iTunes Music Deleting Fix Coming, but Users Still Aren’t Happy

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The internet went nuts a few days ago after a blogger said Apple Music deleted his entire music library, and that Apple's own support people told him that's exactly how it's supposed to work. That's flat-out wrong, although Apple has confirmed there's an esoteric iTunes bug where music is deleted, and a fix is coming in the next couple days. That's good news, but won't be enough to stop growing dissatisfaction with the app.

iTunes bug fixes won't be enough to make users happyiTunes bug fixes won't be enough to make users happy

Apple told iMore,

In an extremely small number of cases users have reported that music files saved on their computer were removed without their permission. We're taking these reports seriously as we know how important music is to our customers and our teams are focused on identifying the cause. We have not been able to reproduce this issue, however, we're releasing an update to iTunes early next week which includes additional safeguards. If a user experiences this issue they should contact AppleCare.

Apple hasn't been able to reproduce the music deletion problem, which means no one knows exactly why some iTunes users lost their music libraries. That may not be overly reassuring, but it does put an end to the idea that Apple is intentionally deleting our music libraries and forcing us to use copies from Apple Music instead.

Part of the problem may be that iTunes has become too confusing for some users. Dialogs with buttons saying "Remove" and "Delete," for example, where one keeps your locally saved songs and the other gets rid of them, aren't easy to understand and are frustration when users learn the hard way they just wiped away songs they meant to keep.

John Kheit, The Mac Observer's Devil's Advocate, is calling for Apple to split iTunes into several task-focused apps. John Martellaro says iTunes is Apple's worst app, and that it's time for something new to take its place. Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus says iTunes needs to die and he, too, thinks it's time for separate feature apps.

They aren't alone in their frustration with iTunes. A quick Google search for iTunes sucks shows pages and pages of blog posts, articles, and YouTube videos detailing why so many people flat-out hate the app.

Part of the problem may be that users and Apple no longer share the same vision for iTunes. Many users want iTunes to be a personal music library curation and playback tool, while Apple is leaning more towards streaming music. Mix different app goals with ongoing bugs and confusing interface elements, and it's no wonder users are so openly angry with iTunes.

Improving confusing interface elements and fixing music-deleting bugs is a nice start, but it's clear Apple has a long way to go before users are happy with iTunes—or at least are on board with Apple's vision for what iTunes will become.

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Comments

jimrich

For years now we’ve had to put up with sound check in iTunes.  It doesn’t work, never has.  This is a poor “attempt” to maintaining some resemblance of loudness leveling.  For well over a decade we who rip our own music from lps or cds we’ve purchased have had to live with one hand on the volume control because Apple has thumbed the middle finger at everyone who doesn’t buy everything from the iTunes Store.  Many of us have tracks NOT available in iTunes.  Many iTunes users can’t afford to repurchase music we have already bought.  Because of poor mastering the loudness or volume can vary by several dbs from one track to another.  I’ve even found instances of radical volume shifts in some music available from the iTunes Store.
There was a solution in a plug in known as VOLUME LOGIC.  Unfortunately the company Plantronics which bought the program got out of the software business leaving thousands of paying customers high and dry.  Changes in iTunes and the Mac operating system probably were stumbling blocks in updating Volume Logic.  Basically Volume Logic worked as both a compressor and expander working in tandem much like radio engineers will remember the old CBS Audiomax and Volumemax. 
Apple Music is not the solution (see reasons listed above).

Come on Apple….either buy the plugin and add it to iTunes, or create something like it from scratch.  Many of us longtime Apple fanboys deserve a solution that actually works in iTunes, on the Mac,iPhone,iPod,iPad, and or even Apple TV.  We’ve faithfully bought your products, spent thousands of dollars per person, and deserve an audio leveling function that actually works.

LV_Doc

jimrich: 

There are some solutions to the problems you described, although none will be entirely satisfying.  And I agree up front, Apple is the party that should be taking responsibility for all of this instead of leaving us to fend for decent sound and a decent player. 

1.  There’s a program called iVolume that improves on iTunes sound check.  But this will cost you money.

http://www.mani.de/en/ivolume/index.html

2.  The person who was primarily behind Volume Logic created an audio unit plugin called LoudMax that does pretty much the same thing as VL.  It’s free. 

http://loudmax.blogspot.com/

The shortcoming, however, is that you need a way to use audio units with iTunes.  Here again, there are going to be some catches:

a.  The only free option I know of is VOX, which has some shortcomings, particularly with its UI approach.

http://coppertino.com/vox/mac

b.  If you’re willing to pay, Audio Hijack handles audio units superbly and would let you still use iTunes as the main UI.  I consider it to be the most versatile of all the available options I’m suggesting. 

http://www.rogueamoeba.com/audiohijack/


c.  A less expensive option for the au plugins is Fidelia, which will give you bit perfect playback as well.  The shortcoming is that while it will access the iTunes playlists, it’s lousy at creating its own playlists and doesn’t let you re-order the song order of pre-existing iTunes playlists.  (You have to go to iTunes itself to make such changes, then quit and re-open Fidelia to see the changes.)

http://www.audiofile-engineering.com/fidelia/

d.  I’ve also found Neutrino to be pretty good, although it currently lacks gapless playback.  It also suffers from some of the same playlist problems I described with Fidelia, although it’s a bit easier to create your own playlists.  (Also, you can clone the iTunes playlists it initially reads, and within those, you can alter song order.)  You’ll have to contact the developer by email if you want to get a license.

http://machinecodex.com/neutrino/

There are higher-cost programs that can also do some of these things, particular Audirvana and PureMusic. 

Hope this helps. 

 

 

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