Dear Apple: iTunes gripes.

Apparently the answer to the question, "do I know anybody who knows anybody who actually works on iTunes" is "no".

So, in case someone reading this does but just doesn't want to admit to it (and again, continuing to assume that the bug system is a black hole for outsiders), here's my list of things about iTunes that drive me crazy on a daily basis.

What follows is, I think, strong evidence that nobody inside Apple actually uses iTunes to watch music videos. I do all the time, so these regressions in iTunes 10 -- for things that worked fine in earlier versions of iTunes -- are really, really irritating.

  1. No "Sound Check" on music videos. (This is not actually a regression, in that it has never worked, but it's very irritating.) Sound Check works great on MP3, but it is completely ignored for video. Surely it's not rocket science to scan the audio track of a movie in the same way it scans MP3s.
  2. The "Volume Adjustment" slider stopped working on videos in iTunes 10. Since "Sound Check" doesn't work on videos, I wrote an Applescript that determines the peak volume of a video file and frobs the "Volume Adjustment" of each track appropriately. This used to work ok (except that it limited me to adjustments of +/- 6dB, since the slider only goes to +/- 100%) but now it does nothing. (Update: They finally fixed this in iTunes 10.5.)

  3. "Start Time" and "Stop Time" stopped working for music videos in iTunes 10. Videos often have credits at the end that I don't want to sit through. Now, my only option is to edit the file itself instead of just telling iTunes to auto-skip that part.

  4. The video-playback window resizes by itself in iTunes 10. If I'm playing music videos in a window -- not full screen -- the window resizes every time the track changes to a video with a different native resolution. If I've expanded the window to a watchable size, then then every few songs, the window snaps back down to a postage stamp. If consecutive videos are exactly the same size, it leaves the window alone, but as soon as there is a change, it shrinks it to 1:1. In iTunes 9, it would leave the window's size where I left it. This makes iTunes unusable for watching videos in non-full-screen mode.

  5. (Not video related, but) the checkbox next to tracks was removed from "iTunes DJ" in itunes 10. I can change the number of stars on a song from there, but I can't uncheck it! The only way is to bring up the context menu; "Show in playlist Music"; and then uncheck it there.

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5 Responses:

  1. Marc Majcher says:

    "nobody inside Apple actually uses iTunes to watch music videos."

    s/ to watch music videos//

    It's the only explanation. For all of it.

    • jwz says:

      It plays music just fine, and it's not like there are any plausible alternatives. (The Linux fanboys in the back can put their hands down now, thanks.)

  2. jef says:

    The bug system isn't a total black hole - I've actually received 2 requests for more information on bugs I filed against It's been months between requests - but at least someone is reading them and looking at them. I'm also assuming they are prioritizing them, because my bug isn't really that big of a deal and it hasn't been fixed yet. Worth a shot to file one since regression issues might get some priority.

  3. I'm somehow appalled you took years for finding itunes neverending series of regressions and random nonworking features unbearable enough to rant about it.

    I mean, using it professionally, as I induced you do (considering the number of semi-obscure features you use) it must really be a constant pain.