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I Hate iTunes!

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iTunes has to be one of the worst applications Apple make. It it truly awful.

I find it incredibly difficult to track where files came from, what’s on my iPod Touch and not, what are duplicates and so on. The poor interface means I have files littered about my hard drive and on my iPod which I can’t be sure I’ve listened to.

For a long time I used a MobiBlu cube. This is a fantastic device. Mine has 2GB of memory, a tiny screen and simple USB interface. By numbering my MP3 podcasts, I could easily see how many I’d listened to and delete them by number. The process worked – the numbering system I assigned meant I could easily change the order I listen to the files. A simple and effective process.

iTunes ruins all that. It insists on referring to the files by their MP3 ID3 tags, regardless of how I rename them. It fails to delete duplicates, it doesn’t let me easily delete files which I’ve moved to my iPod.

I wanted to sort out an alternative to the MobiBlu for the car. I’ve got an iPod connector which broadcasts my iPod on the radio, but obviously it has a standard iPod plug and won’t connect to the MobiBlu. However I’ve also got a standard 3.5mm jack one too – perhaps I should go back to the Mobiblu.

Has anyone seen any competing software to iTunes or do Apple simply not allow it?

About Chris M Evans

Chris M Evans has worked in the technology industry since 1987, starting as a systems programmer on the IBM mainframe platform, while retaining an interest in storage. After working abroad, he co-founded an Internet-based music distribution company during the .com era, returning to consultancy in the new millennium. In 2009 Chris co-founded Langton Blue Ltd (www.langtonblue.com), a boutique consultancy firm focused on delivering business benefit through efficient technology deployments. Chris writes a popular blog at http://blog.architecting.it, attends many conferences and invitation-only events and can be found providing regular industry contributions through Twitter (@chrismevans) and other social media outlets.
  • the storage anarchist

    I understand your frustration, but the solution is somewhat straight forward: learn to use ID3 tags for your audio files.

    I use a product called Tag & Rename (http://www.softpointer.com/tr.htm). It has boatloads of features, and can synchronize tags to/from file names, etc.

    Give it a shot!

    (PS – I agree that iTunes is clumsy, but once all your files are tagged, it actually does a decent job of managing your content. At least for me – and I have over 28,000 LEGAL mp3's.)

  • Matt Povey

    You could try Songbird (http://wiki.songbirdnest.com/Developer/Articles/Builds/Nightly_Builds) or Winamp, both of which will sync with your ipod. Neither of them have great podcast handling it has to be said.

    An alternative would be to laboriously re-tag all your MP3s. I actually went through the process of renaming and re-tagging the lot recently (including embedding album art into every single track – it’s amazing what you can get done when lying in a hospital bed).

    Anyway, a great tool for re-tagging is Tagscanner (http://lifehacker.com/5056089/tagscanner-renames-and-tags-your-digital-music). It allows bulk changes and even searches Amazon etal for your album art.

  • Chris M Evans


    Thanks for the recommendations – I’ll check them out. BTW, the issue is not my main music repository which has nice ID3 tags. It’s the podcast stuff which causes more hassle.

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