iTunes for Windows
October 16, 2003 11:51 AM   Subscribe

iTunes for Windows! iTunes for Windows! The new phonebook's here! The new phonebook's here!
posted by mathowie (113 comments total)
 
direct download link
posted by mathowie at 11:52 AM on October 16, 2003


AppleFilter.

I mean, WindowsFilter.

I mean, aw the heck with it.
posted by mazola at 11:53 AM on October 16, 2003


Once again, Matthowie is my hero... (our proxy server has apple.com/itunes/ blocked, so I couldn't get to the download...)
posted by JollyWanker at 11:57 AM on October 16, 2003


I've used iTunes on the Mac before (i use it right now at work), and i have to say that nothing out there in windows matches the ease of use. All i can say is, yay!
posted by schlaager at 11:57 AM on October 16, 2003


19 megabytes????? What the holy hell do they fill 19 megabytes with? The entire Cocoa library?

I'm playing with it at school here and since I have no music files on my lab computer and am not able to buy any music since I'm in Canada I started browsing through teh radio tuner. Funny thing is that my school's college radio station is first in teh list under 'Public'. Neat.

Seeing that Apple logo on this windows machine when I turn on teh visualization is giving me the creeps, though.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:59 AM on October 16, 2003


It comes with quicktime 6.4 apparently which you need for the itms etc. Which is why it's so big.
posted by neustile at 12:03 PM on October 16, 2003


They expect me to start paying for music from RIAA member companies just because the software's from Apple?
posted by billsaysthis at 12:03 PM on October 16, 2003


This is a classic case where Apple (or Steve Jobs') pig-headedness oversteps its bounds.

The interface is all Apple-y, but suffers from slow redraws and looks almost buggy on my Athlon 1900XP system (which has plenty of power). It feels like the thing was written in java or something, but it's likely due to the weird skin they have going over all the default window controls.

Why would they make the user experience suffer just because it looked good?
posted by mathowie at 12:04 PM on October 16, 2003


stop saying "teh".
posted by jpoulos at 12:04 PM on October 16, 2003


Yeah, to play the new protected AAC files, you need a new version of quicktime.
posted by mathowie at 12:06 PM on October 16, 2003


why no Windows 98?
posted by panopticon at 12:06 PM on October 16, 2003


To those test driving: how is the sharing on the Windows version? Will it detect the libraries of Macs on the same network and vice versa? I may have to get the whole office downloading...
posted by FearTormento at 12:08 PM on October 16, 2003


I also would have preferred if they stuck to the Windows UI conventions, so it would match my colour scheme. Unfortunately I don't think Apple is in the business of making good Windows software, and consumers for the most part won't care too much since they're used to crappy Kazaa and its brethren.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:09 PM on October 16, 2003


Is there an FAQ somewhere? I want to know that this thing is going to play my current and futurely acquired mp3's before I replace my clunky-ass but trustee Winamp.

Yes, I know that may be a stupid question. I gotta know, though.
posted by UncleFes at 12:10 PM on October 16, 2003


My favorite line from the presentation:
"One more thing... Hell froze over."
(via MacRumors)
posted by alms at 12:13 PM on October 16, 2003


alms - that's the slogan on the front page of apple.com right now. cute.
posted by stonerose at 12:14 PM on October 16, 2003


OK, I think it's time to see how well Windows iTunes runs on Win2K inside Virtual PC on my PowerBook.
posted by alms at 12:14 PM on October 16, 2003


UncleFes, you can keep winamp as the default player.

Space Coyote, I forgot to check that, but hot fucking damn, it does see my powerbook's entire library and vice versa! (including all my purchased music)
posted by mathowie at 12:15 PM on October 16, 2003




Heh.
posted by bshort at 12:15 PM on October 16, 2003


So (please PLEASE forgive me for being such a stupe), iTunes is just a download tool? An interface to access their database of mp3's?
posted by UncleFes at 12:18 PM on October 16, 2003


the proliferation of the word "teh" creeps me out far more than any logo, apple or otherwise. seriously. like jpoulos said. stop it. please.
posted by grabbingsand at 12:19 PM on October 16, 2003


Just download it. It's free.

I like the radio system.
posted by smackfu at 12:22 PM on October 16, 2003


iTunes plays music files as well. Quite a resource hog, too, I might add. 3 processes and 23mb between them. Winamp only does about 7mb, I believe.
posted by Hackworth at 12:25 PM on October 16, 2003


The interface is unintuitive. I keep getting lost! Even on my kick-ass system it's shockingly slow to redraw (as noted by mathowie). I don't understand why it's a 19MB download, big downloads scare me. I did a quick search and found that the catalog is sorely lacking. Today I went to Best Buy and picked up three CDs. Only one of them was on iTunes. And they were both cheaper at Best Buy. I searched for Yo La Tengo at iTunes, and I got four albums. eMusic shows 12, all on Matador (which, IIRC, is a new addition to iTunes, so maybe the albums will show up in a few days). Music downloaded from the iTunes store cannot be played on my Creative Nomad Jukebox Zen.

Some of these things are incredibly bad deals. Blur's "Think Tank" is $16.99. But if you download each track individually (except the first, which is album only), it's $11.88. Oh yes, please allow me to pay $5 for one track. It's oh so tempting. Of course if I wanted the whole album, I could just get it from Amazon for $3 less.

I'll pass.
posted by punishinglemur at 12:27 PM on October 16, 2003


My fingers don't make 'the' unless I think really hard about it. I'm jsut going to switch the 'e' and 'h' keys on my keyboard and eavh donh wite it.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:28 PM on October 16, 2003


"iTunes is just a download tool?"

It's a way to legally download songs. And buy what you want for 99¢.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:34 PM on October 16, 2003


ok, the phone book thing made dr. pepper come out of my nose. more importantly, is anyone shitting their pants yet?

I listen to itunes radio all freakin' day. I have added a few stations, too. I think I only listen to CDs in my car anymore. That'll change sometime soon.
posted by whatnot at 12:34 PM on October 16, 2003


Using the word 'teh' without irony is teh suxors.
posted by haqspan at 12:35 PM on October 16, 2003


"Just download it. It's free."

I think in this case it's ok, but that's a dangerous download/software installation policy.
posted by 2sheets at 12:44 PM on October 16, 2003


To those test driving: how is the sharing on the Windows version? Will it detect the libraries of Macs on the same network and vice versa? I may have to get the whole office downloading...

I installed iTunes on my work xp machine. It automatically found my powerbook and its shared iTunes music library. I'm currently streaming music from the powerbook to XP with no problems. I turned on sharing on the XP iTunes, and my powerbook iTunes showed it.
posted by jsonic at 12:45 PM on October 16, 2003


this was a comment on slashdot, but in regards to the new Napster, it's fitting:

I won't even consider it until it's ($CURRENT_PRICE/2) and until the files are ($CURRENT_BITRATE*2). And until it's in (!($CURRENT_MEDIA_FORMAT)). Plus it only is going to have bands $BAD_BANDS[1]..$BAD_BANDS[134], which I don't listen too anyway.

And they should have thought of this ($DATE-(rand())) ago.
posted by panopticon at 12:49 PM on October 16, 2003


As far as sharing goes, it does work as others have said but I updated my PowerBook to iTunes 4.1 via Software Update and upon starting, it said I was blocking port 3689 with my firewall and to unblock to enable sharing. So I did with no problem. Must be a new feature on the Mac version, so be prepared.
posted by cowboy at 12:53 PM on October 16, 2003


I dig the Smart playlists. You set criteria and iTunes builds a dynamic playlist based on those criteria. My 2 favorites that I came up with complement one another. First, songs that I've played at least seven times in total and have listened to at least once in the past month. Second, songs that I've played at least seven times in total but haven't listened to in three months. That second one is often close to empty, so I usually ignore it, but it's a nice treat when I finally come back to it and there are some good songs there.
posted by putzface_dickman at 12:57 PM on October 16, 2003


Did everyone also see the voice recorder and media recorder dongles for the ipod.

Boy am I EXCITED!

on preview: putzace is right-on, the dynamic playlists are awesome. look at smartplaylists.com for ideas.
posted by jmgorman at 1:05 PM on October 16, 2003


putzface....sorry. At least I didn't type 'teh'.
posted by jmgorman at 1:06 PM on October 16, 2003


Uh, is it really the case that ipod software 2.1 is required for Windows people to buy from iTMS, and that it's only supported for new (docking) ipods? (See "Important Note" in the link.) So, I have to spend a few hundred dollars upgrading my iPod just to buy songs for $0.99?

As Excel would say, #VALUE!. Apple has a long, bad history of screwing the people who bought from them >30 days ago.
posted by precipice at 1:07 PM on October 16, 2003


in related news...
posted by joedan at 1:08 PM on October 16, 2003


ipod software 2.1

Oooh, Voice notes, so is this real stereo recording, or just the handfull of seconds thing?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 1:18 PM on October 16, 2003


The dock connector refers to the new 'pods which connect via the firewire to ipod on the bottom... all of the new, non-turning wheels should update to 2.1... otherwise older iPods are pointed to 1.3.

mathowie, unsure about why your machine is running into issues. Checked it on machines here and it works fine.
posted by grimley at 1:18 PM on October 16, 2003


Precipice, I downloaded but did not install the iPod 2.1 software. I'm buying at will but I haven't synced anything yet
posted by dhacker at 1:20 PM on October 16, 2003


So did Apple drop the $10 for a CD download option? When did Windows MP3 players start following Windows windowing convention? I haven't seen anything outside CD player on Windows that doesn' t have some crummy skin overlaying the default windows.

Not that I'm buying anythign from the RIAA anyway. But I woudl think the smart playlist and organization features would be welcomed by more Windows users.
posted by infowar at 1:21 PM on October 16, 2003


just a quick note from the installation agreement:

"After installing iTunes 4.1 for Windows, you'll only be able to transfer music to your iPod using iTunes. To transfer music from MusicMatch Jukebox or Audible Manager to your iPod, you'll need to first import the music into iTunes."

just a warning. i gave iTunes a look, and was surprised to find that i liked the player functionality more than the store. the store was pretty darn weak, in terms of selection. but i won't be switching from QCD anytime soon (for fans of winamp, QCD does everything (even video now) winamp does with much less resources).
posted by mrgrimm at 1:23 PM on October 16, 2003


panopticon, +(min(4,$LAZY_MODERATOR_COUNT)), Insightful.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:26 PM on October 16, 2003


The $10/CD was never religiously adopted. Even in the first week, some albums were priced at, say, $11.88 if they had 12 songs. More insidious were "partial albums" that had, say, 15 of 16 songs -- not only was it incomplete, but you would have to buy it piecemeal.

I wish there was a searchable .com front-end so I could use the web to see if the Music Store carried a certain something when I'm away from my home computer.

I've purchased a couple of albums for myself through the Music Store, plus a passel of singles for myself and some wedding DJ friends, but the 128 kbps encoding keeps it from being my preferred source for those albums I really want.
posted by blueshammer at 1:28 PM on October 16, 2003


Okay, maybe I'm crazy, but the release notes for iPod Software 2.1 say:

New for Windows: support for AAC audio files, including songs purchased from the iTunes Music Store

So, if you need a docking (3G) iPod to get 2.1, you need 2.1 to play AAC, and you need AAC to play songs from iTunes Music store, I'm guessing older iPods don't get to use songs bought from the store. dhacker, you may not want to buy at will just yet....

Please, someone tell me I'm wrong!
posted by precipice at 1:28 PM on October 16, 2003


egads. I want to be happy and joyful and I want to run into the streets and break into song but it's so damned clunky. I realize it's more the fault of Windows.

I guess I'll stick to WinAMP at work and then bask in the glory of my PowerBook at home.
posted by xmutex at 1:29 PM on October 16, 2003


Well, buying at will amounts to one song at this point. The good news is that I've got a new iPod - so I can't answer your concern . . give it an hour someone else will.
posted by dhacker at 1:32 PM on October 16, 2003


precipce, you're wrong. A dock connector is the thing that conects to the dock, and all the new iPods have them. My 10G has it, and you use the cable with it to connect to the Firewire or USB2 port of your choice. See here: iPod with dock connector.
posted by grimley at 1:45 PM on October 16, 2003


Also, the store needs an affiliate system badly. I mean, duh.
posted by blueshammer at 1:47 PM on October 16, 2003


Why would they make the user experience suffer just because it looked good?

Long-time Mac users have been wondering that since Mac OS X came out.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:53 PM on October 16, 2003


grimley: yup, I know what you mean by dock, but my question is: do you need a docking iPod to use iTMS through Windows, or can you use an older iPod to hear music bought through the store?
posted by precipice at 2:01 PM on October 16, 2003


Apple's terrible User Interface design is well known and particularly annoying coming from a company that has been such a champion of consistent UI. To quote:

"In an effort to achieve what some consider to be a more modern appearance, Apple has removed the very interface clues and subtleties that allowed us to learn how to use GUI in the first place. Window borders, title bars, window management controls, meaningful control labels, state indicators, focus indicators, default control indicators, and discernible keyboard access mechanisms are all gone."

(Note, this is for the God-awful Quicktime, not iTunes. But the point is the same.)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:06 PM on October 16, 2003


precipice: older iPods with the 1.3 software can play the music sold by the iTunes store.

I'd do it on my 10GB iPod (but with a touchwheel) if I wasn't in Canada, and if I couldn't download the music off kazaa lite for free.

I like iTunes though -- although it's just killed ephPod. Transfers to my iPod seem a lot faster.
posted by krunk at 2:34 PM on October 16, 2003


mrgrimm: Thank you thank you thank you.

I've been looking for a replacement for winamp forever. I've been using the old 2.X tree because 3.x eats donkey turds. QCD does exactly what I want - and in a way I like.

QCD is what the winamp 3.X release should have been.

Oh...to stay on topic. I downloaded the itunes thing. It installed 2 or 3 (depending on how you count) always runing processes and new "services" that startup everytime to the computer does. One of them can't even be disabled because it's buggy as all fuck.

And let me get this right - I need iTunes just to look at their catlog of RIAA crap? $13.98 for a *downloaded* "album". Jesus if I wanted to pay $14 for crap I'd go to the freaking store.

One more thing: fer chrissakes - who fucking cares what Moby's playlist is?

You'll have to excuse me. I've been bitter ever since emusic took my unlimited subscription away
posted by jaded at 2:34 PM on October 16, 2003


It does seem like the AAC files purchased through Win iTunes will play if the iPod is updated with 1.3. I could be worng, and if so, it isn't hard to convert AAC content to mp3. right click the track you want or batch convert by selecting the tracks that you want and use the "Advanced" menu convert option.

on preview, and what krunk says.
posted by grimley at 2:37 PM on October 16, 2003


i can now play those special itunes files on my mac and pc at the same time.

trip out. multi-stereo.
posted by th3ph17 at 2:40 PM on October 16, 2003


anyone found a way to copy music FROM your iPod to the Windows iTunes library?
posted by reverendX at 2:52 PM on October 16, 2003


This is the kind of spontaneous publicity I need! My name in print! That really makes somebody! Things are going to start happening to me now.
posted by cinderful at 2:58 PM on October 16, 2003


reverendx: see doug's applescripts, or for pc, use musicmatch.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 3:03 PM on October 16, 2003


waitasec, you're trying to tell me that iTunes for Windows won't let me copy music from my iPod to my pc?!?

Back to ephPod...
posted by krunk at 3:07 PM on October 16, 2003


Better start drinking Pepsi.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 3:07 PM on October 16, 2003


FWIW, iTunes runs just fine on my Athlon XP1800 system. The interface is not very intuitive, although it's MUCH better than WMP or MusicMatch. The visualizations could be better (they're pretty, but choppy, even with a GeForce Ti4400 video card), but other than that, the program itself isn't slow.

I love the automatic volume normalizer, and the as-you-type search (playlist narrows down as i type b-e-n f-o-l-d-s f...) streaming radio, and of course, the iTunes Music Store.

For me, iTunes looks great. I have been using Easy CD Extractor to rip CDs and convert files, Winamp 2 as the player, Windows Explorer to manage the files, and Nero to burn CDs. Looks like iTunes can replace all of those programs (and yes, I have tried other all-in-one jukeboxes... WMP, MusicMatch, RealONE, etc...)

Thumbs up. Nice job, Apple.
posted by bhayes82 at 3:11 PM on October 16, 2003


monju_bosatsu: I already use EphPod to copy music from my iPod to my PC; I was just wondering if there was a way to associate my iPod with my own computer so Apple's own software would let me do it.
posted by reverendX at 3:17 PM on October 16, 2003


iTunes works great on my cheap ass work machine (a crappy PIII 400, 256mb ram), and I have two macs to compare against. and no player-hating here, I love the interface. Remove me from the windows UI and the hacked together skins that are windows MP3 players, please.

ps: not even for free music will i drink pepsi.
posted by o2b at 3:24 PM on October 16, 2003


The Jerk is the only DVD I own. It's the only movie I can stomach.
posted by Satapher at 3:27 PM on October 16, 2003


Cool. Now I can stream tunes off my PC onto my laptop in the living room!

Um...though I'm still having trouble figuring out how to make playlists 'n' stuff. Do I have to create libraries and playlists on my PC and then let my Powerbook stream off those? Or is there some way to monkey around with this stuff from the Powerbook?

And, yes, I'm too damned lazy to look it up for myself.
posted by RakDaddy at 4:45 PM on October 16, 2003


The visualizations could be better (they're pretty, but choppy, even with a GeForce Ti4400 video card), but other than that, the program itself isn't slow.

Why is it that visualizations always run like crap, no matter how fast your video card is? I mean, if I have a card that's rated to run Doom 3, why can't I do visualization at 1280x1024 without shearing? Are they all written poorly, or is there something I'm missing?

Not merely an iTunes thing, but sheesh.
posted by amery at 4:52 PM on October 16, 2003


*cheers*
The moment I have been waiting for finally arrives!

But wait, what's this? I can't buy from the music store because I don't have a US billing address?
*cries*
posted by dg at 6:16 PM on October 16, 2003


The interface is all Apple-y, but suffers from slow redraws and looks almost buggy on my Athlon 1900XP system (which has plenty of power)

Performs fine on my 1.5 Ghz Pentium...so far. Maybe once I start running Illustrator it will go to pieces...
posted by weston at 6:34 PM on October 16, 2003


What's the big deal?
posted by HTuttle at 6:39 PM on October 16, 2003


As far as getting tracks off of your iPod onto the computer, on the apple, at the bottom of the iTunes window, you'll see an iPod icon (if your iPod is attached. Click that and you'll be able to use the iPod as a harddrive, and it will mount in iTunes without updating anything that you have done in iTunes. You can then move somgs back and forth.

Playlists are made by clicking the + sign at the bottom left of the window (all of this makes sensee once you are using OSX on a daily basis.... migrating it to windows must be a bit jarring.). you will get an untitled list. go back to your library and chosse the trackes that you want to see in the playlist and drag them to the new one in the left menu.
posted by grimley at 6:47 PM on October 16, 2003


Why is it that visualizations always run like crap, no matter how fast your video card is? ... Are they all written poorly, or is there something I'm missing?

Personally, what I'm missing is an understanding of why people like visualizations in the first place. They're the 21st century's answer to the lava lamp ... only this one sucks processing cycles. Bah.
posted by pmurray63 at 6:53 PM on October 16, 2003


It skips and crackles when running other programs on my PC. Musicmatch doesn't.

/uninstalls
posted by dydecker at 7:04 PM on October 16, 2003


grimley: clicking the iPod icon just brings up the iPod options (in the windows version). If I browse around my iPod like a HD, the files aren't named with any rhyme or reason, just numbers...

Also, is there any way to enqueue songs, or do something like "stop after this track" like in winamp?
posted by krunk at 7:09 PM on October 16, 2003


krunk: you can't browse the iPod like a hard drive and chase down tracks, you can add any files that you want in this way though. If you are able to turn the autosync off, the iPod should show up in 'tunes just under the Library....Music Store...25 Most Played listings as an iPod icon. There should be an arrow next to it that will allow you to see all of the tunes that are on the 'pod. you can then drag and drop at your leisure. Never used WinAmp, but i'm sure a smart playlist could do this for you.
posted by grimley at 7:19 PM on October 16, 2003


I was looking forward to trying this.

Now that I have, I'm a little underwhelmed, even without any evidence of the performance issues (on a 5-year-old PII 400!) that others have mentioned. I never thought I'd say it, but (other than the music purchasing thing, which is, to put it mildly, uninteresting to me) Windows Media Player 9, bloated piece of crap that it is, does everything this thing does as far as I can tell, and better. I don't use WiMP, mind you, but I did mess around with it for a while.

Probable uninstall pending.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:20 PM on October 16, 2003


I'm running iTunes and Photoshop 7 on a Pentium 3 1Ghz with no real performance hit. Mind you I wasn't working on my 'teh' wallpaper with my l33t filters yet, so I haven't really fully checked out how much resources* iTunes hogs.

I think the interface is great against the classic windows start menu, the re-draw is slightly laggy during minimizing/maximizing, but that's a minor drop of pee compared to the public children's pool of bloated media players out there.

I'm this so close to being a mac convert.

*iTunes was using 8 megs of memory, but i had visualizations off
posted by phyrewerx at 9:21 PM on October 16, 2003


QCD is what the winamp 3.X release should have been.

You also might want to check out Media Jukebox (or Media Center, its newer incarnation), which I think is fantastic. I use the built-in streaming media server to listen to the 40 gigs of music on my home computer from work. (This feature is meant for use across a network, but with a cable modem my upstream bandwidth is totally sufficient to stream 192kbps audio.)
posted by boredomjockey at 9:25 PM on October 16, 2003


you can only drag to the iPod, not from it :^(
posted by krunk at 9:30 PM on October 16, 2003


"It's a way to legally download songs. And buy what you want for 99¢."

Yay. That means that you can buy the latest top-of-the-line iPod for about $350... and you can buy all the mp3s to fill it up for about $7000. (Whatta deal!)

Alternately, you can get this sharp 1948 Packard Club Sedan and still have enough money left over for a pair of fuzzy dice.

Piracy is still your friend...
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:53 PM on October 16, 2003


Apple prevents people from easily transferring songs from the iPod as a nod to the recording industry. Of course, there are many tools out there to easily accomplish the task.
posted by gyc at 9:55 PM on October 16, 2003


My mp3 player of choice is Foobar. A no bullshit, highly configurable player without all the graphical crap which inhibits usability. Most importantly it boasts a "low memory footprint, efficient handling of really large playlists" - it's all about the playlist for me. I must admit I do like the sound of the smart playlists mentioned above...
posted by Onanist at 9:57 PM on October 16, 2003


i'd write about how underwhelmed i was by the itunes release, but as you can see from double trackback ping mistake below, i've typed much too much about it already.

the winamp 5 beta got leaked today though, and man is it slick.
posted by lotsofno at 11:08 PM on October 16, 2003


Hmmm, I wonder why the discrepancies between the amount of resources used? On my PC, iTunes is using about 12MB of RAM while playing, but jumps to 27 MB if I turn visualisations on. In addition, iPodService.exe uses about 3 MB (not having an iPod, I wonder if I can turn that service off?)

stavrosthewonderchicken, I was under the impression that Media Player 9 includes all the latest DRM software preventing copying or ripping of CDs (or trying to) and that, once installed, cannot be uninstalled? Despite being somewhat embarrassed to admit it, Media Player has been my favourite music software until now, mainly because everything else is just too clumsy and difficult to use. Not any more, though.
posted by dg at 11:28 PM on October 16, 2003


Do you think Pepsi blue qualifies....
posted by brettski at 12:18 AM on October 17, 2003


why no Windows 98?
posted by panopticon at 12:06 PM PST on October 16


Because Windows 98 is, like, so five years ago?
posted by mokujin at 12:20 AM on October 17, 2003


Hang on. You cant buy music outside of the US?

*cancels download, goes back to free radio stream*
posted by MintSauce at 2:19 AM on October 17, 2003


Welcome Windows, seriously
posted by bonaldi at 3:26 AM on October 17, 2003


I was under the impression that Media Player 9 includes all the latest DRM software preventing copying or ripping of CDs (or trying to) and that, once installed, cannot be uninstalled?

Maybe so - I don't know, to be honest. Hasn't interrupted my piratical activities one bit, I can tell you that much, though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:38 AM on October 17, 2003


My initial impressions:

It obliterated previous file associations even though I explicitly chose the options to prevent it. My context menu no longer lists all the encoding options that mkw installed. Based on previous experience with Quicktime i expected this.

Consolidate Library - this puts all your files into separate directories by bands - pretty wasteful when you 15GB of music.

It has no facilities for file management that i can discern. Some of the context menu choices are vague - clear? What is clear supposed to mean? Why is there no delete option on the context menu?

Visualizations - seems as if there is no control over them at all other than on or off and choosing small medium or large.

I am sure someone will say RTFM but I thought good UI was supposed to make this intuitive?

I see nothing at all that isn't in Windows Media Player. If this is an example of the User Interface design of the Apple folk I think I'll pass. WMP wins hands down just for the nifty taskbar integration.
posted by srboisvert at 6:06 AM on October 17, 2003


Interface has some nice features (and some glaring omissions), but it can't even play without skipping on a P4-1.8 with 512 RAM. Bye, bye.

On the other hand, I AM liking that QCD player. Thanks for the link!
posted by rushmc at 6:59 AM on October 17, 2003


If we start paying for our music through iTunes (or any of these new pay services) and eventually the stores upgrade their files to ones with higher bitrates, will the consumers be entitled to a free re-download of all the songs they've already bought, but at a higher quality?

If not, why should I bother? I'll stick to CDs, thank you very much.
posted by tapeguy at 7:30 AM on October 17, 2003


Why is it that visualizations always run like crap, no matter how fast your video card is? ... Are they all written poorly, or is there something I'm missing?

Not trying to start a mac v. windows war, but I *love* the visualiser on my eMac. Renders smoothly and creates some damn cool looking stuff.

I also really dig iTunes.

Damn am I glad I switched to Mac ;)
posted by terrapin at 9:12 AM on October 17, 2003


The reason the visualizer runs so crappy is because it's done in software. It doesn't matter what kind of video card you have because your video card isn't doing the work.

If your screen resolution is 1024x768x32, well, that's 3+ megaBytes of data per screen refresh. Times 30 for 30fps, we've 90 megs of data per second. Now ninety megs of data may not seem like all that much until you consider the fact that it's being generated realtime, in software based on real-time semi-complex calculations being applied to an audio stream (which is probably an encoded mp3 - which knocks about 125MHZ off your performance).

Even assuming super-optimized code, that's a tall order. Just how optimized to you think apple->windows code is going to be?
posted by jaded at 9:42 AM on October 17, 2003


I'm on a Mac, and am curious: is the Windows version of iTunes scriptable? That's one of the fun things about the Mac version--there are a lot of handy scripts out there, and I've written a few simple ones of my own (to change a rating, or add a song to a specific playlist, etc).
posted by adamrice at 9:57 AM on October 17, 2003


srboisvert: You have plenty of control over the visualizations if you so desire - just hit the ? key for help.
posted by O9scar at 10:15 AM on October 17, 2003


Is there any reason that iTunes felt it necessary to rename all my music files and reorganize all my folders? Piece of shit.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:01 PM on October 17, 2003


jaded -- so why don't they offload the work to the video card (if said hardware is present, of course)? isn't that what the video card is for?

I have the nervous feeling that I'm betraying some fundamental ignorance.
posted by amery at 1:02 PM on October 17, 2003


Is there any reason that iTunes felt it necessary to rename all my music files and reorganize all my folders? Piece of shit.


Did you have Keep iTunes Music Folder and Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library checked in your preferences?

The concept of iTunes is that all your music is organized nicely inside the application itself, so it doesn't matter what your files are named or organized on the disk itself.
posted by gyc at 1:46 PM on October 17, 2003


I didn't have it copy files to the iTunes folder, I removed that checkmark. I just added my music existing folder to the library.

The concept of iTunes is that all your music is organized nicely inside the application itself, so it doesn't matter what your files are named or organized on the disk itself.

Unless I'm just downloading iTunes to see if I like it (I don't now) and want to go back to my existing Winamp playlists. A warning before it decided to change 4000+ file names would have been nice.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:53 PM on October 17, 2003


there's been a lot of uproar from people who were just wanting to try out the itunes player, but got more than what they bargained for when their file sorting system got rearranged to all hell. the general mac consensus seems to be "it isn't a bug, it's a feature."
posted by lotsofno at 3:00 PM on October 17, 2003


Looks like it is a bug in the Windows version. I know that on my Mac if I don't have the option checked it will ask me if I want to reorganize them and I can always decline.
posted by gyc at 3:44 PM on October 17, 2003


That's more than a bug.
posted by eyeballkid at 4:09 PM on October 17, 2003


amery: well, you're right - you're exposing ignorance, but it's ok. Given the way graphics cards are marketed - it's reasonable to assume that all graphics operations would be affected pretty much equally.

While a good video card certainly helps - as the card needs to have the capacity to do a full screen redraw with every frame - it doesn't really help much, as most relatively modern cards will have that. The reason your gforce 4 makes pretty much no difference is because all that expensive display hardware is devoted to the generation of 3D visuals. Simplified: the computer defines a polygonal shape ( say a cube), tell the video card what color it is, where it is relative to the camera, and where the light source is (and what color, brightness, etc, your lightsource has) and then say to the card: go. Suddenly you have a spinning cube in front of you at virtually no CPU utilization.

The visualizations on the other hand are a 2D bitmap representing mathematical formalae applied to music data, which has to generated ( as I said before ) at a rate of something like 90MB/second. Since here are no 3D objects for the video card to process, your computer has to do all of the work.
posted by jaded at 4:52 PM on October 17, 2003


srboisvert: You have plenty of control over the visualizations if you so desire - just hit the ? key for help.

Sorry but setting the frame rate just isn't what i mean when i want to control my visualizations. With other players I can choose what visualization will be displayed easily and intuitively. Check out wmp, sonique (my favourite player - though it lacks file managment capabilites) or winamp.

With iTunes nothing seems intuitive. I didn't even know about the minimal options you can control after hitting ? (though there is a button - why there is no caption or balloon help escapes me).

Other than the integration with a music store I really can't see anything great about this application.
posted by srboisvert at 7:41 PM on October 17, 2003


tapeguy: the clue's in your name. When tapes came out did people say, "hey, so tapes are out and they're more useful than vinyl but don't sound as good. So if they come up with a better sounding format, will consumers be entitled to a free upgrade to the new format for the titles they've already bought? If not, why should I buy them?"

Walkman still took off.
posted by bonaldi at 2:58 AM on October 18, 2003


I just had a frightening image of a Metafilter meetup full of people wearing Apple(™) shirts, scanning the barcodes on the backs of each other's necks, plugging iPods into decidedly Cronenberg-esque recepticles at the base of the spine, and falling all over themselves to pray at the Altar of Jobs. Then I realized I'm only preparing for my future role as crotchety old man who reminisces about years long past and rants like a lunatic.
posted by The God Complex at 3:29 AM on October 18, 2003


When tapes came out did people say, "hey, so tapes are out and they're more useful than vinyl but don't sound as good. So if they come up with a better sounding format, will consumers be entitled to a free upgrade to the new format for the titles they've already bought? If not, why should I buy them?"

The difference, of course, is that tapes cost money, so asking for a free upgrade wasn't reasonable. Digital files, on the other hand, could be upgraded for free.

A public service announcement: Property is not the same as intellectual property and theft is not the same as copyright infringement. Thank you.
posted by gd779 at 5:19 AM on October 18, 2003


128Kbps MPEG-4 AAC (what's used by the iTunes Music Store) is pretty close in quality to 256Kbps MP3 and within spittin' distance of CD quality. If that's not good enough for you, don't buy the tunes.
posted by kindall at 6:23 AM on October 18, 2003


The difference, of course, is that tapes cost money, so asking for a free upgrade wasn't reasonable. Digital files, on the other hand, could be upgraded for free.

And bandwidth and production costs involved in an upgrade are, of course, free. I see...
posted by mazola at 11:28 AM on October 18, 2003


God Complex--
We don't wear those T-shirts anymore. And the receptacles are right under the hairline.
posted by adamrice at 11:44 AM on October 18, 2003


I found out about the automatic re-organising of files after my "love it" comments above and iTunes does indeed by default organise and re-name files unless you tell it not to in the advanced options prior to adding your music to the library. Bad bad iTunes! The worst part is that it does not even organise them properly, putting a significant number of tracks into "unknown album" directories. I still like it but, like all new toys, the shine has dulled slightly and there is a tiny scratch that only I can see just on the top left corner.
posted by dg at 5:16 PM on October 19, 2003


Yes, turn "Keep Music Files Organized" off befoe you let iTunes do anything. Even us Apple-headz uncheck that box.

Windows iTunes users seeking advice might try the iPodlounge forums.

iTunes's relationship to music files is very different from other mp3 players; it uses a very different metaphor, one more similar to that of a database than that of files and folders.
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:50 PM on October 19, 2003


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