiously long load time.

    - Like Flash, the trade-off to what it does very well in integration is speed -- I think if one were purely to look at what iTunes needs from the computer to play an MP3 compared to what a simple MP3 player needs, it would not paint a pretty picture.

    - The couple places where I think it is in danger of being grossly inefficient mostly have to do with syncing. Genius playlists take a long time to update, and iPhone / iPod touch syncs have gotten on the long side as well. Particularly if you buy music on the iPhone, since then, if you really use Genius, you have to sync twice -- once to get the songs on the iPhone onto iTunes, then update Genius / fix meta-data if required, and then sync again. That process of two syncs and a Genius update to get the latest songs on your iPhone eligible for genius playlists is pretty obnoxious.

    Bluetooth syncing using iSync was faster than tethered syncing using my iPhone... which is kind of sad, considering how slow bluetooth 1.x was. (On the positive side, I finally got used to the idea of iSync going away and don't miss it anymore).

    I personally don't find the interface terribly bloated, at least not once customized to my liking (which itself takes <1 minute).
  25. Bimmi macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2002
    Problem with Windows or not, if Apple is writing software that performs poorly on Windows then I can't blame Windows users for not wanting Apple software on their PCs. And frankly, QuickTime for Windows sounds like the reanimated zombie corpse of late-'90s RealPlayer for Mac, and who didn't hate that miserable, system-stealing piece of junk?

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