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How would you make iTunes better?

Discussion in 'General iTunes Usage' started by kirk, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    It comes up often, this issue of improving iTunes, but in recent days, it's hit the mainstream, with articles in The Atlantic and other publications.

    I've written about this issue many times, but I'm curious as to how others think iTunes could be improved. Any ideas?
     
  2. Galley

    Galley New Member

    Between it's excellent tagging support and Doug's AppleScripts, iTunes is suitable for power users. I'd like to get rid of the iTunes Store, the App Store and Radio.
     
  3. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    You can hide the iTunes Store and App Store: iTunes > Preferences > Parental.
     
  4. Kalnoc

    Kalnoc New Member

    A long list so I'll just hit a few high points:

    • Allow for a volume normalized, lossless library ( Last I read, soundcheck didn't work on Apple Lossless files).
    • Allow us to choose not to install Bonjour and other components we may not need during the installation process.
    • The ability to drag columns to sort them in the order we want them displayed. I couldn't do this last time I tried.
    • Only transcode lossless files when syncing to a portable device.
     
  5. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    1. I'm seeing volume normalization numbers on Apple Lossless files. But if you can enough about quality to rip in lossless, why would you use Sound Check? It can introduce artifacts.
    2. Yes, that's a Windows issue. I'm not up on all those Windows things.
    3. I do that all the time. Drag the column header.
    4. Um, not sure what you mean. When does iTunes transcode them otherwise?
     
  6. Lazlo Nibble

    Lazlo Nibble New Member

    Support for whole-album files with embedded cuesheets (doesn't even have to be FLAC, ALAC is fine), and a way to manage the "Other" content on your device.
     
  7. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    Hmmm... if iTunes supported that, would it still be able to play individual songs? I guess in the app, but not on iOS devices, unless you sync the entire album. Why would this be a Good Thing?

    As for the Other content, yeah; but I think they don't want to let you know what's in there.
     
    Bernd Albrecht likes this.
  8. Lazlo Nibble

    Lazlo Nibble New Member

    It'd be a good thing because it's a relatively common use case outside of iTunes-land (FB2K supports embedded cuesheets natively) and it would make life in iTunes easier for those of us who prefer to store our music that way.

    There's no reason it would have to change anything about playback or syncing of individual tracks; iTunes already supports on-the-fly transcoding during sync, and slicing individual song files out of a master image file is programmatically trivial. Admittedly, there would be some metadata issues to work through, as there's no official standard for cuesheets, and the de facto standard doesn't support things like sort fields...
     
  9. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    Which is certainly why iTunes will never support it.

    But why do you prefer to store your music that way? What advantages are there? (I'm familiar with cuesheets, and I know how they work.)
     
  10. Kalnoc

    Kalnoc New Member

    I've never had artifact issues using Replaygain in other players, are artifacts an issue with Soundcheck? My comment in regards to using with lossless files is based on what I read on the apple support page for soundcheck: (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201724): "Sound Check is designed to work with .mp3, .AAC, .wav, and .aiff file types. It does not work with other file types that iTunes can play."

    If soundcheck introduces artifacts it sounds like that is another problem that needs to be fixed.

    For some reason I can't drag column headers in the order I want. Weird.

    For item #4 in my list I mean that it shouldn't transcode lossy file types when syncing to a mobile device. Never a good idea to transcode lossy files.
     
  11. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    Sound Check: I've often noticed artifacts; I never use it. I'm surprised that Apple Lossless files show an adjustment. I guess one could test it, with files where there's a big difference, playing with and without Sound Check turned on. It may be that this changed with a recent version of iTunes. Before 12, the files only picked up the adjustment when you turned Sound Check on; now they calculate it when you add them.

    Column headers: weird indeed. I have no problems at all.

    Transcoding: never a good idea, but if you sync to a mobile device, you're likely to be listening in a non-quiet environment, so it's not that big a deal. IMHO.
     
  12. Lazlo Nibble

    Lazlo Nibble New Member

    Because it gives me a lossless archival image of the entire disc, including not-commonly-supported metadata like subcode flags and sub-track indexing, in a single file, with built-in error detection, and all the metadata needed to do anything I might typically want to do with it. Including re-encoding my entire library from one command on the command line, if need be (which is actually useful at the moment as I'm cutting over from MP3 to M4A for everything).
     
  13. kevin kiley

    kevin kiley New Member

    When clicking display duplicates, actually showing only EXACT duplicates as opposed to same song by same artist from different albums.
     
    Slydude likes this.
  14. Tambe257

    Tambe257 New Member

    I'm generally a big fan of iTunes and I don't have as many complaints as others. One thing that drives me CRAZY is while listening to a song I will be browsing in song view, about 10,000 songs farther down the library, and when the next song begins iTunes automatically snaps back up to the current playing song. It ignores that I'm actually using the library while listening. I know I can play from a playlist and this won't happen, but it's super annoying.

    Another request would be more listening analysis. I'm a big fan of last.fm and love looking at my listening habits.
     
    Slydude likes this.
  15. Slydude

    Slydude Member

    As someone who has spent hours correcting errors after a couple of iTunes library failures I agree 100%.

    I'm not sure I'll be able to explain this one well but here goes. iTunes does many more things now than it did when first introduced. That's great but sometimes it seems to slow down a bit (especially on older gear) this has caused me to often this that the functions in iTunes were divided and not one monolithic program.

    I'm thinking that there should be at least two modules one strictly handling playback of content while the other handled management tasks (device sync, store purchases,library tagging etc). Not sure that's the best way to go but you get the idea.
     
  16. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    Frankly, there are lots of people suggesting that iTunes be split, and all of the ideas would lead to more complication, not less. I agree that the "jumping to playing track" problem is annoying, though. I wish it didn't happen.
     
  17. kevin kiley

    kevin kiley New Member

    I don't get why if they have the knowhow to "displey duplicates" they can't tweak it to display the EXACT duplicates. Does not make any sense to me.
     
  18. Slydude

    Slydude Member

    I can certainly see the possibility for more confusion/complication - especially if someone were new to the program. The closest I can think of to what I mean is to have playback functions for all media in one module. The second module would focus on management/synching tasks. Admittedly I haven't thought of a better alternative yet.
     
  19. Otto Nikolaus

    Otto Nikolaus Member

    Is this after pressing Option (thats on a Mac, maybe it's shift on a PC?) with View > Show Duplicate Items? This does show real duplicates and why that isn't the default baffles me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  20. Otto Nikolaus

    Otto Nikolaus Member

    There's one really annoying thing that would be so easy to fix. If you want to convert files to a different codec, you have to go into the prefs to change your *import* settings, do your conversions, then change your import settings back. What I suggest is that, instead of right-click > Create xxxx version, you would simply have a further selection, so you do not have to mess about with your normal settings.

    A more serious issue is ripping. I haven't had any problems but some others have resorted to third-party apps because they don't trust iTunes to report failures when it should. They've imported CDs, apparently without error, only to find serious issues when playing the tracks. If other apps can do this reliably, why can't iTunes?
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015

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