Columnist: iTunes "Utterly Counterintuitive," iPod Not That Great

Appleis iTunes is "utterly counterintuitive," and the iPod is nothing more than a hard drive with a play button, and not all that great, according to Jim Turley in an opinion piece for Electronic Engineering Times. Mr. Turley criticized the inability to move songs from an iPod to a computer, the fact that "it makes you keep a duplicate copy of every music file on your computer, wasting 20 Gbytes of disk space," and problems he has had when plugging his iPod into a new computer, which erases the content.

"Iive had MP3 players before and I think theyire terrific," he wrote, "but the iPod, frankly, is inferior to all of them. Itis just a hard disk with a Play button."

Indeed, Mr. Turley made that one of his biggest complaints, though the iPodis interface and controls are often cited by fans as a feature that puts the iPod above its competition.

"Iim reliably informed that thatis part of iPodis charm," Mr. Turley wrote. "With no controls, you canit screw it up. Or so I thought. The much-vaunted iTunes software that comes with every iPod handles all the content, for the simple reason that you canit manage it any other way. But iTunes is terrible. Itis absolutely appalling, in my humble opinion. In no time at all, Iid erased all the content Iid laboriously downloaded onto my iPod. Twice."

Millions of other people, however, have been able to puzzle out the "counterintuitive" and "terrible" iTunes and iPod conundrum. In the June quarter, for instance, Apple sold 6.155 million iPods, with market share estimates running in the 70% range.

Mr. Turley is the editor-in-chief of Embedded Systems Programming, a sister publication to EET.