iTunes on Windows is a disgrace

You’d think Apple would have the good sense to make the Windows version of iTunes a wonderful software experience. So wonderful that Windows users are tempted to see what other software marvels the computer maker is capable of. So wonderful that we consider dumping Windows and shifting to the Macintosh OS.

Either Apple isn’t bothered about using its software as a marketing tool, or its programmers are incapable of writing decent code for Windows.

Because, to be brutally honest, iTunes on Windows has always been a crappy experience.

ITunes is rubbish. And it hasn’t improved one jot over the years, It crashes, it fails, it loses stuff, it doesn’t sync properly. It leaves behind a trail of software junk all over the Windows hard drive.

Sadly, iTunes remains a must have because it is the only official way to sync an iPod, iPhone or iPad to a PC.

Sure there are alternatives ways to deal with music. But they are all just as flawed. I’m not sure there is an alternative for moving files and apps between a computer and an iPad.

Not only is the software awful, but Apple treats its Windows customers with contempt. Support questions go unanswered, Long-standing problems, which to this non-developer look relatively trivial – go unfixed even when they are widely acknowledged.

My latest problem is that I can’t install iTunes 11 on my Windows 8 desktop. One Twitter user told me not to bother – the older software is better anyway. Well maybe. But my iPad is an important work tool and I want to keep it up-to-date.

Not only will iTunes 11 not install, but I can’t remove iTunes 10. When I attempted to remove the older program the uninstall failed. However that process also affected how the application works. I can no longer use my keyboard to control volume or to stopping files playing. Not a big thing, just more evidence that iTunes is broken.

Apple: please fix this.

12 thoughts on “iTunes on Windows is a disgrace

  1. Ha, from what I’ve heard there’s a bit of a battle between Mac and Windows users (Linux is royally shafted) about who has the most screwed version of iTunes.

    I think the software started as an offhand thought and never got any better, just more and more duct taped and wedged in.

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    • Funny, I thought it wasn’t much good on the Mac, but since I’ve not owned a Mac in recent years I decided not to post about my out of date knowledge.

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      • Don’t take my knowledge as first-hand, it’s just what I’ve heard in the comments sections on articles noting the new release of iTunes with people hoping it fixes the numerous annoyances on both platforms.

        You would really think such an important piece of the puzzle would have more attention given to it. You know, for a company that is trying to say it’s all about the polish and quality…

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  2. I agree – iTunes has always has been a piece of s ..t. But the Mac version is essentially no better. It works the same basic way, even if the operation is smoother and less bug-ridden.

    Drag and drop using a file manager like Windows Explorer is much better. I went that way with my Sansa MP3 player rather than buying an iPod. And I’m very happily that way with my Android phone and Nexus 7 tablet. Another reason why my iPad gets little use any more.

    But even when I was enthusiastically using the iPad, I only rarely actually used iTunes. There are wireless transfer apps that work OK between the iPad and a desktop machine – except for music files, which still need either iTunes or the iCloud.

    As well as the wireless transfer apps, Dropbox and Skydrive are a good way (generally the best way) to transfer files back and forth. That is, for the apps that allow it. But that’s most of them these days, with the dishonorable exception of Apple’s own office apps. Which is a good excuse to avoid them – there are adequate alternatives for text entry and spreadsheeting.

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    • I love my iPod and I like the way I can buy speakers, car connection kits and so on for the device. That’s why I’ve stuck with Apple for music and why I kind of have to stay with iTunes even though there are workarounds. Long term that could change.

      The other reason why iTunes is maybe not a “must have” but still important is the iTunes store where I buy most of my music and apps. Again there are alternatives, but they are each flawed in different ways.

      You’re right about Dropbox and SkyDrive, I now use them for most document transfers. The one exception is I quite often buy ebooks in PDF format – so far I haven’t found a workable non-iTunes way to get them onto the iPad.

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  3. There are a number of issues here, Bill. One is that Apple is rumored to be re-writing iTunes from the ground up, so will only spend time fixing critical issues in the “old” software. The other, more important issue is Windows itself, which interacts with devices in a significantly different way to OSX. Most of your crash and sync problems are problems with the operating system rather than iTunes per se. That said, Apple has never been keen on iTunes for Windows. Jobs hated the idea. Some of that loathing may be lingering!

    And talking about hate, it has also been rumored that MS deliberately spikes iTunes when they release new versions of Windows. They do have prior history (“Windows isn’t done until Lotus won’t run”). This may explain why iTune 11 won’t install and 10 won’t uninstall. (It may also be a fairy story)

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    • I thought that was the newest version; released; a complete redesign.

      I doubt it’s Windows… nothing else behaves like that. It’s coder laziness if they can’t make it work when everyone else can. I have never heard of Windows spiking iTunes and would highly doubt it, what does Windows get for that? iTunes has already proven on Mac people will still use it even though it’s crappy.

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    • It’s true Microsoft did that in the past. I think it’s competitive position makes that untenable now. And anyway, there are more obvious targets for screwing with than iTunes, like Chrome or Google Talk.

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      • Right, as if MS would even have to do something like that. The Mac OS is a veritable house of cards on an Alaskan fishing boat…obviously, I’ve used it extensively. The worst times of my life…just finishing up my therapy after 3 years. It doesn’t surprise me at all that iTunes is such a piece of scrod.

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  4. Although it’s still infuriating finding out how to get direct iTunes support without wading through pages of website Q&As, things do seem to have improved slightly. A few days ago I contacted support with a question about unredeemed iTunes Store gift vouchers (each of which are now several years old) and had a helpful reply via email within two hours and a follow-up within 24 hours to check I was happy.

    I can’t disagree with anyone’s ‘iTunes sucks on Windows’ remarks, though. It seems to particularly hate Outlook; perhaps that’s just because both are so hungry for PC resources. And I’m dreading the day I accidentally click on the Windows Explorer ‘Do you want to scan and fix’ message I get every time I connect my iPod via USB because I know I’ll probably have to re-synch my entire library from scratch.

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    • Apple could re-invent itself a million times and I’d never allow myself to be deceived again. Too many photoshop crashes while starting out as a fashion photographer. So many that I hung by threads quite often. Windows solved all of my issues. Apple blows. All there is to it. And so does anything they do…they will always find a way to bite you.

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