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Bevormundung durch iTunes

Wie wird man eigentlich diese Bevormundung durch iTunes los?

Über die Feiertage hatte ich meinen iPod und das iTunes längere Zeit nicht an und kaum starte ich das Programm, springen mir diverse graue Ausrufezeichen bei den Podcasts entgegen:

"iTunes hat das Aktualisieren dieses Podcasts gestoppt, da Sie in letzter Zeit keine Episoden angehört haben. Möchten Sie das Aktualisieren dieses Podcasts fortsetzen?"

Ja, zur *censored*, natürlich will ich das! Und wenn es nach mir geht brauchst du die Aktualisierung auch nicht zu stoppen - also wo kann man das einstellen? Hat jemand eine Idee?

Play podcasts one after another - impossible in iPod

With my iPod i'm subscribed to some more podcasts - but i only fetch new podcasts from time to time because i don't use the iPod every day. That's not a problem because i don't have any podcast with news in my list. As a result (after an update) i have several entries from one podcast source in my list. The iPod arranges all of this entries (from one podcast) on a single page. As example the jokes from a local radio station:

  • from 2008-07-07
  • from 2008-07-04
  • from 2008-07-03

Now believe it or not, it's not possible to tell the iPod: "i want to hear all new entries from this podcast, in reverse order, oldest first". It's not even possible to just play all entries in a row. If you have finished one podcast you have to click on the next one. <sarcasm>That's user-friendly!</sarcasm>

For anyone who want's to tell me about playlists: no, thank you. I don't want to create a dozen playlists in advance in iTunes - one for each podcast. If i have the time and if i feel like i want to listen to a single podcast i just want to listen to all new entries from this one podcast. I surely don't want to plan that several days in advance. This should be possible - even with Apple software.

iPod and timezone support

Just back from our vacation in the carribean. There we moved between different timezones and i noticed that the timezone support in Apples iPod is not worth the name. The toy contains a hardcoded list with some city names in different timezones, but you:

  • can't see the full list or pick a city from the list
  • can't create new entries
  • can't use entries like +/- GMT, if you don't know a matching city

In my case, where we visited some small islands, there were in most cases no matching entry in the list. So if i don't know a city in the same timezone, i'm unable to use the timezone support at all.

Finally i decided to leave the timezone setting at my home timezone (Berlin) and just adjusted the clock.

iPod Touch and WPA Wi-fi

As told, i got an iPod Touch as a present. All in all this is a nice toy and i'm regularly using it.

The iPod contains Wi-fi access so i can hook into our wireless network (with WPA encryption) at home. This worked fine ... for some days. After then the iPod told me, connection to the network is not possible. Reentering the (correct) passphrase does not help, resetting network settings neither.

It helps to change the SSID, after the change the iPod can reconnect ... but after some days things stopped working again. I don't plan to change my SSID every 2 or 3 days.

The usual hints from the Apple forum (it seems, more people have this problem) seems not to help, not in my case and not for many other people. But just to be clear a list of things i already checked or tried:

  • The SSID (even if randomly created) contains only digits and chars, no space or special character
  • The password (also random) contains only digits and chars (don't try to hack, it's a long password ;-) )
  • I made sure i'm using the shift key for upper case characters in the password
  • I entered an IP for the DNS
  • I don't use proxy settings
  • I tried manually adding the network with all encryption settings

Given the long list of Apple forum users having similar problems, the fact that some other laptops (windows or linux based) work without problems in our wireless network and the surprise that a new SSID made the iPod working again, this clearly seems to be a software bug in the iPod.

Apple: time to wake up and release a bugfix!

iTunes and the dullness

Got an iPod as a christmas present and since this iPod (the "Touch" version) is not supported by the usual Linux tools, i had to get a Windows machine at hand and install iTunes. Now it seems that this software is not what you expect to be "stable" ... despite the fact that it is running on windows.

I installed iTunes on the first machine: the software keeps crashing when i connect the iPod. Sometimes the first time i connected the iPod, sometimes the second time but never could connect the iPod more than 3 times without a crash of the Apple Mobile Helper which in consequence crashed the whole iTunes software. So i moved iTunes to another windows pc, rarely used, only Firefox and an ssh client on it. Things keep crashing, no chance.

So if i want to sync the iPod i have to wait until all downloads are finished or i have a good chance that i can restart all of them. This sucks.

But beside all this problems with beta software: iTunes is slow. Really slow. If i want to search for a new podcast or just surf in the store, the software sometimes needs 2 or 3 minutes just to open the connection. We have DSL at home, so speed should not be the cause of the problem.

Every webserver is able to return results in no time (speak: some seconds), but watching the iTunes network traffic you can see, that the software is sending the requests, the packets pass the border router and 30 seconds up to 2 or 3 minutes later the answer packets arrive. Not just one time, every times. What's wrong here? Just because you are market leader you can have slow hardware?