iTunes 8 Update Lards on the Extras

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My wife and I share a home office. One night while finishing up some projects she says out of the blue, “What is Safari?”


“It’s on my computer now.”

I pulled the power on the wireless router (Virus? Trojan? Why would hackers install Safari?). I took a look at my wife’s screen and there on the desktop was Safari. I was really puzzled until I saw the QuickTime icon. “Did you update your iTunes?”

iTunes Gets the Boot

I abandoned iTunes several months ago. I love my iPod, I really do, but iTunes is apparently for computer novices and children. It won’t let me have two computers. They say for licensing reasons. Too bad pretty much every song on my iPod was from my CDs. By the way, I use FOUR computers on a regular basis not including systems that I use at client sites while working on projects. In other words, I can’t have some child’s toy scolding me for trying to link my iPod to more than one computer, especially since I probably just wanted to charge it since the connector it comes with leaves me with no way to charge it from a normal outlet unless I want to shell out for a special adapter. So, many months ago, I switched to Media Monkey and I’ve been happy ever sense.

iTunes Becomes a Trojan

My wife still uses iTunes. Why? Well, she already learned how to use it, and all she wants is to be able to take her music with her to the gym, so what is the point of trying anything else. So, I haven’t pushed and everyone is happy. When the computer told her it was time to update iTunes she clicked where it said to click and then iTunes launched its trojan-like process to install a bunch of software my wife will never use on her computer.

Bloat Bloat Bloat

For starters, “updating” actually is “re-installing.” My wife’s disk is loaded with iTunes “updates” all over 50 MB. Well, that is a big disk space waste. Doesn’t Apple do any cleanup after its updates? No, it doesn’t. You are supposed to delete them manually when you are done with them. Since the day it was installed, iTunes insists on installing QuickTime despite the fact that I come across maybe one QuickTime file per month in my daily life. It looks like Apple’s media file format has the same kind of market share as its operating system. That is annoying enough, but there is no way around it and I got over it.

Now, comes the insult. The latest iTunes “update” installed Safari on the computer. Safari for those of you who don’t know (and if you aren’t part of the 6% of computer users with an Apple, you probably don’t) is a web browser. So, despite the fact that Windows comes with Internet Explorer and the fact that everyone who is savvy enough to not use Internet Explorer already uses Firefox, Apple has decided to load its browser on every computer that has iTunes. Oh, sure, you can uncheck the box to install Safari, but if you are an attorney, like my wife, instead of a computer person, would you know that Safari is not something that you need for the full iTunes experience? After all, this is an iTunes “update.”

Here Is Some Junk

So, this is ridiculous already, but while I’m uninstalling Safari, I notice something else. There is also an Apple Sync notifier. I’m thinking, seriously, you guys need a service to sync your iPods. Don’t you know that there are literally two dozen programs out there that do everything iTunes does in a measly 10MB and no extra services? I mean, how bad are your coders? Only, it isn’t bad coding, it is new unnecessary software. It turns out the sync notifier is actually the software used to connect your iPhone to your computer. Hey, Apple, here’s a thought, include that software with your phones and leave it off of your stupid music software! That’s another 40MB just being wasted on the drive.

While we’re at it, I had to go back and turn off iTunes Helper from running at startup, again. iTunes is so bloated that they have to pre-run part of the program at startup so that when you actually want to run iTunes, it doesn’t take so long to start up that you go find something better. Which means that the little pre-start program sits there chewing up memory while you are doing non-iTunes things.

Um, Media?

Where is the outrage? Where are the damning articles and the Justice Department investigations?

I worked in the corporate world as a systems administrator for several years and it was always the same people who had to have Macs. Graphic designers, and artists (if you had any). No one else got Macs. Even the people who had Macs had a PC too for their non-art work like spreadsheets, word processing, email, and so on. Apparently somewhere along the way, journalists started using them too, because I haven’t read a single thing in the mainstream press about it. I guess Apple gets a pass on its behavior because their commercials are cute.

In the mean time, get yourself a good uninstaller program and startup manager if you are going to keep using iTunes, because the update to iTunes 9.0 might just install the entire Mac OS on your computer.