Not too long ago, it wasn’t particularly difficult to get access to music. Songs were available online, sharing was available via bluetooth and it took barely any time at all. Back in college everyone knew the guy with the best playlist and everyone would simply copy tracks off his phone. However, Apple changed the game by blocking bluetooth transfer of music between its devices to combat piracy and we get that it was a noble cause. However, apple failed to replace it with another convenient method and apple users find themselves distanced from music. Almost all my devices are apple products and it is with great consideration and a heavy heart that i have listed out these points that ruin music for apple users.
- iTunes : This is the root of all evil. iTunes is the most annoying software imaginable. Getting simple things done like syncing involve witchcraft and voodoo. It is stubborn as hell and you really have to search the depths of settings and preferences to get it to work the way you want it. Otherwise it feels it has the authority to do whatever the hell it wants. Like for instance, if your settings aren’t set correctly, iTunes will re-sync and add your deleted tracks back to your device. If your settings aren’t set correctly, it will organise your music library by artist without even asking you. If your settings aren’t correct, any track you add to your iTunes player will get copied to the mac as well and you won’t even know about it till you find yourself running out of space.
- Syncing : Using iTunes to sync your music and add tracks is another travesty. You have to individually select songs in your playlist and add them manually. Or if you want, you can sync all the songs by one artist collectively but who really listens to all the songs from an album? Only the hits remain. You could also create a playlist and sync that to your device but then you still have to add tracks to your playlist manually. There has got to be a better (faster) way.
- All plug and no play : While all android devices enjoy the liberties of being a plug and play device as well, Apple users have to travel through Mordor (iTunes) to be able to transfer music. I dont understand why apple, now making it’s 10th generation iPhone, fail to consider this point which will make transferring music, photos, videos etc so very convenient. It will be so much faster if they too were plug and play devices.
- Headphone jack, stabbed in the back : Apple decided that it was time to take new leaps and bounds and let go of primitive technology. But again, we haven’t perfected wireless headphones/earphones yet so the headphone jack still remains relevant. A thing becomes irrelevant and obsolete when something better comes along. But sadly that hasn’t been the case. Most wireless audio devices struggle to give more than 6-8 hours of battery life as of now. And unless you want to spend upwards of 12,000 rupees (~150$), you find yourself stranded. You have to charge your phone and then use the lightening EarPods or use wireless ones but you have to see if they are charged too and in the middle of all this i get a vision of the 90’s and early 2000’s where we would have music blaring in our rooms all day long with zero concerns. Simpler times, happier days. Yes apple provides a solution to those stubborn and unwilling to move with the times. And that includes a hideous lightening to 3.5mm cable that you need to plug in if you still wish to use your “old and disgusting” earphones.
- Ease of access : If becomes an event now when you sit down to transfer/update your playlist. Open your laptop, see if the iTunes is updated. If not, then update that first. Then see if your phone is running the later iOS version. If not, then update that first. If you don’t wish to upgrade iOS but you have upgraded your iTunes then you’ll have some technical difficulties. No one knows what these are but they can be as bizarre and surprising as they get. I don’t know but suddenly it stops being 2017. Honest to god, using cassette tapes and vinyl records was a faster way of getting access to music. Yes we can now carry hundreds of tracks in your pocket but getting those hundred tracks on your device is a war against a cranky child. And there is no other way around it.
- FM radio : Yes, most stations play crap all day long and most of the time they have advertisements about Baba Ramdev’s latest invention but it is a good option to fall back on. Apple stubbornly refuses to allow users access to local radio and only now in the 7th generation iPod nano have they decided to oblige. You can stream music online or listen to podcasts but that uses up mountains of data and you never really have the network strength to keep up. So why not provide access to something that is around anyway?
Apple is considered a pioneer in innovation but i find myself slowly distanced from music. I now listen to music far less often than i used to a decade ago. Simply because things were simple back then. It was easier, it didn’t involve reading manuals and online how-to guides. Does innovation necessarily mean added confusion? You end up asking yourself – does it have to be this way?