What can I say to follow up on my iTunes 9 teaser? Well, the scary doll from SAW said:
“Ringtones at a breakthrough price of $1.29” “We’ve bumped podcasts over and given the slot to ringtones”
Because that’s what everyone wants isn’t it? Not free, informative podcasts, oh no. Fucking shitty 30 second ringtones that cost more than the whole song, that’s what we want! – Assholes.
By the way, if you missed the Keynote, here are the highlights – No, I will never get bored with this joke!
What bakes my cake though, more than anything else, more than every smug Steve-Note to date, more than the shitty, scratchy, finger-printy back of almost every iPod, more than the ONE MOUSE BUTTON on the computer-shaped appliance known as the fucking Mac, what chaps my ass the most about this horrid, divisive, insular little cult (yes I said cult 😉 ) of a company, is iTunes 9 for Windows.
Why? Well, let me explain.
A big part of iTunes 9 is home sharing, which is broken. Like almost everyone (if they’re honest), I thought that home sharing in iTunes 9 meant that you could share you library to any separate iTunes computer on your local area network, right?
All the non-iTunes Plus stuff you have (DRM movies and in my case, quite a few tunes) will not play on a computer which isn’t authorised for the account from which it was purchased. Well, hang on a minute, there’s no new functionality there whatsoever then. In iTunes 8, go into preferences and de-select the check box which copies files to the iTunes library. Then, go to add files to library, finding the iTunes library you want to access on the network. Your library file is updated with the remote location of the files you added, and the files are displayed in your local iTunes library as if they resided on your hard drive. Now tell me, what’s the fucking difference? The only conclusion I can come to, is that with the method I describe here, you also get cover-flow and album art.
To play devil’s advocate, I will concede that it’s a lot more straight-forward process in iTunes 9. Although sharing your library to begin with isn’t as obvious as it should have been, latching on to a shared library certainly is. Of course, all of this would just have been a minor “I don’t know what everyone’s so excited about?” moment, had the new “GUI enhanced” sharing system actually worked, but it doesn’t.
Music works fine, but I have a little test I’d like you to try if you’re so nerdly-persuaded.
Access a remote library on your network, both PCs on iTunes 9. Play a movie from the remote library for a minute or so, then skip a chapter or two. Stop the movie, then try to play another. For me, this almost always kills (program quits and dumps out to the desktop in WIN7 RC) an otherwise, finally useable version of iTunes – I’ve tried it with Vista too, with the same result. I should mention that my Dad got it working extremely well from his Mac to a Vista laptop, but since it’s a Mac, no-one’s got one, so who gives a fuck if it works or not?
The most important thing to note here, is that just at the time that Microsoft have nailed media networking (believe me, there’s nothing like it), Apple give us this “new” feature which retards functionality and flies the flag of inflexibility which we all should by now associate with the iTunes ecosystem.
We all should be sharing DRM-free media across disparate platforms with ease and confidence, and if you tune in to part two, I’ll show you how to do it for free, within Windows Vista, right now.
The Average Windows Nerd.