My ongoing rants about iTunes may be getting old, but I continue them because Apple has a reputation for well designed software. The truth is a lot of their software does not work particularly well, particularly on Windows.

Today's fiasco was when I plugged my iPhone in to charge the battery. Only it didn't charge. Why? I was in a hurry, so I didn't wait for 30 seconds for iTunes to start up and didn't notice that it wanted an upgrade. Which left the phone mid-sync and some stupid feature in the iPhone means it didn't actually charge the battery while waiting for me to click a button on the computer at the other end of the charging cable. Nice engineering, guys.

I approved the update. 65 megs of download without a functioning progress bar and the upload process stole keyboard focus from my other apps three times. My desktop reloaded several times too, and along the way iTunes once again stole my .mp3 association and littered my desktop and launch bar with QuickTime advertisements. Then it demanded a reboot, which I refused. The iPhone upgrade failed with an "error -50", whatever that might mean. It worked the second time, although the phone was deactivated for about a minute with no useful warning.

The iPhone has a terrible user experience on the Windows desktop. It's embarassing. And because the iPhone is a closed environment, I don't have any alternative. Apple's linkage between products is the sort of thing that got Microsoft in trouble.

  2008-02-27 19:48 Z