To be up front, we have been flying on the straight and narrow when it comes to music downloading and ownership these days. I started collecting MP3s back before Napster was THE thing. Napster hit and I was on cloud nine. Any music, any time, no money involved… How awesome right? But as we should have anticipated, it wasn’t going to last, and it shouldn’t have. Once Napster ate it, I bounced through all of the well know and some of the not so well known file sharing clients. We’ll just say that my old MP3 library is quite large. When I re-loaded my home PC in 2007, I decided to keep the old collection off the new install and go for a legit library. I started using the iTunes Music Store and in general I have been enjoying my life in the legal digital music world. I do, however, have a HUGE beef with iTunes. So much so that it makes me want to go back to the old, free way, or start using the Amazon MP3 service.
What is this huge pain in my digital hind parts? iTunes is only friendly with it’s own kind.
By that I mean that iTunes plays nicely with the iTunes Music Store and it mostly plays nicely with imported media, but add a couple of computers to the mix and watch even the smallest library turn into a huge pain in the butt. I am totally stuck trying to determine the next move on this.
I have an iPod Touch and I want to managed it and our other iPods with iTunes, because it works, is supported, and allows me to apply updates easily, but the music management is abhorrent. We have two desktops computers and two laptops in our household and it SHOULD be easy to load up iTunes, point it at a shared directory and be done. But no, you have to manage each install separately, you have to import new music from sources other than the ITMS manually, and apparently the word SYNC has not yet made it into Apple’s vocab lessons.
iTunes is a great single computer, single user, single iPod package, but it just isn’t “doing it” for me. I want the whole package and since I have shown that I am willing to buy DRM riddled music, I should be able to share my 5 seat DRM music with any machine I want…. EASILY!
So what should I do? I have two machines, each with it’s own partial library of our total purchased music and I have a desire to sync up at least one of the laptops, but I have NO desire to manage the three systems individually.
Buying music from iTunes, at this point, is becoming a huge pain. And to think, it would only take an update that would enable some kind of Smart Sync option that would allow you to point iTunes at a folder, local or remote, and allow iTunes to sync the contents.
C’mon Apple, you have got me hooked, but the barb on that hook is stinging a little.