The Ridiculousness of it All

Its no secret iTunes is getting more ridiculous with each version, but as I try to claw back some level of interest in listening to music on the go and on my Mac. I'm finding the prospect of wanting to use it even more maddening and suspect. The irony in the user interfaces for both iTunes and the Music app for iOS and the Mac respectively is the rising complexity alongside the dilution of character in both apps and what made the individual parts stand out. For example the ever growing presence of the iTunes Store in my music library. They used to be separate experiences.

My first headache after a long spell with not wanting to transfer or listen to music on either of my devices was after I put my Beatles Digital boxed set on my iPhone. And I only wanted the Beatles on my iPhone because I figured having less music would make the app simpler to operate. I was wrong and I didn't get a chance to find out because when the music app loaded, I still found all my music cluttering up the app, because of the streaming feature available. Coincidentally the Beatles boxed set can't be streamed even though I actually paid for it.

If I did kill the Internet connection on my iPhone, I of course succeeded in nullifying access to the streaming option, but that's inconvenient because of obvious reasons like having no internet. I signed out of my music app thinking that would fix the issue. It does, but then Apple helpfully logs you out of all other Apple services in the other different Apple Store apps.

It's a losing fight I find myself in. I'm pining for the simplicity and experience of a dumb iPod again because of Apple's insistence on us using its services at the expense of the quality of the experience offered. I thought Apple sweated the details, or maybe they are sweating them, but just not in the user's favour.

I don't even have Apple Music, iTunes Match or use Apple Connect and it feels my music collection isn't mine, it did on the iPod and it did on the Mac before the software started bloating and turning against itself.

This whole music service and content delivery system is so needlessly complicated and stubborn and I don't even need to talk about the bugs. I don't even talk about music amongst friends and I've stopped buying music because I'm not listening to any. It's been all podcasts and the occasional SoundCloud track.

This isn't new information and if I'm having this epiphany, I'm positive the folks in Cupertino are aware of what they are doing. So while I want Apple to re-imagine iTunes (how long have we been waiting, only for Apple to go the opposite direction?) like they have done with Photos, can I find the simplicity of the service that I desire elsewhere? Something that just reads MP3 files.

I'll update soon.

Apple and Aperture

If you're reading this, then I'm sure you know that Apple is releasing a new app called 'Photos'. A replacement for iPhoto and Aperture. If not, catch up.

From all accounts even in beta form it's performing better than when it comes to improving on iPhoto's sluggishness and the most necessary of features.

Reported this week in this article from the Verge, Apple have confirmed they won't be selling Aperture once Photos has been released. If that's the case why is Apple still selling it now, and selling it with a disclaimer? Yes they make some money from it, but is it worth the hassle for users to have kept purchasing it for the second half of last year and still this year to then have it eventually replaced? I'd say kill it now already.

Apple needs a blog.

Especially when Apple hasn't been forthcoming with details as to how a user of a professional app like Aperture is supposed to adapt to Photos. They've merely talked up the features they can showcase to eclipse iPhoto. What if somebody (like myself) doesn't want to move to Adobe Lightroom? Yes I'm aware of Capture One. Yes I can stay on Aperture  (and I'm happy to do so for the time being [as I'd rather start a new project with a new piece of software than import all the legacy in the beginning]), but not all other photographers are of the same mindset. 

Why can't we have some information about plug-ins or anything else that's forward looking? I'm told they are coming, but I haven't read anything solid. Apple did this with Final Cut Pro X and it must have been maddening for video editors to not know what was around the corner while other editors were saying 'look what we can do'! It's maddening for photographers I'm sure, if there are still any left on Aperture taking a wait and see approach.

Comment on a related iMore article from  Serenity Caldwell .

Comment on a related iMore article from Serenity Caldwell.

I also don't mind Apple 'tearing the whole thing down', this is a good thing overall. This post has a singular purpose - it would just be helpful if Apple provided some clarity. 

I was never frustrated with the release of Final Cut Pro X. I wasn't video editing major projects at the time so when I made the switch from iMovie, I was one of the new guys without the baggage of FC7.

I am the same guy when it comes to Photos, I'm choosing to as I've developed that awareness that things will improve. It's just a pity Apple doesn't help professionals (again) who feel like they are in the dark amidst another major software course correction. Why allow a repeat of these feelings of discontent within the userbase? It doesn't have to play out in the same way. Especially when those users know what they want and have paid money for extra software rather than those users who are using iPhoto which came by default?

One final note - 

I talked about this a bit on last week’s iMore Show, but I feel like Apple’s goal with its recent software redesigns — iMovie, iWork, and now Photos — is to open up the “prosumer” category, introducing intuitive and powerful tools to users who never thought they’d want to be anything more than an average tech consumer.

If it's true Apple is opening up the prosumer space, (consumer > prosumer > professional) and over time raise the bar of their software, doesn't it make sense to help with corralling people who are going to thrive and eventually want to move onto something more featured? What is there to recommend beyond Lightroom? What would Apple recommend and what would any professional photographer recommend if both were asked? There's isn't a mainstream photo editing app to recommend for the OS X platform anymore now. Lightroom is platform independent so you don't need a Mac, bummer for Apple if every time somebody suggests getting a PC.