Reflections on iTunes Bloat

Is iTunes Bloated? That’s a question I asked on this site back in June. I got some answers, responded to them, but I wasn’t convinced by much of what people were saying about iTunes bloat.

I’ve written an article for TidBITs called Is iTunes Bloated?, examining some of these points, rebutting many of them, and pointing out where iTunes could be changed, and where it can’t be. I’m sure many people will disagree with me on this, because this seems to be a question where people have entrenched ideas.

I admit that I know iTunes pretty well, and am not daunted by its many features. I’ve just written about them in Take Control of iTunes 10: The FAQ, for those who want to learn more about using the program.

16 thoughts on “Reflections on iTunes Bloat

  1. This discussion does come up from time to time. However, when you ask the same people that complain about bloat which features should be left out of the product or perhaps maintained by a separate product, they don’t have anything constructive to offer.

    That said, I think we can all agree that iTunes does have some bloat. It’s not just a matter of the size of the program in megabytes, it’s a matter of how well the features are integrated, etc. For example at the core, iTunes is a music library management system. It does that function well. Ripping CDs, syncing with iPods, printing disc labels, etc. are all core functions that simply need to be there.

    What about video though? iTunes relies on Quicktime, so why not just pass the media to your Quicktime player instead of trying to play that content within iTunes itself? Ping? Really? That’s unnecessary crap that should be web based. Yes, I know, Apple wants the tie in to the music store, etc.

    Finally, on the Mac side, a 64bit Cocoa overhaul would seem to be in order. How about making use of services, etc?

  2. This discussion does come up from time to time. However, when you ask the same people that complain about bloat which features should be left out of the product or perhaps maintained by a separate product, they don’t have anything constructive to offer.

    That said, I think we can all agree that iTunes does have some bloat. It’s not just a matter of the size of the program in megabytes, it’s a matter of how well the features are integrated, etc. For example at the core, iTunes is a music library management system. It does that function well. Ripping CDs, syncing with iPods, printing disc labels, etc. are all core functions that simply need to be there.

    What about video though? iTunes relies on Quicktime, so why not just pass the media to your Quicktime player instead of trying to play that content within iTunes itself? Ping? Really? That’s unnecessary crap that should be web based. Yes, I know, Apple wants the tie in to the music store, etc.

    Finally, on the Mac side, a 64bit Cocoa overhaul would seem to be in order. How about making use of services, etc?

  3. I certainly agree about the Ping thing, because I find it annoying. I’m not so sure about QuickTime; you can embed QuickTime in just about any app, so its being in iTunes doesn’t really bother me.

    As for Cocoa, that’s definitely needed.

  4. I certainly agree about the Ping thing, because I find it annoying. I’m not so sure about QuickTime; you can embed QuickTime in just about any app, so its being in iTunes doesn’t really bother me.

    As for Cocoa, that’s definitely needed.

  5. They still haven’t fixed what I call the genre problem. Many pieces of music can fit multiple genres so why doesn’t Apple use a genre system like keywords in iPhoto or Lightroom where you can add several genres to the same piece? Why be forced into just one?

    As for the Ping thing — I couldn’t care less. I’ve got mine as disabled as I could.

  6. They still haven’t fixed what I call the genre problem. Many pieces of music can fit multiple genres so why doesn’t Apple use a genre system like keywords in iPhoto or Lightroom where you can add several genres to the same piece? Why be forced into just one?

    As for the Ping thing — I couldn’t care less. I’ve got mine as disabled as I could.

  7. I don’t use Ping, but I still care about it, because more and more it seems like it is stupid features like this that Apple focuses on in iTunes. That and redesigning the interface with every revision for some reason. I could easily name a dozen features that Apple desperately needs to add to iTunes and has since its inception, but always seems to put on the back burner.

  8. I don’t use Ping, but I still care about it, because more and more it seems like it is stupid features like this that Apple focuses on in iTunes. That and redesigning the interface with every revision for some reason. I could easily name a dozen features that Apple desperately needs to add to iTunes and has since its inception, but always seems to put on the back burner.

  9. 1 – database too slow and crashy when you have over 20000 files

    2 – quicktime sounds better

    3 – does not play vids well and database poor for storing thousands of vids – need music like folders and better list views

    4 – Been a user since before apple, still have my SoundJam MP disc and other old Casady and Greene stuff –

    • How can QuickTime sound better? You do realize that iTunes just uses QuickTime under the hood to play everything?

    • Well, the QuickTime thing is simply impossible, as Aaron points out above.

      As for the database, well, I have nearly 60,000 tracks, and it never crashes. For storing videos I don’t see what issues there are; you want a different view? Like what?

  10. 1 – database too slow and crashy when you have over 20000 files

    2 – quicktime sounds better

    3 – does not play vids well and database poor for storing thousands of vids – need music like folders and better list views

    4 – Been a user since before apple, still have my SoundJam MP disc and other old Casady and Greene stuff –

    • How can QuickTime sound better? You do realize that iTunes just uses QuickTime under the hood to play everything?

    • Well, the QuickTime thing is simply impossible, as Aaron points out above.

      As for the database, well, I have nearly 60,000 tracks, and it never crashes. For storing videos I don’t see what issues there are; you want a different view? Like what?

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