Early in 2005 I was thrilled at the arrival of the iTunes Music Store in Canada. As of this past weekend, I'm hoping to never have to boot up iTunes again.
From its humble beginnings as SoundJam MP iTunes was critical to the success of Apple's iPod, and likewise to the company's transition from computer-maker for artsy types to the evil consumer electronics empire it is today. With each new version iTunes itself became far more (or less) than a music player -- first with the arrival of video support (for music videos -- makes sense), then movie rentals (bit of a stretch) and finally the iPhone App Store (ok, you lost me).
The growing bloat was but one of the things that spurred my growing hatred of iTunes. Along the way I also realized:
- That Apple will probably never release a version of iTunes that supports a proper Linux OS;
- That my Nokia and it's built-in music player and podcast-catcher was a perfectly good alternative to an iPod -- even better, in fact;
- That there are other, better dedicated music player apps out there.
The tipping point for me came with Apple's announcement of iTunes Plus, and specifically the news that for only $70 CAD I could take the digital locks off the music I thought I already owned. No thanks... There are other, better ways to do that too.