Dear Ap­ple, Please Fix iTunes

iPhone Life Magazine - - Best Apps -

As Ap­ple en­thu­si­asts, our team nor­mally writes about what's use­ful and fun. How­ever, in this col­umn I've de­cided to dis­cuss a prod­uct cen­tral to the iPhone and iPad ex­pe­ri­ence that I find al­most un­us­able—the desk­top ver­sion of iTunes.

Im­pos­si­ble to Com­pre­hend

Us­ing iTunes to man­age my con­tent is over­whelm­ingly com­pli­cated. I of­ten feel lost as I at­tempt to man­age my apps, mu­sic, pod­casts, movies, iCloud, shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence, and de­vices. Not only does the bloat of the desk­top ver­sion make iTunes dif­fi­cult to nav­i­gate, but it also con­trib­utes to the soft­ware's painful slug­gish­ness.

Ap­ple, Get Your Pri­or­i­ties Right!

With each new iTunes up­date, or­ga­niz­ing my con­tent just gets harder. All the while, Ap­ple gets pro­gres­sively more ag­gres­sive in pro­mot­ing its stores. Sure, it's nice to have 10 ways to tra­verse the Ap­ple Store, but I want to easily ac­cess my own dig­i­tal con­tent first and fore­most.

For a com­pany that puts so much em­pha­sis on the user ex­pe­ri­ence, when it comes to iTunes, Ap­ple treats its cus­tomers sur­pris­ingly poorly. I have pur­chased lots of apps and paid for an iCloud sub­scrip­tion to help man­age my large per­sonal li­brary of mu­sic and spo­ken au­dio. Un­for­tu­nately, the kludgy in­ter­face was not writ­ten for large col­lec­tions, and through the years I have spent count­less hours or­ga­niz­ing and re­or­ga­niz­ing my apps and mu­sic.

Al­ways Chang­ing

The user ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fers across de­vices. The func­tion­al­ity of the sin­gle desk­top app is spread out among a num­ber of iPhone apps, in­clud­ing Mu­sic, App Store, Pod­cast, iTunes, iBooks, and iTunes Univer­sity.

Even when I master a ver­sion on a de­vice, its func­tion­al­ity and in­ter­face changes with ma­jor soft­ware up­dates, al­ter­ing iTunes sig­nif­i­cantly with no dis­cernible ben­e­fit, wast­ing time and adding frus­tra­tion.

Un­in­tu­itive and Con­fus­ing

Un­sur­pris­ingly, iTunes can con­found even the savvi­est users, what with its ex­ces­sive soft­ware bloat, em­pha­sis on selling stuff, and ever-chang­ing in­ter­face. I of­ten can't fig­ure out how to do what I want. There's lit­tle doc­u­men­ta­tion, and what is of­fered doesn't ad­dress ma­jor is­sues. I haven't used Ap­ple Sup­port, but many online users ex­press dis­sat­is­fac­tion.

A Few Sug­ges­tions

Please, Ap­ple, start over with iTunes and re­design the desk­top ver­sion from the ground up. When pos­si­ble, mimic the iOS apps and cre­ate dif­fer­ent func­tion­al­i­ties as sep­a­rate desk­top apps.

It's time to make iTunes like your other great prod­ucts—all about the user ex­pe­ri­ence, both for the new­bie and the se­ri­ous con­sumer of apps and mu­sic.

To my sur­prise, PC Mag­a­zine online gave the latest desk­top ver­sion of iTunes 4.5 out of 5 stars, and CNET awarded it 4 out of 5 stars. How­ever, many of those com­ment­ing on the re­views shared my out­look. One user aptly called it the “worst con­sumer ex­pe­ri­ence since den­tistry.” Another snarked, “It's enough to make a grown man cry. Why does Ap­ple hate us?”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.