Rants on Itunes

January 7, 2011

by — Posted in Media, Personal Writing, Technology

Ahhhhh – the joy of iTunes.   When it is tuned and working well, everything is a blessing.   When it is not working well – you can definitely want to slit your wrists with broken glass that has been fermented in a one week old diaper, but I’m not bitter.   Moving into the Apple ecosystem has had its challenges, and I have overcome most of them (until I got the Apple TV).  In our household we have 2 old hard drive based iPods, 3 iPhones, and one Apple TV.  Until Apple TV came along I used iTunes for music, podcasts, and syncing my idevices.  For the defenders out there, this worked well – no real issues.   Then the Apple TV came along and changed everything.  We wanted to play video from the hard drive on the Apple TV – so I convert it all to MP4 and then import it into iTunes.   This is where I started to notice issues.

1.  Why can’t you specify the media you are importing.   If I am importing two seasons of a TV show, why does it automatically place video files under movies?   Why can’t I specify that I’m importing TV shows instead of making this a two-step edit process?

2.  Automatic name detection and metadata updates on video files.   This is a huge pain in the butt to update all the album art on these files.  I would understand for videos that iTunes knows nothing about – but I have videos that are also available in the iTunes store.  Those files should be able to update their album art the same way audio files do.   At this point I would be happy if Apple did at least one.

3.  No differentiation between  e-books and audiobooks.    Ever since they released iBooks this has been a huge pain.   Watching from a cover art perspective you can’t tell the difference between the two types.   These are two completely different types of media that are consumed in two completely different ways.  If iTunes can give iTunes U it’s only little subsection why can’t these two media types?

4.  Music Videos have the same problem as the books.   They are filed under “Music”.   These are video files and consumed visually.  They should also have their own subsection.  They are not only filed under music, when you import them – they show up under movies and you have to change the type.   Please see number 1 again.

You can see my problems are in the amount of time it takes to edit metadata and keep the library groomed.   My music files are meticulous.   This year for my music files (if I ever finish the video files) I plan on getting the bpm field filled in on all my music.   All my tracks have artist/track information.  All my albums have cover art.   Pristine and clean so I wouldn’t have to do it again.

Why can’t video’s and books have it as easy?  If video wasn’t such a big push with the Apple TV I might understand this more.

I talked about writing this post months ago and just now got around to it.  Give me some time and I’ll come up with more.

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