Dear Apple, please go thermonuclear on iTunes

Apple needs “to adopt the same approach for OS X as it does for iOS, splitting out the various iTunes functions into separate apps,” Ben Lovejoy writes for 9to5Mac. “Having now been using version 12.2 of iTunes for a month, I’m escalating this from a moderate whinge to a full-scale rant. The time has come for Apple to finally rid us of this creaking, bloated disaster of an app, and start afresh.”

“Don’t misunderstand me: I happen to rather like iTunes as a music player,” Lovejoy writes. “But it’s a different matter where other media is concerned. Where are podcasts, for example? Where are audiobooks? Ok, we’re techies, we know that if we can’t see something in a visible menu, it’ll be hidden inside that ‘…’ icon, but we’re not short of space in the menu bar here, so why do we have Music, Movies and TV Shows visible, but not Podcasts and Audiobooks? And Apple hasn’t even tried to integrate ye olde Internet Radio with Apple Music Radio – they are in completely different places.”

“Things get even messier with syncing. Horribly messy,” Lovejoy writes. “I could go on, but tl;dr: iTunes is a total mess – about as far from an ‘It Just Works’ experience as you could possibly get, and an utter embarrassment for a company which prides itself on simple, intuitive user interfaces. It needs to die, and be replaced with individual OS X apps which each do one job, and do it well.”

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

Apple, especially under Steve Jobs, has shown a great and admirable willingness to cannibalize themselves. They obliterated their iPod business with the iPhone, for one example. But, when it comes to iTunes, they seem paralyzed by fear of change. Apple paralyzed by fear is not a pretty thing and it doesn’t yield pretty things. It yields hot messes like iTunes.

iTunes screams to be broken up into separate, streamlined apps. It’s been screaming that for years. But Apple seems to be scared silly to do so — perhaps 800+ million credit cards have something to do with it — so they’ve tinkered around the edges, making questionable tweaks here an there and bolting on even more bloat.

Grow a pair, Apple, and do what needs to be done already.MacDailyNews Take, July 17, 2015

Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015

Marco Arment: iTunes is a toxic hellstew – July 27, 2015
Jim Dalrymple: I got (most of) my music back; Apple working to fix Apple Music issues shortly – July 26, 2015
Jim Dalrymple: Apple Music is a nightmare, and I’m done with it – July 23, 2015
Apple’s iTunes: Whatever happened to ‘It Just Works? – July 17, 2015
The iTunes Report: Still a mess – July 14, 2015
Apple releases iTunes 12.2.1, fixes iTunes Match issues – July 13, 2015
Apple Music, both on iOS and OS X, is an embarrassing and confusing mess – July 10, 2015
iTunes 12.2 is mangling network-shared libraries – July 6, 2015
Serious iTunes Match issues for some users ahead of Apple Music launch – June 26, 2015


  1. Before Apple fixes iTunes, I want it to spend more time on LGBTQYMOUSE issues. I have a homosexual friend and he does not have a job and his parents won’t let him live in the basement with his partner. If he were straight this would not happen. I have another friend who is T (see the acronym). This friend is not allowed to take young men to the prom at his high school, because they won’t go with him because he looks sort of like Dennis Rodman. They should want to go with him. But Apple is so busy on their Watch and their Phone that they have not made life equal for my friends. And in my house I have to have the AC on a lot, all cause of the climate which gets hot every year around this time. Apple should do more to end hot summers. I don’t have money for AC after paying my credit card for the PEACE tattoo that is on my butt. And the nipple ring that I just got which glows in the dark. That is what Apple should be doing. Fixing LGBTQMYMICKEY and setting the temp at about 70 all year, maybe 68 at night.

  2. Please just make iTunes a music Library once again. I long for the days of old when iTunes was a joy to work with. Break out the functions into separate Apps please!

  3. Some people are their own worst enemies. Believing anything written by anyone as long as it in the mainstream is just stupid. This leads to good things getting bad. It is popular to say these things that the story says. People just suck it all up as if it is a real problem. All it really is is clickbait. Especially this article. The editor realized what a big hit “blah blah blah Toxic Hellstew……” was. He simply put out “an order” to come up with some manufactured “blah blah blah go thermonuclear……” with a bit of “it just works…” sprinted in in a negative way. And as a result it get’s lots of clicks as people just soak up all this nonsense.

  4. Some inside baseball on iTunes:

    iTunes was engineered atop QTML, the QuickTime Media Layer, a broad cross-platform library that Apple always insisted “is not a porting layer.” Yet iTunes used QTML as a porting layer so they could fast-track Windows support. They even hired the lead engineer of QuickTime for Windows, Tom Dowdy, to head the iTunes project.

    Since Dowdy’s sudden death in 2008, to my knowledge the iTunes project has never been re-architected. The project must be nearly impossible to maintain at this point.

    If I’m right about that, iTunes requires a complete rewrite on both Mac and Windows platforms, using modern frameworks and languages.

    1. True or not, iTunes no longer makes sense. As another commenter said, being with the name. And now that Windows is in decline… and a iDevice no longer needs to be connected to a computer… please Apple do not bother re-writting for Windows.

  5. There is nothing wrong with iTunes. Used it forever. Just works. I would like the option to choose which default Info screen I use. But even that is trivial. It runs great on all my machines. I have a significant media library. It works great.

    Yeah, you could make it modular. But that doesn’t do anything for you. It already behaves in a modal way anyway..
    Marco Arment can go buzz off. Design something better, oh priest of good taste.

    Oh, iTunes is buzzing away in the background while I do a little After Effects rendering. Not one hiccup.

      1. I think you know it’s a joke. Also, the image you see here on MDN is because of the link I posted directly to the source image. It’s certainly not my image. But I do have a gold on black rendition of the image I found elsewhere on the net which I gamma optimized use for one of my Mac boot volumes titled ‘Mini Monstrocity’ (deliberate misspelling). You’ll find I used the Cthuhu tentacles analogy in another post as well.

  6. I just want to play my music, so 90% of the time I have no use for the rest of the stuff iTunes does. I don’t need all that RAM used for nothing. Syncing has gotten more obtuse and unreliable. Try telling someone else how to do it over the phone! The more Tim we get the less human interface standards. You can put every command on the menu bar so you can figure out how to do anything. That’s how we used to learn programs, pull down the menus. Now you have to be on the right screen to access certain functions. Gee that’s just like MS-DOS programs used to work!

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