Adrian sent me a link to this article: 21 Reasons why iTunes sucks.

It’s interesting but, for me, it’s badly named. Should be 20 Reasons why iTunes sucks. Why? Read on!

I could argue about the finer points of the article (item 12, for example, is very open to cries of “define! define!”) but I’m just going to tackle one major point. It was something I struggled with when I first started using iTunes, and it actually caused me to ditch it several times before I gave in.

Let me explain.

I used to religiously tag, rename and sort all my ripped (and ‘acquired’) MP3s. They would sit, waiting patiently, in a “working” folder and once I had them they way I wanted, they’d get shuffled off into “Artist/Album” folders and accepted into the music library. I’d also generate playlists of each album, and sometimes add a few tracks to some mix playlists. On average, NOT including ripping time, a CD would take about 15 minutes to process.

I have around 600 CDs. Do the arithmetic yourself.

I was about 200 CDs to my collection when iTunes arrived on the scene. I was wary at first, especially as it ran like a dog on my old PC, but I tried it for a while. I’d rip a CD, then go and find the MP3s and “process” them as before. Then I’d give up on iTunes and go back to WinAmp (which itself was going through the farce that was version 3.. or was it 5?). Back and forth, back and forth.

Then, for no reason I can ascertain, iTunes ‘clicked’ with me.

WHY was I bothering with the filename or the location? I was using iTunes which was pulling the info I needed from the MP3 tags (which I can easily edit in iTunes), and I suddenly realised I didn’t care what the files were called or where they were located. OK, that last bit isn’t strictly true, I did check that iTunes was placing them in “Artist/Album” folders (which it does by default) that at least ensures I can find the files should I ever need to. And that was that. I was free from the 15 minute per CD process. Just RIP it and let iTunes do it’s thing.

Where was I? Ohh yes that article. In short then (“why couldn’t he have done the entire thing ‘in short’ “, I hear you say) I think that, as a music organiser, iTunes is superb and I would venture that this particular persons usage is against the norm – for example, why would it NOT know the Firewire drive isn’t there? Because he’s unplugged it maybe? If so, why is he moaning about iTunes?

Anyway, I’ve completely lost my train of thought. Some would say I never even bought a ticket. Pah.