iTunes annoyances

If iTunes is going to claim to be under active development, then I expect a better job. Let’s spend some bug time working through things I’ve been annoyed at for quite some time. I’m glad they spent so much time honing the application in its long journey from v5 to v6. Ahem.

Persistent questioning of my resolve

With a selection in the “browser”, hitting CMD-I to make changes to the whole group (all songs in an album, all songs by an artist, all songs in a genre, respectively) brings up a dialog “Are you sure you want to do this? Cancel / Yes”.

When multiple songs are selected, the dialog that asks if you’re sure has a “Don’t ask again” checkbox; I expect the browser dialog to respect that setting; but if not (worst case scenario) it should offer its own. Who needs the confirmation in the first place, anyway? Bug ID# 4306979.


iTMS and offline info

The Window menu’s “Get CD Track Names” only works for CDs; when importing, iTunes should save the CD info required for later retrieval in offline situations. iTunes should supply its own album art and lyrics, when available in the iTunes Music Store. Even if the country I live in isn’t yet supported by the iTMS. Bug ID# 4306999.

More metadata

Give me extensible song metadata, if it’s allowed in the MP3/MP4 spec. Let me label a song’s nationality (smart playlist example: all French songs). I guess this can be done with Grouping and Comments as it stands, but it’s a bit limiting.

Multiple items of metadata

More flexible metadata. Let me assign multiple values to fields; let me assign a song to multiple genres, multiple artists, multiple albums, even. Use those nice blue things from Mail.app if you like via NSTokenField. Bug ID# 4306992.


“Show:” in the General prefpane should include “Podcasts” and “Music Store”, from the Parental pane. It makes no sense to separate them. (And who comes up with the idea that parents would want to restrict their children from listening to Podcasts? I mean, when they’re having their meeting and they could fix bugs or add this specific feature…)

The zoom button

This is quite ridiculous. This button is the most non-standard thing that Apple’s ever done, arguably. And it sucks. iTunes window too big because of screen resolution changes? Want to make it as big as possible on your small 12” PowerBook screen? You’re out of luck, sorry. Try learning Applescript.

The ability to play videos

Get rid of the damn bloat. I want iTunes to play my music; if you’ve got bright ideas about an all in one media player, for God’s sake come at it fresh rather than tacking on features in an already weird-feeling app. Pierre Igot, who becomes more and more outspoken the longer I read his stuff (only occasionally, sorry), has similar things to say. That whole 1000 monkey syndrome again, I’m afraid.


Don’t forget that the project manager of iTunes was the original creator of SoundJam, which had theme support including ugly and uglier (Links courtesy of The True Story of Audion, the other app that could have been iTunes in another universe. Great story, that.)

I guess the hideous number of gradients all over the place in iTunes isn’t quite as bad as it could be. But really—get someone to redesign that main screen so that it looks awesome. This is your flagship application, Apple. If I had the time, I’d take a crack at a mock-up myself.

All those buttons at the bottom of the window

  • Eject: Get rid of it; put it next to the CD icon. Make it disabled when there’s no CD in the drive!
  • Visualiser: Don’t care. Get rid of it; it is never used.
  • Equaliser: I don’t use it, but I can see the point. May as well leave it.
  • AirTunes speakers: Gold. Love it. Leave it right there.
  • Shuffle & Repeat: Never use ‘em, but gotta have ‘em I suppose. Move them over next to the equaliser.
  • Add playlist and show album art? Now they’re by themselves, may as well leave them as is.


Let me remove those ugly words from the toolbar (“Search” and “Burn Disc”). I know what they mean by now!

Application support

iTunes doesn’t use the “Application Support” folder in ~/Library . Bug ID# 4306990.


Too many bugs, not enough time. Stay tuned, I suppose.

Update: a more thought out (less off the time of the head, in other words) criticism of iTunes is also available from Membranophonist's Ramblings.