iTunes Has An Allowance Feature

from the getting-creative dept

I’m sure everyone else is going to spend their time looking at the Windows release of iTunes, so it’s not worth looking at in any more detail around here beyond what we’ve already discussed. What I think is much more interesting is looking at how these services evolve, and what sorts of features they’re looking to add. Along with the Windows announcement, Apple also announced an “allowance” feature, that lets parents set a monthly allowance that their kids can spend on music downloads. Clearly, this is an attempt to pull them away from open file sharing networks, and it may actually do a good job of that (to some extent). I still think that most of these music download services are missing the point (at both ends) of the benefit of a music sharing service. From the end users’ perspective, music sharing is all about the ability to explore and discover new music. Music downloading is only about buying stuff you know about. These are very different perspectives – and the latter makes the music a lot less valuable in some ways. From the distribution side, music download services still require central servers, lots of bandwidth, and large costs in terms of billing and maintenance. File sharing gets rid of almost all of those issues. It distributes the hosting and bandwidth costs and ditches the maintenance and billing aspects. Having a situation that expands the pie and takes away the biggest costs seems like an opportunity to a company willing to embrace a music sharing model over a music downloading model.

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Comments on “iTunes Has An Allowance Feature”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

Attention Windows Users

If you download and install iTunes, be careful to check all the default options before you allow iTunes to import your music library.

I’m pretty anal-retentive about my music collection, I keep all my files in one directory and labelled as “LastName, First Name – Song Title”.

When I imported my song library into iTunes it asked if I wanted it to ‘organize’ my music files, and I said OK. It created several hundred artistalbum subdirectories and sorted all the files into the appropriate place (for those tracks that had that information in them) and then renamed all the files as “track#_song title” and if there was no track # in the information, then just “song title”.

I now have to hunt down a tool to automatically rename my MP3 files based on their internal information, because when I try to put the files back into one directory I’m finding that songs with the same name by different artists are now conflicting with each other (i.e. Burning Down The House by The Talking Heads has the same file name as Burning Down The Thouse by The Cranberries w/ Tom Jones).

When I turned on the Safe Sound feature to normal volume my CPU utilization spiked to 95% utilization (with nothing else running on a 2.5 GHz system with 1 GB of RAM).

The program is no better than a lot of music program I’ve tried like MusicMatch Jukebox, WinAMP (still my favorite), Real Jukebox Plus, etc. Except for the integrated iTunes Music Store (which apparently I can’t connect to from work or at home, I get a “Not enough memory” error on a machine with 640 MB of RAM and one with 1 GB of RAM) it’s the same, or worse, than many other tools already available for the PC.

AND… it installs QuickTime 6.4 on your PC and adds an iTunes Helper app to your list of startup apps. I don’t understand the need for ‘helper apps’ running in the background when I don’t necessarily need them. How come QuickTime feels it’s necessary to run a helper app all the time? Same for iTunes. There are numerous times that I startup my PC and won’t use either app. Why should I devote memory and CPU resources to programs I don’t need?
Luckily I went here and got this fabulous utility that lets me disable and/or delete items that want to run at start time.

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