iTunes is the only software I know of that progressively gives you less options with each release. Things that I’m already missing are:
- Ability to turn off the iTunes Store links on all tracks now. Boy don’t I love it when a company rams their nasty shopping website down your throat. Since when has taking away peoples freedom to choose been a god idea?
- The Genius. Its real genius when a company encourages you to send them a list of all your music and I guess all your listening habits and song ratings. I guess so their nasty shop can send you tailor made spam. Marketing Genius! (at least you can turn this nasty off!)
- OH, and as an added bonus, being an iPod Touch owner, I really love how every time I plugin my iPod iPhoto launches even after turning off photo sync’n. What a boon to have to wait 2 minutes for it to become responsive again because iTunes as also booted at the same time and started syncing. Oh joy!
- Control over encoding settings. I guess you have to use the m4a format now whether you like it or not and you don’t have any control over the quality of the encoding.
When will they stop with the lie and start to call it officially ‘iTunes Store’ instead of just ‘iTunes’. Fortunately there are some alternatives to iTunes on their way, hopefully encouraged by Apples comitment to squeeze as many pennies out of their users as possible. They are:
- Songbird, which is built on FireFox technology, so its PC & Mac firendly, and is a full iTunes replacement and more! It has a full media library manager very similar to iTunes but offers a hundreds of add-on to change the way it looks and behaves (ahh “control”, something iTunes will never offer). One of these add-ons is Last.fm integration, a ‘must-have’ in my book. If you spend any mount of time playing with your music collection, or just don’t want to feel Apples iStore market department rubbing its hands together every time you are forced to stare are the iSore icon in iTunes, then you should defiantly check out Songbird.
- Cog, for a no frills audio player, its solid and fast but only a basic media management (i.e. keeps a list) but it does have Last.fm integration! It also handle a much wider range of audio formats than iTunes including some of the stranger loss-less audio compression formats (*.flac, *.wv) rearing their heads these days, which not even VLC can understand…
- VLC, also a good Audio/Video player. Its notorious in the torrent scene as being able to play nearly any type of video format.
Also doesn’t have a media manager nor Last.fm integration. It is a solid player and I recommend having it for when all other media players fail (Mac or PC).
Its nice to have options, and as soon as another touch screen device comes out, I’m jumping the Apple ship for good. The moral of this ugly story: Monopolies suck.
I came across an article about reverting back to iTunes 6 from 7 but I assume it still works for 8. If your really fed up backward might be the way forward!