This (iPod) Red is quite nice. iTunes Sucks.

Santa was very kind to me this Christ­mas; a spiffy new iPod nano (PRODUCT RED)TM Spe­cial Edi­tion. I’m amazed at how small and func­tion­al it is, and was again impressed at Apple’s atten­tion to detail in pack­age design and over­all thought in the little details; the USB cable cov­er had a little clip exten­sion that held the USB cable wires in nice and tight.

Now, iTunes on the oth­er hand is a bit of a bear. I’ve got a few hun­dred MP3’s that I’ve ripped from CD’s over the years, stored on my house­hold serv­er. All nicely arranged by folder, artist, album, song, etc. I’ll be damned if I can fig­ure out how to to get iTunes to under­stand that that struc­ture actu­ally means some­thing, and that it should really read that (as well as the embed­ded MP3 tag inform­a­tion) into it’s data­base struc­ture when dis­play­ing the music selec­tions to me.

And why does iTunes need to ‘Determ­ine Gap­less Play­back Inform­a­tion’ on every tune it scans on my sys­tem. It’s rather slow (~30 sec per tune).

And why can I not view the album inform­a­tion from the iTunes store if I don’t have an account, which requires a cred­it card?

Meh, there has to be a bet­ter way. For XP or Ubuntu. Either will do.

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10 Replies to “This (iPod) Red is quite nice. iTunes Sucks.”

  1. Con­grats on the new toy!

    I think iTunes *6* is awe­some. I don’t use it with an iPod; I just use it to play MP3s on the PC and on my ste­reo. The last part is bril­liant — I have a Sound­Bridge gizmo that con­nects to iTunes on my PC using WiFi, and plays my playl­ists through the ste­reo. Won­der­ful, and it does inter­net radio too, bypassing the PC com­pletely.

    How­ever, iTunes *7* broke all con­nectiv­ity with the Sound­Bridge, even though the Sound­Bridge folks had an agree­ment with Apple for using the tech­no­logy. Apple seems to have no interest in fix­ing that, and the Sound­Bridge folks are scram­bling for a fix to what I think is their best selling point.

    I am SO glad I didn’t upgrade to iTunes 7, and that I warned my friend about it before he wrecked his Sound­Bridge con­nec­tion too. (He was about to “upgrade” that even­ing; good thing I poin­ted out the prob­lem.)

  2. Cool! Looks like you have a handy util­ity there. After I googled Sound­bridge, I see what you mean!

    I have sim­il­ar func­tion­al­ity with my mod­ded xbox­en, and a dlink media centre unit. Both can use the exist­ing server’s file struc­ture and under­stand the mp3 tag inform­a­tion prop­erly.

    iTunes could learn from them, it’s not overly com­plex.

  3. excel­lent ipod, brad. i’m jeal­ous!

    i guess your take on itunes is val­id, but not every­one likes micro­man­aging their com­puter files to that extent. i’ve tried it with music files in the past and it always ends up becom­ing a night­mare. i’m much much hap­pi­er let­ting itunes do all the work for me so if, for example, i need to find a spe­cif­ic track, i can start typ­ing in the search win­dow and watch the lib­rary whittle down in real-time until i see the one i’m look­ing for, instead of rum­ma­ging through folders. i’d much rather leave all of that stuff to a one-win­dow pro­gram. maybe that makes me your ste­reo­typ­ic­al mac user 😉

    as for the sound­bridge issue — in the past that’s usu­ally been a sign that apple is about to unleash some­thing in the same gen­er­al marketplace…google ‘apple’ and ‘itv’ and think wire­less high-def video, music, pho­tos etc. to your big screen tv…

  4. Hey Chris, yeah, I’m lik­ing this ‘pod.

    I think my big beef with iTunes is that I don’t find it intu­it­ive (unlike the iPod! Go fig­ure). Maybe I’m just too old-school with my file organ­iz­ing 🙂

    I have found one solu­tion that seems to be work­ing for me, for now…there’s an iPod plu­gin for Win­amp that will do music man­age­ment, art­work import..etc. Very cool. I need to play around with it some more to really under­stand it, but it seems to work the way I ‘expect’ a music man­ager to work.

    re: sound­bridge et al…cool. One issue I have with cur­rent wire­less tech­no­logy is that it *won’t* stream hi-def video…not enough band­width. That’s the issue we have with our dlink unit.…wi-fi is not usable for video. Audio is fine, but I ended up run­ning a cat5 cable through our duct­work to get 100mbps to it. It’d be nice to have wire­less video, that’s for sure!

  5. Hey Brad, speak­ing of iTunes… Do you know of any­thing that works as well as it does (or reas­on­ably close) on Ubuntu?

    My old PC is start­ing to die, and I think its replace­ment will have Linux next to the met­al, with Win­dows only inside a sand­box…


  6. Yep Brad — you hit the nail on the head.

    I learned many years ago (when I atten­ded my first ‘de-brain­wash­ing’ at Mac U) that organ­ized file sys­tems and folder cat­egor­iz­a­tion are for DOS-Fiends.

    Once I let iTunes and iPhoto do their thing — the world got bet­ter. On win­dows though — you really are a little under the rule of DOS though. Hope you fig­ure some­thing out. iTunes (when not used for ‘paid’ con­tent) is quite good at man­aging and play­ing music… you just gotta let go.….


  7. Hey Scratch,

    Yeah, I kinda get the feel­ing that iTunes really wants to run the show. If I had my music lib­rary on a stand-alone com­puter, no prob­lem. But since I’ve got it on a net­worked serv­er accessed by Xbox Media Centres, D-link media centre, wire­less palms…etc, I really need it in an access­ible location…hence the SMB share on my Ubuntu serv­er 😉

    Call me old school, but I like hav­ing a CD to kick around too…

  8. Just received an Ipod 30gb. Yes, iTunes is awful par­tic­u­larly if, like me, you use a PC and a laptop as iTunes will only allow one desktop — one sync. I’m using Floola which is a drag ‘n drop Explorer style pro­gram for the iPod. Simple & effect­ive, give it a go

  9. Nice! I have my ipod syncing with my laptop, but it would be easi­er if it really didn’t care where it was syncing. Thanks for the point­er, I’ll check out Floola!

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