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Last post Author Topic: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D  (Read 11354 times)

wreckedcarzz

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A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« on: November 04, 2007, 12:45:25 PM »
Just an FYI: Mac/iTunes users, please don't take offense. This is a LONG rant about how much iTunes sucks (just my opinion, you see *cough*).

Some background info:

I used to never listen to music. Ever. It was boring. A few years back I got an AM/FM radio w/ a CD player in it, and eventually got bored of it- it didn't integrate with my PC in any way. (Everything I own anymore has to be able to work with my computer in some way or I will use it about 3 times and forget about it). I had Windows Media Player 9, with version 10 coming in the near future, but nothing to play. Apple was not exactly one of my most favorite companies, but they did have something everyone used- iTunes.

iTunes was slow and confusing to me, so I went back to my FM stations. A couple years ago, I gave out and got the new iTunes (it was version 6 I think). A few friends gave me some songs via MSN and I was all excited. Except...iTunes was still the slow, confusing thing it used to be. And the FORCED install of the buggy and insecure QuickTime didn't exactly make me all excited about it, either. But it was the norm, and I was just another follower of a bandwagon of annoying teenage iTunes lovers.

About a year ago, I got extremely angry. iTunes had taken up a chunk of my hard drive, it was slow even on my new laptop, and the store took ages to load. I dropped out once again.

So, 6 months ago, I got it one last time (for my laptop, that is) and all was well. I was finally happy with version 7, and it was starting to be more logical. So, good deal! I also installed in my new desktop PC, and it ran great. I was buying music like crazy, playing it 24/7, and having a great time.

So why switch from iTunes?

Basically, it was a big trail of events. First, it wasn't open source (I find it ironic that Apple uses a UNIX base for Mac OS X, but you have to buy the thing...). After I was kinda bugged by that, the problems with Vista were insane. It wouldn't open. It would give errors. This, that, the other. So I almost uninstalled it, but kept faith. Apple released a patch, and all was well. But then, I noticed 2 things that I had forgotten about:

"iTunesHelper.exe" starts up on boot automatically- if you remove it, the next time you start iTunes, it makes the startup entry again. >:(
"iPodService.exe" starts up in the same manner as iTunesHelper, except that if you DELETE it, it either:
a) makes it again
b) gives you this error, with an option to not show it again, but the option does nothing- it shows up EVERY SINGLE TIME
You would think iTunes would ask "Do you have an iPod?" before installing the other 50+ MB of crap that goes with it.
There is also an iTunesService (or something along those lines) that puts itself as a freaking Windows Service, to FURTHER slow your boot down (and IMO, it is probably a marketing thing to make you think "Wow this PC is slow, I wonder if a Mac is faster?")

(In case you don't know, I am very critical about programs I use, and if just one thing is off (ex: "theobject" instead of "the object" in a window) somewhere it will force me to send an email to the developer, and possibly uninstall the whole program. I am *VERY* picky.)

I am happy to announce...
I uninstalled iTunes from my laptop a month ago- it hasn't changed a bit, and will never see my hard drive again.
As well as my desktop PC that is running Vista

However, this is what blew me off the edge. I spent an hour looking on the Apple Support site for an iTunes feedback option, that is no longer there (that made me even more angry!!!), after finding out...

If you are on Vista, and you run iTunes: iTunes does not uninstall fully. :o >:(

I kept getting Apple Software Update appearing every week or so, and about 2 1/2 hours ago, did a search (I love the Vista search :-*) for "Apple". Out of a total of about 50 items, about 30 were leftover from iTunes/Quicktime. They took up almost 200MB! :o And I havn't even run a RegEdit search yet, oh boy...

-----New Music Player-----

I have switched (both personally, and other people) over to the open source program musikCube (http://www.musikcube.com/) that does the same thing as iTunes, but I can put it on my Linux PC, WITHOUT DRM, and WITHOUT lag or suspicious startup entries. :Thmbsup:

-Brandon

Darwin

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2007, 03:12:54 PM »
Yup. Sounds familiar. I went through much the same process and am now glad to be iTunes/QuickTime free - for pretty much the same reasons!

http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=10146.0
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Grorgy

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2007, 03:49:51 PM »
Me too, I also hated that installer thing it had, i thought, somewhat foolishly perhaps that it would install only the apple products you had, ohh nooo, it installed all itunes and quicktime which, at the time was a bigger problem to me than now, as then i had a 1 gb download limit and itunes and quicktime took a tenth of that almost blahhhh.

As apple free as i can be now  :)

edbro

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2007, 05:24:55 PM »
Unfortunately, if you have an iPod, you need iTunes. It is the only thing that can do firmware updates. I use JRiver Media Center to handle all my multimedia needs, including syncing my iPod. But, no 3rd party utility will do the firmware update. I have disabled all the Apple services from startup, I think there were 3 total. And, I did not install the Apple Updater as that was an option on install.

CWuestefeld

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2007, 08:29:33 PM »
As annoying as iTunes may be, it doesn't hold a candle to Zune's awfulness. What's worse, Zune owners can only use the Zune software for managing their devices -- it's a completely closed interface to other software. A week after installing it, and I haven't discovered any way to do the most basic operations like, say, editing ID3 tags info for a track.

Darwin

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2007, 08:43:42 PM »
Will Zune work with WMP 11, or is that the Zune software? If it doesn't work with WMP 11 that's pretty amazing considering WMP is quite good at recognising other mp3 players...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

CWuestefeld

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2007, 07:43:11 AM »
Will Zune work with WMP 11
Nope. Believe it or not, Microsoft's own device is incompatible with their flagship media player. What's more, it's incompatible with the DRM on stuff that may have been purchased through MSN.

So I use MediaMonkey as my player and music library on the PC, and the Zune software, weighting in at over 600MB RAM, is nothing but an obese synchronization utility.

Darwin

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2007, 07:56:12 AM »
That's insane!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

CWuestefeld

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2007, 07:59:54 AM »
That's insane!
It sure is.  :down:

Note that I love the Zune device itself. It beats the pants off the RCA Lyra that I replaced, or the no-name prior to that. But the PC software seems to focus more on constraining the user from getting into trouble, than from enabling his to work as he likes. (Much like the philosophy of Vista, I'm given to understand).

Darwin

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2007, 08:03:30 AM »
This sounds eerily reminiscent of the Samsung software I recently banished from my system. It wasn't (such) a resource hog, but the DRM crap it installed was, well, insane! I hope this DRM stuff gets sorted out soon, because right now the paranoia is leading to the release of INCREDIBLY hostile (to the end-user) solutions  :down:
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Ralf Maximus

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2007, 08:03:59 AM »
Gah.  I can't wait for the RIAA/MPAA to settle down and accept that the world has changed.  Once that happens and pressure comes off vendors, we'll have interoperability between all formats.  And it *is* inevitable -- look at cassette tapes, HD radio, VCRs... every new technology causes this spasm of fear in them that eventually fades.  No, the world is not ending -- just changing.  Deal.

The entermainment media industry is just now starting to realize DRM sucks, and once they fully embrace a new business model the revolution WILL be televised.

Lashiec

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2007, 12:43:49 PM »
By the way, Zune is no different than the new iPods.

The funny thing about DRM is the guys who got the most out of it are the ones which now are trying to get rid of DRM. And well, Amazon, which is doing even more for this than Apple. Unless we rid of the ultimate DRM and sandbox combination iPod + iTunes (for that I suppose we should brainwash people again :P), this is not going anywhere.

So, everybody, go out to buy Sansa and Creative players, dammit! ;D
« Last Edit: November 06, 2007, 12:45:24 PM by Lashiec »

Grorgy

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2007, 03:55:05 PM »
Quote
So, everybody, go out to buy Sansa and Creative players, dammit!

Love my Sansa  :-*  :)

Armando

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2007, 04:06:40 PM »
Yep... No problem with my Sansa. And it was cheap!

Ralf Maximus

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2007, 06:45:39 PM »
Minor threadjack here, but...

Are the new crop of cell phones + mp3 players open?  Or must one use "special" software (as in "Johnny is in one of our special students")?

nontroppo

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2007, 05:48:13 AM »
Ralf: my phone ain't new (Nokia N70), but you can just drag music over to it and play stuff as you want.

Nokia do allow easier syncing from iTunes though, using nothing more than a playlist, but you don't require it at all.

iTunes: I was forced to use iTunes when I started using my Macbook. I *hated* it more than any other of the shocks of changing OS. I did use Foobar2000 before, so I am an extreme-tweak poweruser masochist. Music players are a pretty weak area of OS X. My hatred largely stemmed from the music I had in FLAC and OGG formats, which were unplayable without horrid conversions to MP3. You can get LAME in iTunes, but I opted on using an excellent converter and ripper, Max. Over time however, I've got more accustomed to it. But the killer feature is that Quicksilver allows a full interface to iTunes, so I can immediately get to artists, playlists, set ratings, music navigation while iTunes UI is closed. Quicksilver actually makes iTunes the best player I've used, and when I'm in windows with foobar2000, I now miss such control. This is really thanks to Quicksilver not iTunes...
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justice

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2007, 05:52:51 AM »
don't remove the helper services, just disable them using services.msc. They won't run and problem is solved. and if this doesn't solve create a local group policy setting against running them via hash. that way until they update it it won't run them.

Lashiec

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2007, 09:38:27 AM »
nontroppo, so using Quicksilver in a Mac you can control iTunes without having it open? What are you controlling then? The backend which is powered by a running service or what?

On the foobar part, you can bug Ehtyar to expand the scope of his FARR plugin... or does it control the entire program now? I can't remember... :-[

BTW, Quicksilver is now OSS (Hint, hint ;D)

Plasma Man

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2007, 01:20:57 AM »
Interesting to see that good old Foobar 0.9.4.5 has an updated GUI, which looks rather familiar:

http://www.foobar200...reenshots/index.html

It's a great alternative - light weight, no rubbish, offers a fast way to preview audio libraries, easy to hook up to pro sound cards etc. V.good basis for a DIY media centre.

For portable devices there are now lots of nifty Open Source options ... just hit Google / Quintura / Clusty ...

Andre

nontroppo

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2007, 05:54:13 AM »
Lashiec: OS X differentiates between documents/windows, and applications. So closing all my iTunes windows keeps iTunes running in the background (confuses the hell out of you when you first use a Mac!;)). iTunes uses well under half the CPU with its UI Window closed, but it is not technically a daemon (service in Winspeak). QS uses spotlight to generate a catalog of all my artists, tracks and albums, as well as playlists, and I can play now or queue them up for later playing. It even has a special mode where only music items will be searched for (faster results for single track searching).

I've yet to try the foobar plugin for FARR, I'll put it on my play(with)-list :)

And yes, QS is OSS, but it relies so heavily on Cocoa frameworks to do its magic I doubt it will be any more portable to other platforms. The iTunes magic uses universal Applescript dictionaries which probably aren't available elsewhere. Perhaps for KDE, who seem to have really nice cross-app interaction support.
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Dirhael

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2007, 10:04:17 AM »
I realize it's not that relevant anymore as you have moved away from iTunes, but I found a way to finally get rid of the "ipod" service and not have it starting again ever, and no, just disabling it using services.msc will not work...not will deleting the executable.

What you need to do is deny read/write/execute permissions for the following file:
X:\Program Files\iPod\bin\iPodService.exe

As long as you just deny everyone access to just that file it will work. If you deny access to, or delete, the entire folder, iTunes will try repairing the installation and fail. Disabling the service using services.msc only works until you start iTunes, because it [iTunes] will re-enable it all over again. If probably won't start at boot, but it will start and keep running if you launch iTunes.

I don't use iTunes as a music player (because it does a terrible job at that), but I do buy the occational non-drm release from it so I want to have it installed.
Registered nurse by day, hobby programmer by night.

CWuestefeld

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2007, 10:48:38 AM »
I found a way to finally get rid of the "ipod" service and not have it starting again ever
Kudos to you!

I'm in the same boat. I don't actually use iTunes, but I need it for some DRM tracks. Specifically, I buy audiobooks from Audible.com, but these come with DRM, and can't go onto my MP3 player. The first thing I do is run them through Tunebite (http://tunebite.com/...emove_drm/index.html), which works in concert with iTunes to convert the tracks into MP3 (or ogg or whatever).

So once a month, when I get my monthly Audible fix, I need to fire up iTunes. The other 4 weeks of the month it's just sitting there consuming my computer resources. Remind me again why people love Apple so much?

Grorgy

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2007, 12:47:44 PM »
Quote
Remind me again why people love Apple so much?

I think i heard it was the plain cardboard box it comes in, sort of reminiscent of those mail order businesses that would send things in a plain brown wrapper  ;)

Deozaan

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2007, 05:47:25 PM »
Let me first say that I don't like iTunes or most things that start with a lowercase "i" (especially Apple products), but I never understood the complaint about DRM from iTunes because I could always burn my iTunes DRM music to a CD, then rip the CD as DRM-free MP3s. It's a hassle that shouldn't have to happen, but it's easy to get past.

iTunes itself isn't that bad of software. I don't like how it always runs the iTunesService and iPodHelper, and how I had to resort to "wasting" a CD to get my music in MP3 format (though I've heard you can get DRM free music from iTunes now?). It's the iPod that has had my biggest complaint. I just couldn't understand why people would want to spend $400-$500 on a gimped music player.

Then I remembered high school and status.


Dirhael

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Re: A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes... :D
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2007, 06:48:39 PM »
Let me first say that I don't like iTunes or most things that start with a lowercase "i" (especially Apple products), but I never understood the complaint about DRM from iTunes because I could always burn my iTunes DRM music to a CD, then rip the CD as DRM-free MP3s. It's a hassle that shouldn't have to happen, but it's easy to get past.

Re-encoding from one lossy format to another, and in the case of iTunes, low-bitrate encoding as well is a really bad idea. Yes it will get rid of the DRM, but it also gives you a really lousy sound quality. Even ignoring that problem, I never purcase music or video with DRM if I can avoid it simply because I never will accept the fact that someone (in this case Apple) can decide that I no longer am allowed to play the music I paid for...and yes, this has happened with other systems in the past. One only have to look at Google to see what can happen, even when dealing with these big "trustworthy" companies.
Registered nurse by day, hobby programmer by night.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2007, 06:52:15 PM by Dirhael »