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iTMS-Report from the PC Users

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By dcostello
October 21, 2003

Posts selected for this feature rarely stand alone. They are usually a part of an ongoing thread, and are out of context when presented here. The material should be read in that light. How are these posts selected? Click here to find out and nominate a post yourself!

so it is interesting to look at what hard core windows users have to say.

I'm a PC user, AAPL shareholder. I installed iTunes on my two home PCS, which are networked, and my work PC. Here are my thoughts.

I have been using WMP9 for my music. I like it, there are a ton of features, but the interface isn't the best. I generally use a skin that is small, simple and clean. I've have WinAmp 3, RealPlayer (I hate it), and MusicMatch installed. I rarely use them; MM I've used lately to try out their music store. I like the MM store, or at least I did until I tried ITMS. The MM music store just isn't as nicely designed as the Apple one. They have one click ordering, they have very similar offerings and restrictions. They just use WMA. And they are not as cool.

That is where I came from when I tried iTunes. I didn't need another player, but I really wanted to try iTunes and to like it.

- Installation was smooth on all three computers that I put it on. No problems at all.

- The interface on iTunes is nice. It is clean and organized and straightforward. Initially I looked for a maximize button. "What the hell?" Then I thought I remembered that Macs don't have a maximize button. I'd prefer it have one, but not a huge deal, just something that I'll get used to. The browsing panels are well done, very useful.

When in the small-play mode, I think I'd like a progress bar that would allow me to fast forward to a particular place in the song. I like how, in small mode, you can further shrink it to just be the play/forward/rewind/volume buttons. This is how I have used it most of the time.

- Speed. I have it on 3 PCs. Two are fast, iTunes is very quick. On a P3 500Mhz it is slow, it takes a while to resize. But this is an old PC, so I don't consider it to be a drawback.

I love the search feature because it is so quick. I don't recall WMP being this responsive and useful. The pages in ITMS render very quickly.

- iTMS is very cool. I like it a lot. Lots of information, but it is very well organized. I bought one song to try it out to compare to MMJB music store. The buying experience was very similar. One wasn't better than the other. But otherwise, I much prefer the iTMS experience.

- I love the ease of use in editing the song file's tags. It is so much faster on iTunes than on WMP. If I didn't want to use iTunes as my music player, I'd keep it around just for editing tags.

- I looked around for the place to change the skins until I realized there wasn't one. Years ago I thought that skins were a great thing, but after a while I grew to dislike 99% of them. The ones I liked were not the fancy ones, the different ones, but rather the ones that made the interface easier. I have one for WMP that makes it into a tiny player, one small enough to fit in the title bar of a window. That is useful, it is functional. I realized that iTunes didn't need skins because it was useful out of the box. It didn't need skins for the way I'd use it.

- Burning/importing. I haven't burned a CD yet so I can't comment on that. I've imported one CD in MP3 format. I'll use iTunes to rip my CDs in the future, it works well. I have a problem on my work PC, I can't play CDs nor can I import the songs from them. There are reports of this on Apple's message boards, it is a known problem. I've tried some of the solutions and they didn't work. This is making me use WMP9 for playing CDs at work. It isn't happening at home, so this isn't a deal-breaker for me.

iTunes is my current media player of choice. It does everything I want, and doesn't have any extraneous useless crap to get in the way. This is what I've been looking for. My problem with iTunes is the iPod/AAC. (This will get me beat up here, but I'm just being honest.) I love the look of the iPod, I love everything about it except for the price. It is too expensive compared to the competition. A 10-gig iPod is $299. I can get a 30Gb Zen Xtra for the same price. Unfortunately, that isn't something I can just ignore. I'm still undecided because I'd prefer an iPod, and am still considering one. I'm not buying a ton of music at either store until I sort this problem out. Then there is Dell's upcoming machine/music service. I'm ignoring them for the time being.

But this Windows user really likes iTunes. It is a great advertisement for Apple and the Mac. My next computer may be a Mac, I'm not in the market right now, but I will be someday. Everything I've experienced with iTunes has strengthened the chance that I'll get a Mac next.


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