iTunes – iWant a divorce!

As a rule I try to avoid making New Year's resolutions I can't keep, but this year is going to be different. After a tumultuous and frustration filled relationship with iTunes I've finally decided to bite the bullet and file for divorce.

Like many relationships, my time with iTunes started out with intense passion and infatuation. It's slick, sexy interface instantly caught my attention. As things progressed I developed a deep devotion to iTunes as it selflessly synched music across to my iPod. As the years progressed however, the relationship began to sour.



iTunes began to develop a middle aged spread, becoming slower and fatter with successive update. The breaking point finally came as iTunes annoying habits finally tried my patience beyond reasonable patience.



Whilst I could tolerate sluggishness, having iTunes refuse to let me share content between PCs without a convoluted authorisation process, or attempting to install the in-laws (QuickTime and Safari) on my PC just pushed things to the point where our relationship had become unworkable.



Like most people I'd long believed that owning an iPod meant I was wedded to iTunes. After much soul search however, I came to the realisation that kicking the iTunes habit wasn't going to be anywhere near as hard as giving up smoking.

And that there's literally a tonne of awesome alternatives that'll keep your iPod crammed full of music and podcast goodness without all the grief associated with iTunes.



Some may ask what's not to like about iTunes? Until a few years ago it was easily the gold standard for keeping your music library organised. What a difference a few years can make. iTunes has morphed from a skinny music library management/iPod synching app to a bloated and sluggish marketing tool for the iTunes store. Here's my iTunes divorce case laid out for all to see.



Top 5 reasons divorce

Bloat: It's morphed from a music player/synching utility into an online store to sell Apple products and music. All these extra "features" make using iTunes like wading through frozen treacle. With a footprint of 100MBs, iTunes is the computer equivalent of Fat Albert. Both SongBird and Media Monkey use a fraction of iTunes resources yet do just as a good a job.



Lock-in: Your music and media choices with iTunes are limited to the Apple store. Using Media Monkey and SongBird I was able to find out about a heap of new artists and bands.

Authorisation: Per-leeease! Not being able to transport music I've paid for from my iPod to the assorted PCs is just nuts. Computer hard drives frequently fail so having the music library I've spend almost a decade building up on multiple PCs makes sense. Yup, I can do that with SongBird and Media Monkey.

Customisation: Media Monkey and Songbird have a huge developer community creating truckloads of useful and really cool plug-ins, making both applications incredibly customisable.

Updates: Apple, I don't want to install your godawful Safari browser or QuickTime shovel-ware.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not an Apple hater - I used own a Mac and write for now-defunct MacGuide. I still love my iPod to bits. It's just that nowadays there are smaller, faster and less frustrating alternatives available for free.

Media Monkey

My personal favourite is Media Monkey. Its freeware, easy to use, has a rapidly growing army of useful plug-Ins, and runs like a cut cat. Perhaps the nicest feature though is its ability to intelligently tag songs to auto-organise large libraries. Then there's an embedded lyrics display (for Karaoke buffs), as well several metric tonnes of customisation options via a growing number of plug-ins

Support for the iPod touch (and other MP3 players) is pretty seamless and unlike iTunes, you can load songs from your iPod onto any computer add to this integrated web browsing so you can check out the latest info on bands and a Podcast finder and what's not to like?

SongBird

Media Monkey's interface has its own quirks, and if these are a show-stopper for you, try Songbird. Based on the same Mozilla code that powers FireFox, SongBird is an open source app that has music downloading capabilities and can even list local gigs. Like Media Monkey there's also a rapidly growing pile of plug-ins plus you can install plus a multitude of skins to customise its look and feel.

On the iPod front, Songbird worked like a charm, automatically synching the music I'd chosen onto my iPod touch. Nicer still however with SongBird I was also able to subscribe to MP3 blogs and transfer these to my iPod for use at the Gym.

DoubleTwist

If you own a media player that isn't supported by Media Monkey or SongBird, don't despair. DVD Jon, the Norwegian coder that cracked DVD copy protection has launched DoubleTwist as a direct competitor to the iTunes Music Store.

Looking a lot like iTunes, doubleTwist lets media player owners manage music and will synch with a huge array of media player devices. As with Media Monkey and SongBird, DoubleTwist also allows iPod users to break away from Apple's locked ecosystem and play music on any PC they choose.

Source: New Zealand Herald

Suggested Topics
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
News
David Ryall in Harry Potter
people
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Sport
Wayne Rooney warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane
football
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: PHP Web Developer

    £30000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a Web Developer looking...

    Ashdown Group: Moodle Developer (PHP ,Linux, Apache, MySQL, Moodle)

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Moodle Developer (PHP ,Linux, Apache...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Junior .NET Web Developer - Winform / MVC

    £21000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Award-winning pharma softw...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
    Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

    Finally, a diet that works

    Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
    Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

    Say it with... lyrics

    The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
    Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

    The joys of 'thinkering'

    Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
    Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

    Monique Roffey interview

    The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
    DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
    Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

    How we met

    Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

    Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

    Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
    Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

    Who does your club need in the transfer window?

    Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
    The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015