Fucking iTunes.

What year is it that this kind of dialog is considered even remotely acceptable? Are they actually joking?

And has there ever been a time when quitting iTunes didn't immediately re-launch it?

Also, I see that it's time for everybody to log into Twitter again and un-check some checkboxes, since every four months they opt you in to some newly-invented category of email spam that they're sure you want to see. There are like five new checkboxes since the last time I unchecked everything. My schadenfreude is getting impatient, isn't it time for their stock to crater already?

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24 Responses:

  1. tony says:

    Hah, I did the exact same thing with Twitter today! I think it's time to just shut down the account.

  2. Daniel Thompson says:

    step 1: grep -R "return" *
    step 2: add a plain english summary of every numeric return value in your app to your error handling routine

    would take an afternoon. they've had ten years.

  3. Dave Polaschek says:

    That's a networking error that's "never supposed to happen," according to someone who knows.

    I get that error every time I launch my manually-downgraded to iTunes 10 version because I missed one of the libraries that's needed to talk to the store, which is just fine by me, because I just use it as a music-player, and don't WANT it to talk to the store.

  4. Every time I try to install XCode

  5. mattyj says:

    A few months ago E-vite opted every one of their users into a spam cycle that sends a confirmation about two seconds after you hit the 'yes' or 'no' button, as if you forgot what you just hit two seconds ago, or can't see what's on the screen.

    The worst part? No checkbox to turn it of.

    The even worse part? From E-vite support:

    "This is a new feature on our site, as we have received numerous feedback from users uncertain if they have correctly RSVP'd or not, and this is to ensure guests that they have RSVP'd correctly. Unfortunately, we cannot remove this feature at this time and we apologize."

    I'm not sure if that 'cannot' in there should be 'will not' or if they're really too stupid to figure out how to add a checkbox for it.

    It's probably no coincidence that these spams have ads in them. Impressions, people! It's all about impressions.

    • jwz says:

      The only surprising part of this story is that Evite still exists. I had no idea. How's MySpace doing?

      • mattyj says:

        My mom's gotta get Thanksgiving invites to me somehow.

      • gryazi says:

        Surprisingly decent for free music listening after News Corp. finished fucking that chicken.

        Or at least they didn't pull a YouTube and require a login to start stuffing a playlist. Still requires Flash for the player though.

  6. James says:

    Although the overall magnitude is off by a relatively small fraction, the second derivative is still on track to tank Twitter's stock in a little less than a year per:

    ...assuming that India doesn't grow much faster than it has been.

  7. Julian Calaby says:

    Shit like this gives me Microsoft Access / Jet flashbacks. Every error was some random number which translated to "Undefined Error". There was no help whatsoever for that error. When it happened, nothing worked until the server was rebooted. I had to install this particular thing on a server that couldn't be rebooted due to other stuff running on it. Fun times. Yay.

  8. Edouard says:

    My favourite message is always "An unexpected error has occurred".

    Unexpected you say? No shit...

    Fucking developers.

    • hattifattener says:

      As a developer, I'm going to pass the buck on to Apple on this one. They're really resistant to the idea of supplying a table of string translations of their thousands of error codes a la strerror(). They had one for a while, but in a recent OS release they removed/deprecated it with no replacement. I've never heard an explanation of why they think cryptic error messages are better than explanatory ones, but they do.

  9. Other Jamie says:

    Convenient opportunity for iTunes bitching.

    I was just playing the "what haven't I listened to in a long time" game, and found that sometime in 2009, iTunes decided that the files on disk for a large number of tracks were living in paths like:

    /Volumes/Reflect 2/Library/Developer/Documentation/DocSets/com.apple.adc.documentation.AppleSnowLeopard.CoreReference.docset/Contents/Resources/Documents/documentation/GraphicsImaging/Conceptual/QuartzComposer/qc_revhistory

    Reflect 2, as it happens, is a backup array that spends the majority of its life unmounted.

    I have no fucking clue.

    The actual songs, at least based on a random sampling, are all still actually still happily sitting in the iTunes library. So I suppose it is time to waste an afternoon dicking around with Applescript to point these back at the right place.

    Or it there any way to actually make iTunes update from the XML file it keeps? I'd much rather do this with something less brain-damaged, like perl. I've tried various things that claim to make it do that (they usually involve removing the encrypted DB), which never work.

    In any case, clearly time to start drinking.

    • dzm says:

      tl;dr: iTunes is ever improving its ability to fuck over your music collection.

      Longer version:
      All this time I thought I was the ONLY person in the world seeing this behavior.

      I keep my library on a NAS. The library is replicated to a second NAS at my home-during-the-week (long story). A year or so ago I noticed that occasionally iTunes would helpfully tell me "Track XYZ wasn't copied 'cause it can't be plaid on this device."

      When I'd look at file info for the track it would be pointing to some other random bullshit file on the NAS. AND if I took the laptop to the other network environment and mounted the other NAS (same mount point, same path names) suddenly the broken file would work again, but some OTHER media file would now refuse to copy and claim to be pointed as the wrong (completely unrelated) file.

      Digging into the .xml showed that the bad linkage was present there so re-importing the library would fail.

      iTunes seems to keep track of the linked file using something other than the actual source file's path too, because my attempt to fix it by just moving the "wrong" file to a new location to force iTunes to ask if I'd like to locate would fail. iTunes quite happily would follow the wrong file to its new location. The only way I could get iTunes to force the "do you want to re-link?" state was to completely remove the wrong file from the file system (delete, or add to some archive like gzip or tar and delete the original).

      Eventually I ended up with hundreds of bad-linked files. The only way I could bulk-fix the problem was to copy the entire library to a USB/Lightning disk, then disable networking to prevent the laptop from helpfully trying to mount the NAS, then open iTunes (forcing all the tracks to now be "lost"), finding the first on the local drive, telling it to look for all the other missing ones in the same location (it was surprisingly robust at this), scrolling through the long list of tracks to find the straggler "misses" and re-linking them. I THEN removed this drive, re-enabled networking, repeated the process above to link against the NAS (again), and have my fingers crossed I don't have to do this bullshit again. That was a long day of wasted weekend.

      It was also at this time that I noticed that iTunes happily corrupts .M4A and .MP3 files when you attempt to do things like add cover art via "select the album, paste the cover art into the appropriate field, and hit OK." So I'm now using this opportunity to re-rip the old CDs with a third party ripper (which does, in fact, add cover art and prevents iTunes from ever needing to modify the tags in the files). This means I haven't had much of a chance recently to see if iTunes has been re-destroying the correct links.

  10. Stewart says:

    Are you unable to use iTunes Match? I iTunes Matched all my music a couple of years ago and haven't connected my iPhone or iPad to iTunes with a cable since. I sync my music from the iTunes Match cloud to the devices, and if I create playlists in iTunes on my Mac they're automatically synced to both my iPhone and iPad. I only plug my iPhone and iPad in to charge.

    Not sure if there's something preventing you from doing that, but it's a happier existence.

    • nooj says:

      blah blah blah cloud blah blah blah

      • Stewart says:

        Fine. "I sync my music from the iTunes Match servers to the devices." Thanks for your input.

        • nooj says:

          The point was he doesn't use the cloud. Nor anyone else's servers. His music, on his machine, goes to his device, without having to inform anyone else or ask their permission.

          • Stewart says:

            Yes, and it's a sucky experience. Using the iTunes Match servers is not.

            • jwz says:

              Until suddenly it's not.

              Enjoy waiting for them to pull the rug out from under you.

              • Stewart says:

                It works like Dropbox. I still have all my music files on my Mac, including the demo my friend's band made which is synced fine by iTunes Match.

                If they turn off iTunes Match tomorrow I'll find something else then, but in the mean time I'm having a pleasant syncing experience. I'm not some Apple fanboy, just trying to point out you don't have to bash your head against iTunes.

  11. Bill Paul says:

    I see things have not improved since the MacOS 6/7 days. In the 90s, when I worked at the Columbia University EE department, we had Mac Classics and other machines of that ilk for the office staff to use, with some kludgy TCP/IP software and a localtalk to ethernet gateway box. I remember trying to start up the TCP/IP stack on on one of the Macs in the office, and having it tell me: "The operation could not be completed because: an error has occurred."

    No, really?

    I thought by now they would have figured out this "error code to error message translation" thing but I guess they were too busy arguing over the look and feel of the error dialog boxes.