iTunes 11.2 arrived on Thursday along with Apple's release of a new version of Mavericks (10.9.3). The new version of iTunes has some changes that will be welcome for podcast listeners, along with other enhancements and improvements designed to improve performance and reliability. The initial release also created a bizarre problem involving iCloud's Find My Mac feature and the local /Users folder. On balance iTunes 11.2.1 is an adequate improvements, but iTunes itself is a mess.
Podcasting support in iTunes needed a bit of a revamp, and it's finally gotten it in iTunes 11.2. The "Unplayed" tab has been revamped, to make it easier to track down new podcasts you haven't yet heard. A new Feed tab has been added to stream available episodes of the podcasts you've subscribed, or to download them to play them later.
You can save favorite episodes on your computer now, and iTunes also now sports the ability to automatically delete episodes after playback to help clean up your iTunes library and save some space.
iTunes 11.2 also gets a security update that patches a hole which could, under certain circumstances, enable someone to get your iTunes credentials. Apple has posted some info (opens in new tab) about the patch on its web site. The patch brings iTunes 7.2 in line with security changes already made in iOS 7.1.1 and Apple TV's 6.1.1 update.
If you've had trouble with Genius updates, rest assured that this update to iTunes fixes those issues. Overall performance and reliability has been improved, according to Apple. Which I guess explains why iTunes has only crashed on me once today. At least searching for content in iTunes and the App Store is a bit faster for me.
Most disturbingly, iTunes 11.2 arrived with a surprise for those of us who use the "Find My Mac" feature in iCloud. With that feature on, all of a sudden our Users folder disappeared.
Turns out this was a feature, not a bug. Somewhere along the way, Apple discovered that the /Users and /Users/Shared folders had "world-writeable" file permissions — a file security problem. The day after we discovered our Users folder went away, Apple posted iTunes 11.2.1, which corrects the problem the right way by fixing the actual file permissions issue instead of hiding the Users folder.
Pretty stupid feature if you ask me. Apple backpedaled so fast on this one it made my head spin. It smacks of sloppy QA.
Look, I'm an unabashed critic of iTunes. Poor performance with large libraries, issues with iTunes Match substituting the wrong tracks and album art, feature creep, user interface complexity — the list goes on and on.
I think iTunes is profoundly broken and has just gotten worse over the years. A bloated patchwork, iTunes tries to do too many things and does too many of them poorly. It's become Apple's catch-all for media, applications, tethered syncing of iOS devices and iPods and more. And don't even get me started on iTunes Match. I've made my case separately for why I think Apple should follow its approach with iOS and try to divide iTunes' capabilities into different applications.
iTunes 11.2.1 makes podcast management suck a bit less and fixes problems with Genius updating. Those are good things. But at this point it's just fixing what's broken and putting a bit of lipstick on a pig.
iTunes is due for a major overhaul.
Are you happy with iTunes 11.2.1? Or do you agree that this just smacks of poor form by Apple? Let me know in the comments.
In the interim, I'll be in my corner glaring at iTunes and saying spiteful things, and hoping that Apple takes a sledgehammer to this monstrosity.
To put it crudely and from a users perspective , this is a shitty app with more hype than usability. The sooner it is scrapped the better.
- In the same vein, some data is there, but not really usable. E.g. we are a multi-language household and we have a lot of international friends. The simple question "which of the hundreds of movies and tv shows I have here do have an audio track or subtitle in language X" can't be solved without starting each video and checking the available options. I can find this information faster on physical media.
- Since the store interface went Web-based we continue to have this ellipsis hell (cut off titles etc.) and flyover tooltips do not work consistently either. For some titles it is virtually impossible to read them in full, no matter what you do.
- No mean to have equalizer settings by media type (e.g. I want different settings for movies, music and audio books).
- Handling of compilations and classical records has not improved ever.
- Still no decent support for multi-monitor setups (e.g. always play fullscreen video on monitor two).
- Watched/Played status sync via iCloud works randomly.
- iOS WiFi syncing is quite unreliable. And I could go on for some time. Will splitting iTunes into a dozen apps solve any of these issues? If yes, then I am all for it. I just don't believe in it.
I've managed to defeat the system at last -- I distracted its attention for a moment by entering a very long password, and then quickly pressed the delete button to try to delete the podcast from the list while the program was busy on other things. I had to repeat this one more time as some question had to be answered before the podcast was removed from the list. Now the site is removed from the list and maybe I won't get any more password requests from iTunes.
It's still present in the PC version.
Has anyone else experienced this?