Thursday, September 27, 2007

Welcome to My Nightmare

The last time I had a good experience with Apple was when I had an Apple II-GS computer in the late 1980's. Seriously. Apple has done a masterful job of marketing, but every time I'm told something is supposed to be "easy" and it has anything to do with Apple, it turns out to be a nightmare, with all kinds of proprietary crap that either works or it doesn't, with no way to troubleshoot if something goes wrong..

Case in point.

I installed iTunes on my system this afternoon and purchased several of the This American Life episodes (as I wrote about earlier today). It seemed like the consensus procedure to convert the DRM tracks into MP3 was to use iTunes itself--burn the tracks to CD, then import them BACK into iTunes after specifying that you wanted to import in MP3 format. Clunky, but supposedly it worked.

After I bought the episodes, I tried to burn them (from iTunes) to a blank CD. Each episode is about 27MB, they all should have fit easily on one CD.

Uh, no.

iTunes keeps telling me that there's not enough room, and finally, I burn ONE episode to a CD. One.

I then go into the import options, specify MP3, and try to import the episode from the CD. It's slow, but it works, and it is in MP3 format.

I try it with another CD (because that one is no longer "blank" and iTunes won't use it, and I can't delete the file, even though it's a CD-RW disc), and I still can't put more than one episode on a disc. It's incredibly annoying.

Instead, I take a DVD-RW disc (surely, THAT'S big enough) and iTunes does let me put the rest of the episodes on one disc.

So I'm almost done. All I need to do is import the tracks and they'll come in as MP3's.

Oh, except they don't. And since this is Apple, I get no error message, no failure code, nothing--it just doesn't work.

What is this--1985? Or should I say 1984?

The import feature just basically stopped working. I burned one episode to a CD and tried to import that, and it wouldn't work, either. So it's completely FUBAR with zero information from the program telling me what's happened.

Very well-done in the user friendliness department, Apple.

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