September 25th, 2003 • 1:01 am
I guess that with any new version of a software product, you have to expect bugs — even bugs that might take a while to get fixed.
But what I find particularly grating about iTunes bugs is that they are primarily due to the imperfect implementation of the “digital rights management” procedures in the software.
For example, I am in the process of digitizing all the CDs I have of a particular artist. I just mount the CD in iTunes, get the titles from the CDDB (which often need to be corrected, and resubmitted, it has to be said), and then convert them to 160 KHz AAC files in my iTunes Music Library.
For most albums, it works fine. But on some of them, including albums released in 1991 and 1995, i.e. way before DRM was even being discussed, for some tracks iTunes fails to import them properly without telling me why. When I try again manually, it tells me that:
These are old albums with no copy protection! And they are regular, plain vanilla CD with no non-music weird tracks on them! Clearly the problem is not what the alert says it is.
Indeed, I can just go to the Finder, open the CD, and drag the AIFF files for the offending tracks from there to another location, and then import these copied AIFF files as AAC files in iTunes with no problems.
In other words, I have every reason to suspect that this is a bug introduced by the DRM portion of iTunes 4. Here I am, doing a perfectly legal thing (digitizing my music collection) with perfectly normal (i.e. not “copy-protected”) CDs — and iTunes is making my life difficult just because some fat-assed record executive has forced Apple to implement DRM in their product and their implementation is clearly buggy.
This is the kind of stuff that makes me go GRRR. I can live with buggy software when the bugs are simply part of the process of making the software better. But bugs in something that Apple has been forced to add to its software against the will of its customers by the recording industry lobby — that I find particularly annoying.
Out of 10 CDs of music, two suffered from this flaw. If that’s the error rate that I’m going to be getting while digitizing my music collection, I am not going to be impressed.