Columnist: ‘Apple’s iTunes is terrible, iPod just a hard disk with a Play button’

Jim Turley, editor in chief of Embedded Systems Programming, a sister publication of Electronic Engineering Times, writes, “Like zillions of others, I’ve got an iPod. But, unlike every other mammal on the planet, I don’t think it’s all that great. Frankly, I don’t get it. What’s the big deal? I’ve had MP3 players before and I think they’re terrific, but the iPod, frankly, is inferior to all of them. It’s just a hard disk with a Play button.”

Turley writes, “iTunes is terrible. It’s absolutely appalling, in my humble opinion. In no time at all, I’d erased all the content I’d laboriously downloaded onto my iPod. Twice…”

(Mac OS X dialog box inspired by MDN Reader “mike” – see Reader Feedback below.)

Turley continues, “The software’s operation is utterly counterintuitive, but with no other user interface it’s the only way to get your $300 hard drive to do anything at all… I could go on and on about how iPod only copies files one direction (from your PC to your iPod, never the other way); or how it obliterates all your content should you casually plug your iPod into someone else’s computer; or how it makes you keep a duplicate copy of every music file on your computer, wasting 20 Gbytes of disk space. Hey, I thought that’s what an MP3 player was for!”

Turley writes, “Alas, these and other glaring mistakes-which afflict no other manufacturer’s products-seem to trouble the general public not at all. They’re all enamored of iPod’s sleek white exterior. Yes, my friends, we have entered the age where high-tech electronics are sold based on the color of the plastic.”

Full article here.

[UPDATE: 8/16, 1:35am ET: Added iTunes dialog box graphic.]
Turley… Turley… Now, where have we heard the name Turley before? Let’s go to the archives… Oh, that’s right! This is the same Jim Turley who, in Mac 2004, was quoted by MacNewsWorld’s Jack M. Germain in an article about Apple’s G5 and servers as saying, “If Apple were to offer servers, it would have to run Linux or some derivative of the Mac OS because Windows is not an option.”

Turley said that only two years after Apple introduced Xserve, the company’s 1U rack-mount server and a mere three years after Apple introduced their Mac OS X Server operating system.

Folks, there are idiots and then there are royal idiots. We present you, King James Turley.

So, now Turley thinks that the iPod is “inferior to all MP3 players,” is nothing more than a “hard disk with a Play button,” and that iTunes is “utterly counterintuitive.” Are we supposed to care what this obviously ignorant and totally misinformed troller for hits thinks? Well, we don’t. And we’re not going to bother refuting his ludicrous statements, either. He insults 21+ million iPod owners as fools who are only “enamored of iPod’s sleek white exterior,” yet he’s the one who erased all the content he’d “laboriously” downloaded onto his iPod. Twice.

In case he ever figures out how to read his email:

Related articles:
A look at the G5 and an analyst who thinks Apple does not offer servers – May 04, 2004


  1. Jim Turd-ley is a Microsoft lapdog.

    Like Enderle, as far as he’s concerned, Apple will never make anything worthwhile. His assertion that he, ‘… erased all the content I’d laboriously downloaded onto my iPod. Twice…’ only shows that he’s either grossly incompetent, or an idiot.

    And this guy is an ‘Editor in Chief’? Oh boy…

  2. He’s right, though.

    iPod’s not all that intuitive.. and it’s a royal pain in the ass to try to scroll to a particular song if you don’t know the artist or album (or don’t have the data keyed in). You start scrolling alphabetically.. round and round and round.. after the 10th time around or so (thumb getting tired!) it suddenly goes into hyperdrive and blows right past where you’re going. Awesome.

    And he’s right about it being WAY to easy to lose your whole library. Plugging into another computer when you’re configured to sync with your own first asks you if you want to delete all your music (that should be a user-initiated action, not a default!!), and if you dno’t, it positively prohibits you from even playing your music. on that computer until you DISABLE synchronization.

    The one-way copy is a rights-management issue, I guess, but since iTMS songs are already protected, why shouldn’t you be able to just copy your tracks off? The protected tracks won’t play on an unlicensed computer, and the tracks that don’t have DRM should be easy to move around, but they’re not.

    He’s right. It’s a good product — probably the best on the market right now — but it’s definitely got flaws. Always had. They gotta start correcting them, or eventually someone’s GONNA build a better trendy mousetrap.

  3. claiming that the scroll wheel is some detriment to the iPod is silly.
    In my experience, it’s a superior interface to everything else out there.
    I can somehow manage to navigate the with this supposedly clunky interface while running. That’s about all I need.

    “if you don’t know the artist or album (or dont’ have the data keyed in).”…You’re right, the iPod, and any other music player, can’t read your mind nor help you identify songs without IDs.

  4. If Turley is the Editor in Chief, imagine his subordinates! I picture a severely retarded man screaming to a bunch of chimps, “Type faster! Don’t ya know nothing ’bout deadlifes! We got a deadlife comin’ up, you idiots! Deadlife, deadlife, deadlife!”

  5. MDN is on fire these days:

    He insults 21+ million iPod owners as fools who are only “enamored of iPod’s sleek white exterior,” yet he’s the one who erased all the content he’d “laboriously” downloaded onto his iPod. Twice.

    just plain awesome. Someone e-mail Turley a link to this thread.

    I do believe in the contemporary common parlance we call that … ownage.

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