on Apr 12, 2006
Steven Den Beste takes Apple to task for their QuickTime installer. This hits a nerve with me, so I find I must add the following insightful commentary:
Yeah. Everything he said.
It’s too late to help Steven, but I want to mention that recently I managed to stumble on the page that let me install the Player and not ITunes. It never even mentioned iTunes during the process. It was shortly after getting this computer that I visited Lileks and tried to watch one of his home movies. The page I was sent to from there gave me just the player, not iTunes. I can’t find that particular page through Apple’s site though.
On my old computer I had iTunes, and it was every bit as annoying as Steven says. The various “helper” processes running in the background infuriated me. The worst was the iPod app. Why is this thing running by default? If the user doesn’t own an iPod, then this is just wasted memory, CPU cycles, hard drive space, and (worst of all) needless clutter in the list of running applications. If they DO have an iPod, well then wouldn’t they install the iPod software that came with the unit? There is no reason for this process to even exist, much less run in the background all the time.
But more important is the principle of the thing. Sure, the “helper” apps only take up a measly 6 meg of memory. I’m sure I can’t percieve the change in performance over 6 meg, but what if everyone did this? If every application grabbed 6 meg and added two processes to the soup, my computer would be an unusable mess with hundreds of processes clogging up the works. What makes Apple think they have the right to do this? What makes them so special?
iTunes is like a nest of bad weeds. The roots go deep, and no matter what you do you’ll never feel like you got them all. It’s worse than MediaPlayer by a long shot, which is really saying something. It’s like a race to the bottom with these two. Shameful.
And finally: I’m sick of the fights over file types between QT and MP as well. Each program tries to poach the file types native to the other player. Both are guilty of it, although QT earns my ire for the time it stole the MPEG associations and then was unable to play the files when I clicked on them. Very naughty.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.