iTunes 7 -- major step backwards?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by DaveF, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I've just installed iTunes 7 for my PC, and my impression after 30 minutes of playing is that this is a major step backwards in usability. Perhaps it takes more time? How's it working for you?

    The new music organization / browsing systems are terrible to me. The previous system was a nuisance, but this is worse. I still find Windows Media Player the best: a simple list of album titles is all I really want.

    Artwork. Again, I'm amazed that WMP is still lightyears ahead of iTunes for album artwork. It just downloads the artwork when you rip a CD. iTunes has not done that before, requiring manual labor to add artwork. Now, it purports to provide artwork, but first I had to create an iTunes account. That took some creativity and luck to accomplish without surrendering a credit card number. And then, it auto-retrieved artwork for maybe 30% of my CDs. I manually forced it to download for another 10-20%, perhaps. But there are still albums that are know by iTunes, but it won't download the artwork. Or other cases where the ripped album info, generated by iTunes, differs from that in the music store, so it can't connect my files to the store files. How weird. And it's missing many "basic" albums, like all Disney Soundtracks.

    Ugh. For the company behind the "it just works" ideology, I'm impressed by how mediocre iTunes is. I like PodCasts feature a lot, but beyond that, I wish I could synch my nano via Media Player. I just like it better.
     
  2. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Anyone else finding the new versions of iTunes and QuickTime to be major resource hogs? My system's choking like it never did with v6 and below.
     
  3. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    I can't believe they could make itunes worse! I am still using v6, and I never understood why you aren't able to drag-n-drop songs into the ipod. Each time my daughter wants songs added, she has me do it because she can't figure it out. Considering that adding songs into the ipod is one of itunes primary reasons for existing, they really need to make it more user friendly. Sound like I should avoid the upgrade.
     
  4. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

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    Dave you can set up the new version just like the old one. While I kind of like flipping through the artwork I’ll stay with the browser that shows Genre, Artist and Album.

    I had most of my artwork already in iTunes but for some reason it failed to bring over some the covers I already had.

    I haven’t checked to see if this is a resource hog, I'll have to do that one Wednesday.
     
  5. Craig S

    Craig S Producer

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    Uh, you've always been able to drag-n-drop onto the iPod, if that's really what you want to do. Just turn off the auto-sync feature.

    To me it's easier to just use auto-sync. Just dock the iPod, and wait. Updated automatically. What could be easier?? Why hassle with drag-n-drop??
     
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I believe you can. In iTunes preferences, set the iPod for manual music management. Then drag the music from within iTunes library to the iPod icon (when it's connected).

    However, after struggling to understand the iTunes way of life, I found the secret is using PlayLists. To keep new music on the iPod use the most recently added playlist (I believe there's an auto playlist for new music). Have the iPod preferences set to always update that playlist, and the iPod should keep up to date whenever she synchs.

    Most of my music management problems derive from PodCasts. iTunes is not smart enough to delete before trying to add.
     
  7. RichP

    RichP Second Unit

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    You can, and have been able to since version 1. I don't understand how after 6 revisions, some folks still don't understand how to use iTunes.
     
  8. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    It's brilliant, faster, better cache.
     
  9. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Try fitting a 50GB music collection onto both a 40GB ipod (mine) and a 6GB ipod mini (wife's) without drag-n-drop. The only other option is two playlists auto-synched to each ipod, but you still need to move music in and out of those playlists, which is no simpler than just drag-n-drop directly to the ipod.

    I downloaded version 7 but have not installed it yet. I was waiting for feedback from others. It sounds like I may want to wait awhile for Apple to release some patches.
     
  10. Craig S

    Craig S Producer

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    Simple!! Just upgrade both of your iPods to the new 80GB model, and you'll be good to go for quite some time.

    Kidding. [​IMG]

    I do feel your pain. I actually have a similar situation, with a 90GB+ music library (and growing) and two iPods. I use auto-synched Smart Playlists, and separate the music between the two pods based on genre. So it all happens automagically. I realize that's probably not an option with you & your wife.

    To me, the value of using playlists vs. d-n-d direct to the iPod is you can add/delete music out of your playlist at any time, and it will all get synched when you drop the iPod into the cradle.

    All that said, we're all different. iTunes is pretty much a "my way or the highway" app (like much of what comes from Apple). For those that prefer not to work with the iTunes paradigm, there are alternatives. Anapod Explorer is the best known and is supposed to be quite good.
     
  11. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I think it's quicktime that's fucked up. It seems like it isn't preloading enough of the movie into memory, so once it catches up to the point where it's preloaded, it starts to choke. The same thing happens to movies that played fine in the previous Quicktime (Quicktime 7.?).
     
  12. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I just have seperate playlists for my iPod that I autosync when I dock it. I've installed V7 and like others have found it doesn't get the majority of artwork but otherwise it seems fine.
     
  13. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    Step backwards? -- you guys must be kidding. We've been screaming for Gapless Playback for years -- and they finally add it -- no CD re-ripping needed, all formats including MP3 supported. That alone makes iTunes 7 a HUGE step forwards.

    I agree that Get Album Artwork is in serious need of improvement.

    If for instance the info the CDDB has for Album title (and presumably Artist) doesn't match exactly what is in the iTunes Store for the same album it won't get the cover art. Apple needs to change their software to ignore obvious stuff like "Bonus Tracks"; "Remaster(ed)"; "Disc [1]", etc.

    However this isn't some reason not to upgrade to v.7 -- it is merely something that Apple needs to improve in 7.01

    Ted
     
  14. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    I agree that version 7 needs a bit of tweeking (mouse response is a bit pokey on my machine), but I think the improvements in basic functionality are worth the download. Gapless playback alone is enough reason for me (I can finally listen to Dark Side of the Moon the way God intended). [​IMG]
     
  15. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    Well I guess I am missing something! [​IMG] I have over 1,000 mp3s but only a small number of them are my daughters. She is the one with the ipod. I am not a computer expert, but I have done my share of formatting hard drives, setting up networks, etc.. & I still feel that itunes is the hardest software that I have had to deal with. I did figure out the playlist method, but it is still clumsy. I would like to be able to drag from my library and drop it into the ipod. If this is possible, please let me know how.

    Thanks.
     
  16. Bob_Chase

    Bob_Chase Stunt Coordinator

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    1. Disable auto-iPod-updating in preferences.
    2. Click on song you want moved to iPod.
    3. Drag song onto iPod.
     
  17. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Gapless playback doesn't rev my motor like it does for you, I guess. I don't use iTunes to play music. It's the tool I must use to enjoy my iPod. I want an elegant interface to manage my music collection.

    To my surprise, iTunes continues to stumble over basic things that WMP has been doing for years. And it fails on on at least one obvious thing: not knowing to delete outdated files from the iPod before copying new files to the iPod. (But maybe this is fixed with the v7.)

    It's not all bad. Once I figured out the Playlists were the Rosetta Stone for iTunes, it got a lot better. I appreciate how I create random playlists for the iPod by randomizing a playlist in iTunes (though I'd still like an option to randomize current playlist in my iPod). The smart playlists are reasonably smart, and allow useful organizing.
     
  18. Steve Y

    Steve Y Supporting Actor

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    It's working fine for me, but I don't really use playlists and manually manage all of my songs and videos. I don't autosynch because ... well, first of all I have 5500 songs and no computer to store them on (I rip my CD collection on friends' computers)... and that adds up to a very large amount, especially with two complete seasons of television shows and several movies.

    I usually do ALL my covers manually, with web searches. This, oddly enough, is often faster than the new "automatic" cover retrival system, which is not very useful at the moment (as many of you have noticed). It may be useful eventually, but not right now.

    I'm impressed by the 1.2 software update released yesterday (I have the 60gig video iPod), because it adds a brightness control (!) and the ability to play games (which are quite polished), and as mentioned above does gapless play (which is not perfect yet - I can still hear some gaps "clip" before they are crossed)... but for someone with a lot of opera and classical music, this is an absolute must.

    Now when you scroll fast through a big list of songs / albums / etc., there's also an automatic indexing system which automatically jumps to alphabetical sections "A - B - C - etc." ... so that each turn of the wheel jumps a whole letter.

    But yeah, the variable brightness control is great. I was surprised to see it. There are also a few other tweaks, like a battery meter added in the upper right-hand corner of the video status display.

    Drag and drop has never been a problem for me. The main thing is to always COPY the songs/videos over. If you "shift-select" a bunch of files, it will try to "move" them to the iPod instead of copy, and nothing happens.
     
  19. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    As I'm getting artwork added (manually, thanks to Amazon) I'm better appreciating the album flip view. If iTunes actually could import album artwork sensibly, this could be a pretty useful feature.

    I found how to restore the "browser" so I can browse music with by album more easily (whew).

    Perhaps when I've got artwork fully populated, the new system will prove to be better than the old. Here's hoping.
     
  20. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    No offense to the original poster of the comment, but I agree with Rich. I hate when I see people complain about a products so called "lousiness" when it's usually their own misunderstanding that is the problem.

    Did I ever mention that I hate user reviews for this reason?? [​IMG]

    And yes, iTunes 7 is WONDERFUL!!!! Much better for navigation with no problems so far. Like I always say, if your car runs out of gas, don't blame the car. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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