Wednesday, December 30, 2009

iTunes Sucks

I just did battle with iTunes for second time and my tweets about it got a little attention.  With that in mind I thought I'd post on the whole experience to clear the mud as they say.

I've done this before but I forgot what a pain the whole deal is.   I got my youngest son an iPod Touch for his birthday in October.  At the time we just set him up to use the same account that I created for his older brother.  Now with the advent of things like iTunes gift cards for Christmas this was no longer acceptable from the eyes of an 11 yr old.

Set aside for a moment that it's ridiculous to require an account to download free content.  (My Droid did not require any such thing)

I began by attempting to set the account up directly on the iPod.  Dumb idea - who in their right mind would want to use a well designed handheld computer with it's own internet connection for such things...  (Really stupid from any angle Apple)  Then I went to the Apple website.  After two hours of searching and cussing the only thing I could do was to create the beginnings of an account with a user name and password and maybe apply for a credit card...  WTF?

Out of frustration I clicked the "chat with an expert" button and was greeted by a person named "Omed".  I asked "him" how I could change payment options for my iTunes account and "he" just sent me a link back to the website FAQ.  I told him in that case I would not be purchasing any more Apple products and wished him a pleasant evening.  What horrible, stupid customer service!  I would expect that from Microsoft (along with a bill for a few hundred dollars) but Apple?  

So over the last couple of days I've done some Googling and discovered the convoluted method of creating an app store account without a credit card.  (this does not appear anywhere in the FAQ that I could discover over my several hour battle)

So, even though I don't want it and will un-install it.  I downloaded all 90mb of iTunes and sat through the 20min install routine.  Telling it "no" to things like should it be my default media player, should it search my computer for media, etc. etc.  Upon running, iTunes apparently forgot that I answered "no" and found that I have a drive mapped to my NAS and 80gb of audio...  (maybe they need a "hell no!" option)

Two and a half hours later it had "found" all of the songs and had begun to calculate gapless playback info for them.  Thank (insert deity here) that iTunes lets you stop this process.  So I spent the next hour following the instructions on creating a credit card free account and discovering that even though I had not been able to complete the process from either the iPod or the website, that I had an account and could not complete the "hack".

In the end I gave up.  Logged in and added the remaining info and selected PayPal out of desperation to have this over with.  It sent me to the usual PayPal login where I accepted the payment agreement.  But iTunes would not continue.  Even though it launched the web browser session to PayPal it could not recognize when I had finished.  I had to make IE my default web browser and go through the whole thing again.  Then at the end I still had to enter a billing address - For a PayPal account. 

Dumbest - Process - of - the - Year!

F U APPLE!  I don't care how cool the tablet is!

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