By Shamus Posted Wednesday Apr 12, 2006

Filed under: Rants 7 comments

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.


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7 thoughts on “iRant

  1. Steve jobbs says:


  2. Steve jobbs says:

    You must buy my ipod, so you may join the rest of america in it’s re-edumacation for world domination! MWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!! OOOHH! my pizza bagels are done!

  3. Gothmog says:

    I hate the way QT and MP fight as well-
    What I did to rectify it was twofold-
    1.) Install the K-Lite mega Codec Pak (which includes QT-alternative among other things)
    2.) Install Zoomplayer Lite- a media player I like- it LOOKS simple, but is quite complex under the ‘hood’ so to speak.

    Just my 2 cents. :)

  4. LemmingLord says:

    I use VLC for EVERYTHING- It plays everything that Qt and MP can, without having to DL codecs, lots of advanced options for the tech geek inside of me :D, and uses less memory then QT and MP. It plays pretty much everything, plays it well, and is open-source to boot. And it’s free.
    just my two cents :D

  5. Illuminator23 says:

    The iPod comes with no software. You get the Pod. you get headphones. You get usb cable. You get little booklet, telling you to “go to apple and get itunes to actually use the damned thing. No net connection? Then where did you get all them MP3’s, we know nobody who actually dumped 400 bucks on this thing actually paid for any music, yet.”

  6. Blue_Pie_Ninja says:

    This is an old post so probably wouldn’t have much relevance for back then but, the iTunes iPod helper ‘software’ seems to be only used to detect when an iPod (or iPhone) has been plugged in so it can automatically start iTunes. Otherwise just disable it in the start-up tab of the task manager. Easy!

    1. Joe says:

      You missed the point, you shouldn’t have to disable the startup item and running service of a useless feature that the majority of users won’t want or even know is there. It should be opt-in, not opt-out.

      It eats up valuable (finite) RAM and CPU cycles to do something that most people will find annoying (opening iTunes automatically when an iPod is plugged in) to save a minority of people from double-clicking the iTunes icon they most likely have on their desktop. This is minimal time-saving for a few at the expense of everyone’s computer speed.

      Then again, that’s Apple software through-and-through. They design it for themselves and their own personal tastes, to hell with everyone else.

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