I whisked through the iTunes Store… I wasn’t planning on buying anything just yet. Mainly, I just did some searches for bands and record labels that I wasn’t too sure would be there. Some were, some weren’t. That’s alright… that’s what KaZaA’s for anyways, right? Bands who would rather have people steal a single track from their album, rather than to make it possible for people to pay for that same single track (not naming any names, Metallica, Linkin Park, Red Hot Chili Peppers…)
I looked through the preferences as I began listening to some of my legitimately purchased CD’s that I’ve ripped to MP3 for archival purposes. I went back to my MP3 folder and noticed something different… iTunes reorganized my music according to the ID3 tags built into the MP3’s. I almost put my fist through my monitor.
Look, it’s bad enough when Windows XP forgets that my MP3 folder (alphabetized by artist) is set to list view and switches back to “Tiles” view. But when iTunes took my MP3’s from their folder and placed them into newly created folders without my explicit permission (which I wouldn’t give anyways), it made me want to hurt something. I went back into the preferences and deselected the option to “Keep iTunes Music folder organized” (see below) and saved my choice. I listened to more music, and had no more reorganizing issues.
Other than that, I’d say that Apple did a darn good job. The player is infinitely faster and more responsive than Winamp 3 (Winamp 2.8 is definitely faster). I’m still not sure if I’ll set it to be my default player yet, as it’s still between iTunes, Winamp 2.8, or doing nothing (continuing to use Winamp 3). As far as downloading music, I’m all for supporting the artists. I despise supporting the record companies, but that’s just the way of it.
I think I’ll plan on downloading as many MP3’s as I can legally through iTunes, and only use alternative methods for obtaining MP3’s when a song isn’t available through legitimate means. If I want to get a song, I will get it. Whether or not the bands and their labels want to accept my money for songs or not is up to them.
« Update » I just came across this comment over at C|Net’s News.com:
Among other gripes were complaints that iTunes recategorized Windows users’ music into new folders, although Apple said if the default settings are used, iTunes is not supposed to rename or move any music files.
That’s not entirely true, as this is exactly what happened to me using the default settings, but hopefully Apple will realize that these are the default settings, and will fix those defaults in future releases.