Why Apple Why? My thoughts on iTunes 12.4

Yes, it’s time to talk about iTunes. I went on a little bit of a Twitter rant earlier in the week about the problems with iTunes. This topic has been covered very ably by 9to5mac, The Verge, and many other sites. Now I’m going to add my two cents to the mix.

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Above is an image of just one of the many bugs I have encountered with iTunes recently. This bug doesn’t crash iTunes or make it unusable, but it makes Artist view basically unusable and I would like to be able to use that view again. As I tweeted, this problem was around before 12.4 was released.

But the problems with 12.4 are less about bugs than they are design. 12.4 took what was already a lackluster user interface and made it even worse. The sidebar is now permanently displayed again, which is awesome for the Music section of the app. But for Videos, Podcasts, AudioBooks, and literally every other section of iTunes, it is pointless.

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Actually, it is worse than pointless. Because you cannot turn it off and still use all features of the App (you do need it in the Music section), it is actually a nuisence. All it does is waste landscape real estate, and make it harder to keep the app window small and manageable. Above are photos of the nearly empty sidebar for my TV show and Podcast sections of iTunes.

I feel Apple has two options on how to fix this mess. Option 1 is to go along with what everyone else wants and to split iTunes into separate apps like on iOS. Make Apple Music its own app. Make a Videos app, a Podcasts app, and integrate AudioBooks with iBooks like on iOS. For syncing with iOS, Apple already has the trademark for iSync from when other phones synced with Mac OS X. Bring that name back with a new purpose.

Option 2 is the less good option-I feel Option 1 needs to happen sooner or later. Option 2 is to go back to iTunes 12.3’s UI. Make the sidebar optional again. I actually didn’t hate iTunes 12.3 from a UI perspective. It had bugs and issues with performance but the UI was workable for me.

I know none of this is news to people who follow Apple. iTunes has gotten slammed by every tech critic around. And Apple needs to fix it. Fast.

And now… The opposite of a favorite thing.

Ok. It’s now time for me to talk about gun control. Before you stop reading this post, let me explain myself. Today, my local mall in Bethesda, Maryland is suffering from a mass shooting. Three people have died so far. The worst part is that life doesn’t have to work this way.

Australia, as John Oliver explains in the piece below, had a horrible mass shooting. Then they instituted really strict gun control. And now they don’t have the epidemic anymore. There are still occasional problems, sure. But it’s not at the same level as we have here. Nowhere is as bad as here.

Every week, we hear about at least one new mass shooting. Most weeks, more than one. And Americans all over this country get angry about it for 10 minutes, and then don’t channel that anger into any form of action. The majority of Americans support gun control of some form according to every poll I’ve seen. Why can’t Congress get something done?

There are many pessimists out there who say that after Newtown happened and no legislation was passed, gun control is a lost cause. My mom is one of them. My only hope is that now that this issue is happening in a rich neighborhood like my hometown, the wealthy people get angry and push to get something done. Let’s face it, our politicians only care about staying in power. Until something threatens re-election chances for them, they won’t change their policy positions.

What needs to be done? I don’t know. Personally, I think the second amendment should be overturned by a constitutional amendment. It was written in the age of armed militias and rifles, not machine guns and tanks. If the government wants to take over your area, they will easily be able to. They have nuclear weapons. Your guns, regardless of how powerful they are, will not stop them. It’s illogical for us to still have laws from that era that have become so outdated.

Realistically, we will always have the second amendment because America is stubborn. So we AT LEAST need tough background checks on guns AND ammunition. We need a waiting period to get a gun. We need to make sure people who have guns are trained on how to use them. We need to limit the amount of ammunition people can buy at a time. We need to ban weapons that are not used for hunting and are solely used to commit murder. All of this stuff is common sense, so why can’t we do it?