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iTunes 10
dhromed
post Sep 8 2010, 19:49
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Okay, I don't think I'm going to try iTunes anymore.
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MichaelW
post Sep 9 2010, 00:14
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Twenty years ago, I hated the Mac and Mac users with a passionate intensity (I used to be involved in the administration of a mixed fleet of computers, in the early days of the personal computer). My first DAP was an iRiver H120. Now I find myself totally involved in the Mac/iPod/iPhone world.

I think iTunes on a Windows machine used just for managing music, especially for people who are used to computers, sounds like a doubtful idea. On a by now aging iMac, the performance is fine. I don't use the Genius feature, but I guess it's good for people wanting to explore popular music. Social networking is of zero value for me, but it doesn't seem to get in the way. The iTunes store works for me: I have only bought a very few tracks, but in New Zealand there aren't too many alternatives; it's great for managing the applications on my iPhone, and I bought an iPhone for the sake of a couple of dictionaries, only available electronically for that device.

For managing and transferring music, there is a new way of thinking involved. At first I found simple file and directory drag and drop more convenient and intuitive (though drag and drop has its problems when your hands are shaky); having got used to the iTunes way, it's all right. Not better, but all right. I would still prefer to organize my music on a properly designed folder structure, but I let iTunes organize my library when I first changed over, and it's so big now I'm too lazy to change it. It seems the iTunes way is OK for popular music, for which I do think of the Artist as first specifier, but not for other music, where Composer normally comes first. But no tagging system is really well organized for classical music.

I've never used iTunes on a Windows box, but from what I hear there have got to be better alternatives for just handling music. On a Mac, I have no intention of changing; I can't say I've noticed any gains with v. 10, and I actually prefer the old look, but the big win for me was in v. 9 with its option for transcoding on the fly when transferring to a mobile device (and I do know that that is available elsewhere).

One last comment: from time to time people have reported difficulty in getting to terms with the fb2k interface: reliably they are shouted down and told that the foobar interface is the easiest thing in the world, and you just have to <insert Linux-like technical directions here>. This suggest to me, who admire fb2k but have to go hunting for things, that there is a bit of a reality distortion field around some non-Apple stuff, too.

Given the dominance of the iPod in the DAP market, and the integration of iPods with iTunes to make life easy for civilians who are just interested in, you know, music, I'd have thought a major version release of iTunes rated a notice. The nerd may not use it, but is likely to be asked for help by a non-nerd.
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Billytheonion
post Sep 9 2010, 02:55
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QUOTE (greynol @ Sep 8 2010, 19:13) *
@Billytheonion's last reply:

Nonsense!

iTunes will still install all that crap even if you don't use it. What's more it also installs it's own drivers and other system files which have interfered with the operation of other programs on my system.


When i install iTunes i can select custom install and deselect everything i don't want.

Only thing i can think of is the Windows version does not have this option ?

20 seconds to start up must be something wrong at your end. OS X or Windows 7 is very fast here.

This post has been edited by Billytheonion: Sep 9 2010, 03:50
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Robertina
post Sep 9 2010, 03:36
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Those iTunes users who organize their media libraries on a NAS should be aware that iTunes 10 might make it impossible to access their audio files, possibly due to a lesser error tolerance in handling Apple's Digital Audio Access Protocol by that new version.

It seems that there are several manufacturers affected, e.g.
  1. dmapd
  2. Netgear
  3. QNAP
  4. Synology
Proposals (which I can't jugde) on how to get the accessibility back:
  1. dmapd
  2. dmapd (Firefly)


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dhromed
post Sep 9 2010, 08:30
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QUOTE (MichaelW @ Sep 9 2010, 01:14) *
I would still prefer to organize my music on a properly designed folder structure, but I let iTunes organize my library when I first changed over


Could you be a bit more specific on what iTunes does to your files? You seem to suggest that iTunes and a folder structure are mutually exclusive; that iTunes moves and copies your files to wherever it sees fit.
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Engelsstaub
post Sep 9 2010, 08:32
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QUOTE (dv1989 @ Sep 8 2010, 13:18) *
Billy, you don’t have to defend Apple at every opportunity.

iTunes does come with a lot of crap enabled as default, which although able to be disabled in some cases, can just be annoying. Must we have to disable it all? And it doesn't allow simple drag'n'drop to the iPod (instead storing all media files on the device as seemingly randomly-chosen and cryptically named hidden folders*), doesn't support playing files unless they're added to the library (as just said), still stores personal information in purchased files (and DRM-encrypts videos), and features other restrictions, of which other users could probably provide much better examples.

And of said “crap”, a lot is this irritating stuff that chooses music or creates playlists for you automatically--because Apple assume people are too daft to think for themselves, perhaps?--and/or allows you to share your listening habits or follow those of others.

But colourful adverts with white-headphoned folk dancing around sell better than functionality and thinking for yourself. (I think it'll be Linux for me next time, in case anyone's not sure. wink.gif)

* It does offer sane automatic “Media type/Artist/Album/nn. Title.ext” organisation of files on your computer, but drag'n'drop to device would be nice.


I'm not trying to be a wise-ass or argumentative, but what DAP supports dragging and dropping? Are you loading a good DAP with Foobar? I don't know about Rockbox, but it doesn't seem worth throwing away compatibility with docks, car stereo, etc. You are talking about the Genius-Mix feature. I'd agree: that's unnecessary for me personally. It just doesn't pain me that it's there for others who may like it. I'm an "album-listener." I don't ever spend time creating playlists or care about mixes. Perhaps if I was a DJ it could be useful. IDK. But the "irritating" Genius-Mix is turned off on mine. I never even see it. My folder structure is very much the same as that of Windows. In fact, I've dragged & dropped folders from there into F2K to listen to them (it has the ALAC codec installed.)

@kiit: I truly appreciate your opinion. but I'm pretty certain Zune started the social-service. They are now (feebly IMO) trying to integrate it more with X-Box Live. Doesn't matter to me either. I'm not using it. (Actually I do use the iTunes store for those free 30-sec samples. I hardly ever by an album I find sucks anymore.) As you've pointed out, Libraries are the thing of most media-players. It seems to me that it's just an interface (like an OS) that connects the user to music files and such. I don't think it's evil Apple (or MS) marketing, just an idea that sits well with everyone but you and a few others presumably.


...If all of the apps on my computers were exactly how I wanted them, I'd have written them all. Since I can't write squat and wouldn't have the time to anyway, I'm going to take what works for me and do my best to ignore minor annoyances.

I like to think that my non-conformity is best expressed by my musical preferences. Not by opposing a large corporations attempts to make capital, sell products, and pay employees. I could care less about "glowing fruit" and "colorful adverts" trying to accomplish what companies must to avoid bankruptcy. It all just reeks of fan-boyism; such mantras. Like the slogans shouted by political parties on the extreme-left and extreme-right, it doesn't speak to the rest of us in the middle.

This post has been edited by Engelsstaub: Sep 9 2010, 08:35


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db1989
post Sep 9 2010, 11:03
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QUOTE (dhromed @ Sep 9 2010, 08:30) *
QUOTE (MichaelW @ Sep 9 2010, 01:14) *
I would still prefer to organize my music on a properly designed folder structure, but I let iTunes organize my library when I first changed over
Could you be a bit more specific on what iTunes does to your files? You seem to suggest that iTunes and a folder structure are mutually exclusive; that iTunes moves and copies your files to wherever it sees fit.
I realise now that my statement that “[iTunes] doesn't support playing files unless they're added to the library” is ambiguous. This is true in terms of the media library itself, but not its file/folder structure. The user can choose whether to have iTunes leave added files where they are, or to automatically copy them to its own folder, which is organised as:
User folder/
[My] Music/
iTunes Media [previously and sometimes still named iTunes Music]/ *
Music/
Artist (or the dedicated Compilations folder)/
Album/
nn. Title
It also allows manual consolidation, i.e. copying everything to this structure.
* The location/name of this folder can be changed, but note that if iTunes names it iTunes Music, one has three “Music” folders in a row!

QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Sep 9 2010, 08:32) *
QUOTE (dv1989 @ Sep 8 2010, 13:18) *
iTunes…doesn't allow simple drag'n'drop to the iPod (instead storing all media files on the device as seemingly randomly-chosen and cryptically named hidden folders*)
I'm not trying to be a wise-ass or argumentative, but what DAP supports dragging and dropping?
Admittedly, I don't know how common it is, at least nowadays, but it seems a good feature to me. To elaborate, IIRC a DAP that I previously owned allowed me to just drop folders of audio files in and it would show them in its library.

QUOTE
Are you loading a good DAP with Foobar? I don't know about Rockbox, but it doesn't seem worth throwing away compatibility with docks, car stereo, etc.
Actually, I manage my iPod (gen 5.5) with iTunes! I may well have moved to foo_dop if I was on Windows (and no doubt I could on OS X, but I'm taking the path of least resistance in this case). I've had no major problems with the device; actually, I'm surprised it still works considering its age.

QUOTE
I like to think that my non-conformity is best expressed by my musical preferences. Not by opposing a large corporations attempts to make capital, sell products, and pay employees. I could care less about "glowing fruit" and "colorful adverts" trying to accomplish what companies must to avoid bankruptcy. It all just reeks of fan-boyism; such mantras. Like the slogans shouted by political parties on the extreme-left and extreme-right, it doesn't speak to the rest of us in the middle.
I would say that the “fan-boyism” tends to be concentrated on Apple's side! If they've earned themselves some strong opinions on the wrong side, I imagine it's largely because they're increasingly moving from functionality and innovation, to gimmickry and reliance on the shiny factor.

Certainly this is one facet of my recent disinterest (to say the least) in Apple. I quite like my iPod and MacBook (failed battery notwithstanding), but I have no desire to upgrade to any of their new products when the time comes. Nowadays I read of the original iPhone initially being unable to copy and paste or record video, the new iPhone dropping calls if you hold it by the side and Jobs being a genius for ‘fixing’ this with a carry case), the iPad not having a USB port and not being able to multi-task on launch (now able to run a mammoth 2 apps at once IIRC). Yet despite these and perhaps worse flaws I've not thought of, the two are marketed and accepted by many as revolutionary and/or the best thing since sliced bread. If I was going to buy either type of device, I think I'd buy one of the other companies’ imitations/clones; they tend to include some of the features that Apple missed out.
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MichaelW
post Sep 9 2010, 11:47
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QUOTE (dhromed @ Sep 9 2010, 19:30) *
QUOTE (MichaelW @ Sep 9 2010, 01:14) *
I would still prefer to organize my music on a properly designed folder structure, but I let iTunes organize my library when I first changed over


Could you be a bit more specific on what iTunes does to your files? You seem to suggest that iTunes and a folder structure are mutually exclusive; that iTunes moves and copies your files to wherever it sees fit.


dv1989 has partly answered this, but basically iTunes organizes music into a tree Artist/Album. You can get at the stuff all sorts of ways through the tags and the database, but if you want to fiddle with the files, you need to get at the directories. As I mostly have classical, my directory structure was Broad Category/Century/Composer/Work/?Performer?. I was also lazy/ignorant about tagging at the time, being new to digital music. iTunes folder organization is reasonably predictable, but it can split an album into two or more folders if there are different performers (as, for instance, an album that contains a symphony and a concerto, since Orchestra + Conductor counts as a different artist from Soloist + Same Orchestra + Same Conductor), if the Part of a Compilation box isn't checked.

This is one of those things that largely grows from the way players and tagging schemes are organized for popular music and its categories (micro-fine genre classes for dance music, for example), but it gets a lot less of a problem as I get used to tags, and the iTunes way.

You can, by the way, find where your files are in the directory structure quite easily: on a single track, do Get Information, then look at the File Location field. Then follow up with your preferred file mangler. It's a hassle if you want to do any editing on your files, like custom (dynamic range) compression for playing in the car, but it works fine for ordinary listening, especially to the most widely enjoyed music. Apple seem to be getting it reasonably right for a fair-sized market segment, which is larger than the fan-boi faction; at the least, it includes, at least as far as I can see round here, a lot of young women who don't look as though they're under the influence of Mr Jobs.

Sorry, that's a bit long--but you did ask for "more specific" smile.gif
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Notat
post Sep 9 2010, 16:02
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QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Sep 8 2010, 09:22) *
Reading a few of the above comments: I don't understand the hatred for iTunes. It is bloated, but is this even a problem, even for Windows-users anymore?? What, are people still rocking 2 gigs of RAM for a Windows installation? I'm sure it will work great on even a Mac Mini Snow Leopard server with 2 Gb of RAM and base specs. (I'll find out soon enough.)

I don't hate iTunes. I used it for years and really liked it. When the program and my library got to a certain size, performance started to degrade. I tried running it on a faster computer still with unsatisfactory results. Some performance problems must be fixed by better algorithms, not faster processors.
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greynol
post Sep 9 2010, 17:01
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QUOTE (Billytheonion @ Sep 8 2010, 18:55) *
Only thing i can think of is the Windows version does not have this option ?

There you go.

QUOTE (Billytheonion @ Sep 8 2010, 18:55) *
20 seconds to start up must be something wrong at your end. OS X or Windows 7 is very fast here.

Brand spanking new XP installation on a 2.8GHz P4 HT w/ 1GB or RAM. That I would need something more powerful doesn't speak well for the media player.


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JunkieXL
post Sep 9 2010, 17:11
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The load time for iTunes on a Windows OS is rather slow. 20-30 secs as Greynol mentioned.

I've used it on several machines and several different Windows OS.

People are also forgetting that iTunes has 2-3 programs that run in the background at all times. Even after you disable them from the startup list, they will open and remain running after opening iTunes; AppleMobileDevice.exe and iPodService.exe are two that I remember.
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Billytheonion
post Sep 9 2010, 19:05
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It's strange some people are experiencing very slow start up times.Just booted into Windows 7 here on my MacMini core duo 2.5ghz 4 gb's ram. Launching iTunes 10 is no more than 2-3 seconds.

20 seconds is not acceptable id be mega frustrated.
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dhromed
post Sep 9 2010, 19:14
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Time for some investigation with Process Explorer, it seems.
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Miramis
post Sep 9 2010, 19:21
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iTunes for Windows: Background processes installed on Windows XP, Vista, and 7


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kornchild2002
post Sep 9 2010, 20:12
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I can confirm the 20 second start up time on my nettop. It has a dual-core, hyper-threaded 1.6GHz Atom 330 processor with 4GB of RAM (all 4GB is used by the processor as the Nvidia ION in my nettop has 256MB of on-board dedicated RAM) and running a 2 month old install of the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 Home Premium. I can essentially start iTunes up, go get something to drink, sit back down, and it opens. Is this a killer deal for me? Not really. My time isn't precious enough where going from 2 to 20 seconds is going to ruin my year. That and I have to rely on iTunes as I have an iPad. I knew that going into the iProduct universe would mean that I have to deal with iTunes here and there. I really don't care. It still starts up faster than iTunes 9 did on my system (by about 15 seconds) and I recently discovered that I can stream audio to more than one device. I currently have a 802.11G AirPort Express base station as the 802.11N version. The N is in the living room and the G is in my bedroom. Their sole purposes were so that I could stream music to either my main audio system or the one in my bedroom all while controlling my PC with my iPad. Now I can actually stream audio (whether it is music or part of a video file, finally) to multiple speakers at once and I will be able to stream audio to either base station with my iPad once iOS 4.2 comes out this November.

So yeah, I am willing to bit the bullet here and there if it means I can fully sync videos, audio files, photos, and apps with both my iPod and my iPad along with the above features. Is iTunes perfect? No, but I don't think there is any perfect audio library manager out there. I can make a list of everything wrong with iTunes, foobar2000, Windows Media Player, Zune PC software, or whatever other "jukebox" that is out there. It doesn't matter. It just seems that, due to the popularity of Apple's iProducts, iTunes tends to get hammered on probably more than it should. Yeah, I just said that, kill me.
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greynol
post Sep 9 2010, 20:30
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All I can say is that I hope you don't have iTunes configured as your default app for opening mp3 files.

My friend just emailed me a the latest mix-down of his demo in mp3. I'd like to hear it without having to go grab a cup of joe while iTune starts and then proceeds to import it into my it's library for me to have to turn around and remove it, thank you very much.

Once Apple decides that they will stream music to your iPhone or iPod Touch I'll consider it once again, but maybe not considering that I'll likely purchase a competitor's solution because I got tired of waiting for hell to freeze. What's that Apple, you expect me to spend another $100 for a less than mediocre wi-fi product in addition to an over-priced touch-screen DAP which has the very same HW capability to receive streamed music?

This post has been edited by greynol: Sep 9 2010, 20:38


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Notat
post Sep 9 2010, 21:35
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QUOTE (Miramis @ Sep 9 2010, 12:21) *

They've documented their bloat. That's classy!
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MichaelW
post Sep 10 2010, 00:17
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QUOTE (greynol @ Sep 10 2010, 07:30) *
an over-priced touch-screen DAP


Which Apple DAP products are over-priced, in comparison to what, in which market?

Pricing of Apple computers is a debatable point, but when I was looking for a large capacity DAP in New Zealand, the iPod Classic was the inescapable choice, even though, at the time, I was looking for an alternative because I didn't want to get tied into the iSystem. But for the price and the capacity, there was nothing close. And at least Apple uses silken bonds, unlike Sony.
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aclo
post Sep 10 2010, 01:37
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QUOTE (MichaelW @ Sep 9 2010, 12:47) *
It's a hassle if you want to do any editing on your files, like custom (dynamic range) compression for playing in the car, but it works fine for ordinary listening, especially to the most widely enjoyed music.


I imagine that this won't work on windows but, on OS X, one can write an applescript (which may be invoked by a key chord) to open the selected files in an audio editor, or perform arbitrary operations on them via eg sox etc.

Still, iTunes does seem ridiculously bloated...
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Engelsstaub
post Sep 10 2010, 02:24
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QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Sep 9 2010, 14:12) *
I can confirm the 20 second start up time on my nettop. It has a dual-core, hyper-threaded 1.6GHz Atom 330 processor with 4GB of RAM (all 4GB is used by the processor as the Nvidia ION in my nettop has 256MB of on-board dedicated RAM) and running a 2 month old install of the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 Home Premium. I can essentially start iTunes up, go get something to drink, sit back down, and it opens. Is this a killer deal for me? Not really. My time isn't precious enough where going from 2 to 20 seconds is going to ruin my year. That and I have to rely on iTunes as I have an iPad. I knew that going into the iProduct universe would mean that I have to deal with iTunes here and there. I really don't care. It still starts up faster than iTunes 9 did on my system (by about 15 seconds) and I recently discovered that I can stream audio to more than one device. I currently have a 802.11G AirPort Express base station as the 802.11N version. The N is in the living room and the G is in my bedroom. Their sole purposes were so that I could stream music to either my main audio system or the one in my bedroom all while controlling my PC with my iPad. Now I can actually stream audio (whether it is music or part of a video file, finally) to multiple speakers at once and I will be able to stream audio to either base station with my iPad once iOS 4.2 comes out this November.

So yeah, I am willing to bit the bullet here and there if it means I can fully sync videos, audio files, photos, and apps with both my iPod and my iPad along with the above features. Is iTunes perfect? No, but I don't think there is any perfect audio library manager out there. I can make a list of everything wrong with iTunes, foobar2000, Windows Media Player, Zune PC software, or whatever other "jukebox" that is out there. It doesn't matter. It just seems that, due to the popularity of Apple's iProducts, iTunes tends to get hammered on probably more than it should. Yeah, I just said that, kill me.


3 seconds here. I just timed it. Win 7 64bit i7 4Gb dual channel DDR3 RAM.

If it makes a difference that was off of a cold-boot. I also have around 139 Gb of music in it currently.

I am completely sympathetic to nearly everything people have said against it. It IS bloated. It's just not a problem for me and those with similar stuff, I suspect. If I had a different set-up going on, and I will not disparage what others are using to suit their wants and needs, I'd likely feel as they do. Justifiably so.


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Axon
post Sep 10 2010, 07:07
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foobar2000 takes 21 seconds to load on my machine, and uses 115MB on startup, so I have no f*cking clue what y'all are whining about.

This post has been edited by Axon: Sep 10 2010, 07:08
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klonuo
post Sep 10 2010, 07:51
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QUOTE (Axon @ Sep 10 2010, 07:07) *
foobar2000 takes 21 seconds to load on my machine, and uses 115MB on startup, so I have no f*cking clue what y'all are whining about.

That doesn't say much, as posters are talking about regular iTunes setup on specified machines. I guess you should expect this-like reply, but I have 200GB ~15K library and it starts in 5s on rather old machine with 1GB RAM on Window 7 32b. Difference is that you can bloat foobar if you want, and then you don't have to if you don't want/need and have it as lightning notepad doing just whatever you might imagine, that's not possible with similar products

Personally I dislike overdesigned Apple products, their store, making own standards over standards, limited format support, messing with my files and tags without my blessing, closed possibilities, and much much more... That's general and could say fueled with funny features from new iTunes version. Thou I guess it's fine for my girlfriend

This post has been edited by klonuo: Sep 10 2010, 08:02
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Robertina
post Sep 10 2010, 09:42
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QUOTE (Axon @ Sep 9 2010, 19:07) *
foobar2000 takes 21 seconds to load on my machine, and uses 115MB on startup, so I have no f*cking clue what y'all are whining about.

How about re-reading this thread then?

Imagine e. g. Amazon would announce a new software on HA to play and organize your music. Installer size = 71,4 MB (foobar = 3,1 MB). After an installation several services would run permanently in the background, even when the software isn't used. Amazon would tell you: we are selling portable media players too, but you can't use them without installing our software. Imagine the main purpose of this software would be to analyze your taste in music and to animate you to buy new music in Amazon's online music store. I am pretty sure that this software wouldn't meet anybody's 'enthusiastic' approval.

Indeed you seem to have "no f*cking clue" what the criticism here is about (you call it disparagingly "whining").

Apple's (and others) music stores are gigantic licences to print money, money which the music industry gets while the artists are fobbed off with a few cents.

iTunes is Apple's entrance into this world of organized intent to commit theft, coming with numerous user restrictions to protect their (you would say: "f*cking") business.


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Northpack
post Sep 10 2010, 09:56
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QUOTE (Axon @ Sep 10 2010, 06:07) *
foobar2000 takes 21 seconds to load on my machine, and uses 115MB on startup, so I have no f*cking clue what y'all are whining about.

I don't quite believe that. You surely must have a library in the TB-range!?
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dhromed
post Sep 10 2010, 10:44
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So, to chime in and provide moar dataz on iTunes performance, I installed it yesterday evening.

The machine is an XP-SP3 AMD dualcore 2.6 5050e with 4GB*.
Cold start of iTunes is about 15-20 seconds. Relaunches within the same session is a few seconds.
Compare to Photoshop CS3, which launches in a little above 20 seconds.
Compare to Fallout 3, which launches in 10-15 seconds and does 60FPs on average.

Above times are cold launches. Subsequent launches are an order of magnitude faster, obviously.

I have Zao's waveform seekbar in Foobar, and it really slows down foobar's startup, probably due to all the .Net DX stuff it loads, making it launch in a breathtaking 7 seconds instead of the usual 1.

I discovered the option in Preferences to disable all these extra modules, but as a relaunch takes only seconds, I can't reliably test whether turning them off has any real effect. I didn't feel like rebooting all the time just for a quick media player test.

During installation, it asks to organize your files, and explicitly mentions that it will move and copy as it sees fit. I opted out of that one.


Overall impression: probably functional and useful to many people. I was pleasantly surprised by the introduction videos on first launch. Theye were really helpful in killing any trace of anti-iTunes bias I might have had. Nonetheless, I find it too bright and has that typical clunky OSX-to-Windows port feel. So far doesn't offer anything revolutionary that would make me want to switch, the way Foobar made me switch form Winamp. Haven't checked out Genius yet. Appreciated the automatic Album art download even though I don't use album art**.


-------------------------------
*) for future compatibility when I decide to move to a newer OS.
**) It's sometimes really, really ugly, and usually doesn't match what I envision with the music, so, no thanks.

This post has been edited by dhromed: Sep 10 2010, 10:46
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