Editorial: Hey Apple, why does it take an hour to place an album on my iPod?
This one’s been a very long time comin’, however the iTunes pressured backup / syncing concern is not any much less actual as we speak than it was a decade in the past when iTunes started to play a bigger-than-life position within the operation of Apple’s iDevices. Because it stands, it is successfully inconceivable to make use of an iPhone, iPad or iPod with out additionally utilizing iTunes, and whereas Apple’s completed an exemplary job making certain that it really works with most main platforms (sure, Home windows included), there’s one nagging query that simply will not go away: why?
Why what, you ask? Why iTunes, I say. Why does Apple drive customers into an expertise that nearly inevitably ends in unhappiness, if not outright catastrophe? It is a query that has baffled me for what seems like eons, and it is a gaffe that performed an enormous position in pushing me away from my iPhone 3G and onto a Nexus One in the summertime of 2010. I ought to in all probability circle again and clarify that I perceive why Apple has interwoven iTunes with its iDevice line. iTunes is not a bit of software program; it is an ecosystem. The entire level of promoting an iPod contact is not to promote an (admittedly titillating) piece of hardware, it is to loop an finish-consumer right into a system that regularly dings their bank card. And by making them work so properly collectively, the corporate has created a decidedly lovely scheme that retains clients coming again for extra — I am guessing the repeat enterprise from iTunes customers is downright staggering.
However this is the factor: what if I do not need to go all-in with that ecosystem? What if I take pleasure in casually utilizing an app right here or there on the iPhone, and what if I simply need to throw Lupe Fiasco’s newest document on my gadget 5 minutes previous to heading out on a ten-day street journey? What if I need to make fast and delicate modifications to my iPod, iPad or iPhone, with out iTunes selfishly consuming what’s left of my day? That, buddies, is seemingly an unattainable activity, particularly for those who’ve acquired a handful of units or — gasp! — multiple pc that your gadget talks to.
This is an instance: I obtain a brand new document from Amazon’s MP3 retailer. That was enjoyable and straightforward. Now, what I might like to do is plug my iPod contact in and have it present up on my desktop as an exterior storage gadget — you understand, type of like what occurred again when iPods nonetheless used FireWire connectors. If that have been to happen, I might drag these information over to a “Music” folder, and within the time it’d take me to yell “Hallelujah,” I might be ejecting the system and heading on my merry approach.
Is that basically an excessive amount of ask, Apple? I am guessing it isn’t, provided that stated state of affairs is strictly what performs out every time I port over an album to my Nexus One. That additionally signifies that it is on me to adequately backup the album I downloaded in case my gadget goes lacking or in any other case self-destructs, however belief me — me and my scheduled NAS backups can deal with that simply advantageous. As an alternative, a easy ten track switch finally ends up taking between ten minutes and ten hours, relying on how lengthy it has been because you final synced your system with iTunes. Apple’s presumed reasoning right here is that by forcing strongly urging customers to backup their whole gadget with every change, they will all the time be capable of restore again to a well-known level in case of emergency. That is a high-quality idea, and I am thrilled the engineers in Cupertino are searching for the clumsy amongst us, however pardon me whereas I borrow yet one more idea from Google: choose out. And by that, I imply keep away from iTunes altogether and allow us to drag music over as if it is an exterior storage gadget.
Whereas we’re on the subject, let’s briefly talk about apps. Fairly frankly, I rely us all lucky that Apple lets us obtain apps on to our iDevices, however when you begin a sync, you greatest carve out sufficient time to permit your gadget and pc to degree with each other. And in case your app association in your pc is any totally different than what’s in your telephone or PMP, prepare for yet one more spherical of rearranging. Oh, and see that “Do not Sync Apps” button over there? Cautious — clicking it lets iTunes wipe all your apps somewhat than merely opting out of a sync and leaving them the best way they presently are in your gadget. Sensible. Bloody sensible.
I am going to cease in need of tackling the difficulty of utilizing a number of iDevices on a single pc — which frankly deserves a phase of its personal — and as an alternative, will current a reasonably easy answer that ought to unquestionably be included within the subsequent level launch of iTunes. Apple, cease making it unattainable to handle a number of iDevices throughout a number of machines. Cease forcing individuals to backup their units each single time. Allow us to handle our units as in the event that they’re easy USB HDDs. A mild nag (as you’ve got already mastered with Time Machine) is sufficient. Or higher but, embrace MobileMe with each iDevice buy and retailer every little thing within the cloud. Dreaming massive, I do know.
Replace: Tweaked a couple of statements right here to make the purpose a bit extra crystal clear; I am absolutely conscious that you would be able to hit the “X” and bypass a sync. That is not the purpose. The purpose is that iDevices ought to be extra simply manageable outdoors of iTunes, and in doing so, would make life infinitely simpler for these with a number of units and / or a number of computer systems.
Tags: apple, backup, editorial, ios, ipad, iphone, ipod, itunes, administration, music, music administration, MusicManagement, software program, sync, usb