Friday, August 25, 2006

more on the abomination of iTunes

If you caught in the comments to my post Seven Bowels of the Apocalypse my frustration with both iTunes and Rhapsody, I thought you might appreciate an update. I finally carved out some time to get Rhapsody out of my life for good. It turned out to be a much easier transition than I would have imagined, for which I am grateful. I looked around online for other options. The major players seem to be iTunes, WMP, and WinAmp. Normally, it's hard for me to say which I despise more--Macintosh, Microsoft, or AOL. I somehow ended up using AIM, I guess because the people I knew were using it, but I recently switched to Gaim for my interface, which at least helps me sleep at night. But generally speaking, my inclination is to avoid all three.

In this case, I decided that, since I'm pretty much stuck with iTunes and WMP on my computer so I can handle their proprietary formats, I may as well see if I can make one of them work for me. I recall there being issues with Rhapsody where the fix involved updating WMP, so I suspect that it's one of those cases where MS forces everything to tie in with its own buggy software--the price you pay for using Windows, I guess. Besides, I was still pretty sore about iTunes's goofy music file format, so I wasn't feeling very generous toward it. WMP was able to pick up everything out of my music library and ended up being much easier and more reliable than Rhapsody to use with my mp3 player. So far, it's doing everything I want it to do.

Meanwhile, Mac continues to outperform MS in the my-way-or-the-highway category. Not only does buying music from iTunes stick you with a worthless proprietary format that forever confines you to iTunes and iPod (aside from the fix of burning a CD, which I guess they haven't figured out how to corrupt yet, and ripping the songs back off into a form you can actually use), now I discover that you can't even use iTunes to put music on a non-iPod mp3 player. So even though podcasts are plain, lovable mp3s (the free ones, anyway), the only way to get them onto my player is to import them into some software that's actually designed to be useful. That's where I'm glad that WMP automatically imports new music files that it spots. I might live to regret my current alliance with MS, but for now, the enemies of my enemies are my friends.

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