CNET names 10 worst technologies of Q3 2006 (#5: Apple’s iTunes 7)

“It’s been a gangbuster quarter for terrible tech, from exploding batteries to half-hearted upgrades to pretexting scandals and everything in between,” CNET’s Tim Moynihan reports.

CNET’s the worst tech stories and products from the past three months:
1. Worst way to re-create the pyrotechnical magic of a Kiss show in your lap: Sony laptop batteries
2. Worst thinking outside the box: Amazon Unbox
3. Worst explanation of the Internet: Senator Ted Stevens
4. Most frustrating pair of headphones: Sennheiser OMX 52 Street
5. Worst upgrade: iTunes 7: We could easily add the “new” iPod to this list, thanks to the fact that it doesn’t do much that previous iPods couldn’t do (except hold more songs, take up less space, and play Texas Hold ‘Em). Instead, we’ll give a tip o’ the c(r)ap to iTunes 7, which boasted features such as resource hogging, freezing, deleting song files, album art issues, CD-importing woes, iPod-syncing foibles and innovative new features stolen directly from Windows Media Player 11. In Apple’s defense, the company released an iTunes update a couple of weeks after iTunes 7 came out.
6. Worst cause of CNET-wide paranoia: HP pretexting scandal
7. Worst game: World War II Combat: Iwo Jima
8. Worst way to get a free Dolce & Gabbana dongle: Buy the Dolce & Gabbana Razr for $400
9. Worst product name and packaging: PumpOne PumpedForLife
10: Worst hoax: Firefox zero-day flaw

Full article here.
Cheap shots at iPod (which CNET itself has already awarded “Editor’s Choice,” calling Apple fifth-gen updated iPod “the best, most attractive iPod to date”) and iTunes (CNET Reviews: “Apple iTunes 7 is a required upgrade for movie buyers and new iPod owners. Its refined interface, particularly Cover Flow, and useful new features trump the fact that the application is processor intensive”), but, then again, it’s from the reliably inconsistent CNET, so whatever.

Related articles:
Mossberg: Apple’s new iPod+iTunes are ‘better products at better prices’ – October 04, 2006
The Washington Post: ‘New competitors can’t measure up to Apple’s iPod’ – September 30, 2006
Computerworld review: ‘Apple’s new iPods are better than ever’ – September 27, 2006
Review: Pac-Man for iPod – September 27, 2006
Apple releases iTunes 7.0.1 – September 27, 2006
Fortune’s Lewis reviews Apple iTunes 7.0: ‘thumbs up’ – September 26, 2006
PC Magazine’s 19th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards for MP3 players: Apple iPod line – September 25, 2006
Thurrott reviews Apple’s iTunes 7: ‘the best software-based media jukebox I’ve ever used’ – September 22, 2006
USA Today reviews new Apple iPod nanos, updated iPods, iTunes 7 (each earns 4 stars out of 4) – September 21, 2006
CNET Editor’s Choice: Apple fifth-gen updated iPod – ‘best, most attractive iPod to date’ – September 20, 2006
Disney sells 125,000 movie downloads via Apple’s iTunes Store in first week – September 19, 2006
PC Magazine review: iTunes 7 ‘Apple’s best effort yet’ (4 stars out of 5) – September 15, 2006
CNET Editor’s Pick: Apple’s new 2G iPod nano – ‘sure to be top choice among wide range of users’ – September 14, 2006
Analyst: Apple ‘s iTunes+iPod+iTV model ‘the gold standard for the digital home of the future’ – September 12, 2006
What’s new in Apple’s iTunes 7 – September 12, 2006
Analyst Gartenberg: Apple ‘s iTunes+iPod+iTV ‘will be hard for other players to match’ – September 12, 2006
Apple debuts iTunes 7 – September 12, 2006
Apple debuts new iPod in 30GB and 80GB with Hollywood movies, games and new lower price – September 12, 2006
Apple intros new iPod nano with new aluminum design in five colors and 24-hour battery life – September 12, 2006
Apple unveils new iPod shuffle: world’s smallest digital music player – September 12, 2006


  1. Something for the coding staff at Apple to remember from this point on:

    It takes at least THREE times as much effort and attention to detail to program for Windows as it does for OS X, and that’s a fact. If Apple invests the SAME amount of coding person-hours in iTunes for Doze as it does for the Mac platform, doom and gloom will most assuredly follow.

    Why do you think IT departments and coding staffs just LOVE Microsoft? JOB SECURITY, folks!

  2. Just a note regarding coverflow…

    Apple didn’t make it themselves, they bought it. Not that there is a problem with that, but it is entirely possible that they bought it in response to what they saw WMP was doing.

  3. “Why don’t they specify ‘iTunes 7 for Windows’?”

    That’s easy. They probably don’t know there is a Mac version. If they did, they would write a front page scare piece on the virus vulnerabilities for the Mac version.

    Remember, this is C|NET.

  4. iTunes 7 has worked fine for me, including CoverFlow etc etc.

    Can’t wait to see this list after Vista launches..because by CNets own criteria Vista will shoot to the number one spot.

    MDN, please make a note to remind them of this list and what they said about iTunes and the iPod…!

  5. ” tyk

    Oct 12, 06 – 12:02 pm

    iTunes 7 was very slow on my mini G4… I don’t think a year and a half old computer is “too old””

    Then you need more Memory. My G4 Mac Mini runs flawlessly with iTunes 7. It’s about 125 to max it out.

    believe me, you’ll LOVE IT!

  6. Actually, I love iTunes 7, but it DOES have some execution flaws. It likes to replace the correct cover art with incorrect art, even when the correct art was manually installed. I spent a couple of hours when the software was first released, caused I wanted to get CoverFlow working. About two weeks later, after buying and importing a bunch of new CDs, I clicked “get artwork,” thinking it was only going to get artwork for the new stuff.

    Oh no — it went through my entire library, and went wild importing a bunch of weird art onto albums (not even matching title or artists!). I think if it sees an album for which it doesn’t have an exact match on file, it searches for the next best match. Bad idea. On a dozen different compilation albums, it used artwork from a release by ONE of the artists included. Weird.

    C|NET is definately wrong. But iTunes 7 is still rough around the edges…

  7. And a side note to everyone…

    People, seriously, if you haven’t maxed out you memory (meaning still using system VM)…

    Then you’re not experiencing the full speed and capability of your Mac…which is really sad. Cause man, it’s awesome. It’s worth every penny.

  8. iTunes 7.0.1 runs just fine on my Mac mini G4 with 512MB of RAM. It’s not slow or sluggish at all. I’ve had no issues with any of the problems CNET mentioned either, must be another Windows only thing…

  9. Apple did screw up with iTunes 7 big time.

    1: They made a “one size fit’s all” version which hobbled a lot of PC’s. They should have made a version that optimizes based upon the hardware abilities of the machine it’s running on.

    2: They upgraded the video quality across the board which instantly shut out a lot of folks from downloading. They should offer three or four different download resolutions.

    3: They integrated Coverflow badly, doesn’t work correctly and the full screen ability of the orginal version is now lost. It slows iTunes down and was better running on it’s own processor as a seperate application.

    On top of that the original Coverflow has expired, requiring one to alter their computer clock to get it to work again.

    4: And probably the worse offense of iTunes 7 was the forced upgrade. You want to download the latest episode of LOST? You have to upgrade to a unproven version of iTunes.

    Apple flexed it’s muscle and alarmed a lot of people it’s really just a smaller version of Microsoft.

  10. Yep… I have to agree with CNet. Anytime a company releases one of its flagship products in the wild and it operates like a Beta version, then they need to have their (explicative) handed to them. iTunes 7 was quickly removed from my Mac and it won’t be back on there until I feel confident that it’s ready.

    (P.S. Not just my opinion… this is the same outlook held by most of my office.)

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