Since upgrading to OS X 10.5.3 iTunes has developed a very annoying bug. When I’m in work I cannot download podcasts. Every time I do iTunes quits unexpectedly. Happens 100% of the time, without fail. At home, it works perfectly. The only difference I can see is that at work I use both a Proxy server and a VPN to get to the internet. It would seem that iTunes can’t deal with that setup anymore on 10.5.3. No solution found as of yet, if I find one I’ll post again.

[tags]Apple, OS X, Leopard, 10.5.3, iTunes, crash[/tags]

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A few months ago I happily reported that iTunes 7.5 had fixed one of my major gripes with the way photos are synced to iPods and the iPhone. When Apple introduced iLife ’08 they made a big deal about how iPhoto now automatically organised your photos into events for you so you no longer had to waste your time creating albums for everything. Albums and smart albums were now for creating special sets of related photos where the photos could come from any event. This makes perfect sense so I use iPhoto Events extensively.

Before iTunes 7.5 only albums were synced to iPods and iPhones. This made is much harder than it needed to be to find a particular set of photos. This was one of my initial gripes with the iPod Touch. However, iTunes 7.5 improved things dramatically. It treated Events as albums and dutifully synced them. regular Albums and Smart Albums were also synced, and given priority by placing them at the top of the list of albums, above all the Events. The only minor issue with iTunes 7.5 was that events were not in reverse order so you had to scroll to the very bottom to get to your most recent event.

With iTunes 7.6 Apple have thrown all that good work out the window. All the had to do was change the sort-order on events and they would have had it nailed. Instead they added an option so you can now sync EITHER events OR Albums, but not both. This is a real step backwards and nothing short of retarded in my view. It’s an uncharacteristically stupid and negative thing for Apple to do. They had better fix this again in iTunes 7.7 and they had better leave it fixed this time!

[tags]iPod, iPod Touch, iPhone, iTunes, iPhoto[/tags]

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When I got my iPod Touch I started by outlining in detail all the little gripes I had with it. I did note that most of these little things could be fixed by future software updates. When I wrote that I envisioned these updates coming in the form of firmware updates to the iPod itself, I hadn’t expected that something as simple as an iTunes update could make any sort of change. Today Apple proved me wrong.

Probably the biggest gripe I had the with the photos feature was that the iPod Touch ignored the new Events feature added by iPhoto 7 (the version of iPhoto in iLife 08). This has now been fixed in a trivially simple way. When iTunes imports your photos it adds each event as an album. This is a very simple hack that is near-perfect. The only minor drawback it has it that it’s not possible to tell which albums are real albums and which are events. But, like I said, that’s a very minor thing. I’m really happy with this update as it makes photos much easier to find on the iPod but if I could really have my way I’d change one more thing. At the moment events are sorted with the oldest events at the top of the list and the newest at the bottom. I’d flip that the other way round.

P.S. This is my first test post with MarsEdit. I’ll be reporting on how I get on with it soon.

[tags]Apple, Mac, iPod Touch, iTunes, iPhoto, iTunes, iLife[/tags]

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This is a follow-on to the article iTunes 7 – Not The Success It Could and SHOULD Have Been

I’ve spent quite a big of time trying to solve my iTunes 7 problems and a lot of time on the Apple discussion boards and I’ve now got solutions to most (obviously no movement on the reverse-sync thing).

First, an update on album art which is a reply to Des’ comment that they have too few covers. They seem to have added many more over the last day or so, because I just got covers for about 20 albums which they didn’t have covers for on the first day iTunes 7 came out.

Now, on to the meat and bones, my most serious problem, not being able to download my purchased items, has been solved. Though not by Apple support. As well as lodging a support call I also started a thread on their forms and that’s where the solution came from: I did get a response from Apple but it was massively disappointing. It was a stock answer that simply ignored the information I had given in my message to them pointing out that I had already tried what they just gave me as a ‘solution’. They got a very grumpy reply from me!

Next, onto not being able to move items from Music to Audiobooks. I mentioned that I had tried iTunify and that it had not worked. Well it had sort of worked. What the program did not tell you what that you have to remove the items from your library (being sure to click ‘keep files’ when asked) and then re-add them. When you re-add them they will go into the right place. Again this solution is courtesy of the Apple forums:

Just one more follow-up, my problems with iTunes 7 constantly re-starting itself when I closed it have not come back. I guess it was just a glitch that was sorted out by a reboot (how Windows like!).

Although my big problems with iTunes 7 have now been solved I shouldn’t have to spend hours getting up and going when I update a program. Apple took their eye off the ball on this one. Lets hope this is not the way things will be from now on with Apple software updates.

[tags]iTunes, iTunes 7, Apple, Audiobooks[/tags]

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The recent Apple event to launch the new iPods, and new iTunes & store, was up to Apple's normal high standard. It all looked great and Steve even managed to get not just one but two "oh and one more thing …" bits in (obviously making up for not including one at the WWDC this year). Also, for the first time in my life I'm actaully tempted by an iPod Shuffle! The preview of iTV also looked very interesting, though in this neck of the woods ITV means something else!

Upon installing iTunes7 my first impressions were also very good. Sure, I think the new blue logo is a step backwards, and the new colour scheme has gone a bit too goth for my tastes, but no one can deny that the new interface is very slick. The promise of reverse-syncing also appealed to me. But then it all just went a bit pear-shaped!

[tags]iTunes, iTunes 7, Apple[/tags] Read more

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