Windows Tech Writer Offers Negative Look At iTunes For Windows

Earlier this morning, we published a reaction piece from Windows users who were mostly excited about iTunes for Windows. That piece was compiled from interviews conducted Thursday afternoon and Thursday evening. This morning, however, we came across one Windows users who is not at all happy with his iTunes experience.

Jefferson Graham is a technology writer for USA Today. According to the bio at his Web site, he covers "technology (mostly digital entertainment) for USA Today, where I have been a staff reporter since 1984..."

Yesterday, USA Today published a transcript of a live chat with Mr. Graham. These chats bring on a guest in a moderated environment where USA Today readers can ask questions of the guest. In the case of this particular chat, Mr. Graham was the guest, and the topic was all about iTunes for Windows, and the other digital music download services available for Windows.

According to Mr. Graham, he had nothing but trouble with iTunes on his Windows laptop, including multiple freezes, the inability to move music to his iPod, and the inability to burn CDs from iTunes. He also had trouble with songs he purchased from the iTunes Music Store on his Windows box, though that may have been an interface issue.

The transcript was published in a question/answer format, with the questioners being identified by their city. There are also comments interspersed between the questions from the host and guest alike. Some pertinent excerpts (note that this was a live chat, and that we are including the typos as published by USA Today):

NY, NY: What were the results of the online poll re: download music that ran with your review of online music services on October 13? How do those results fit in with your review/opinion of online music sites?

Jefferson Graham: I donit have the exact results here, but I belive iTunes won handily. Thatis not how I would have voted, especially considering the launch of iTunes for Windows today. The program is incredibly buggy. In the two hours Iive been using it, my main desktop has frozen at least six times, I havenit been able to transfer any songs to the iPod for Windows or burn to a CD, and Iive received all sorts of weird, confusing computer jargon in message windows that makes no sense. Iill write more about that my next response.

Comment from Jefferson Graham: More on iTunes: The Windows version of Appleis acclaimed "music store," sells songs in the "AAC," format, which, unlike MP3s, is a closed Apple format. This means that if you use third party software, like Roxio Easy CD Creator or MusicMatch Jukebox, to burn CDs, youire out of luck--the software wonit recognize the songs. If you have an MP3 player by Creative Labs, Rio, RCA, Samsung, Nike--i.e.--anything but an Apple iPod, the songs wonit play there either. , playable only on Apple iPods. The idea is that youill use Itunes for Windows software for your burning and transfer. That said, in my two hours with iTunes for Windows today, I havenit been able to burn a disc or transfer to the PC Ipod. In the transfer case, the computer keeps freezing, so I downloaded the program on another computer and tried there. Here comes the next catch: I have a Firewire connection (like a USB, but faster) on my desktop, but not on the IBM laptop, so even if I wanted to, I couldnit transfer a song from the IBM to the iPod. And when I tried to burn, this is the unfathomable message that came up: "One or more of the songs in this playlist are not authorized for use on this machine. Authorizing this machine to play these songs will allow them to be burned." One problem: no information anywhere on how to "authorize" your machine. Note to Apple: If you buy the CD and rip it, no crazy rules pop up telling you what you can and cannot do with your music.

You can read the full transcript at USA Todayis Web site.