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Posted on Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Dave!It's 9-9-09 and a lot of things seemed to happen today. The two most significant, at least to me, were the release of the remastered Beatles albums on CD and Apple's release of iTunes 9 and its accompanying iPhone update.

"Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey"

I'm a big Beatles fan. And when the rumor went out that their albums were going to be remastered, I was thrilled. Mostly because I assumed they'd finally be made available for purchase on iTunes. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. It's going to happen eventually (at least according to Yoko Ono), just not today.

That being said, I wish I had a couple hundred dollars burning a hole in my pocket so I could pick up the Beatles Mono Gift Box Set...

The Beatles Mono Gift Box Set

The first albums were recorded in mono and designed to be heard that way. Having listened to many of the original LP records, they definitely seem to have a brighter, crisper sound than the murky stereo mixes they put on CD. But, alas, I just paid to have my blog templates updated, so the money isn't available. Hopefully when the songs make it to iTunes, you'll be able to buy the mono versions there.

"Happiness Is a Warm Gun"

I'm a big Apple Computer fan. They rarely fuck up and, compared to the heinous shit that Microsoft releases, Apple is a dream come true. But when Apple does fuck up... they REALLY fuck up spectacularly. As an example: the steaming pile of shit known as MobileMe which is not just bad... it's Microsoft bad. The fact that they haven't fixed MobileMe is embarrassing on any number of levels, especially considering that they continue to charge $99 a year for the service.

But today Apple totally outdid themselves.

The new iTunes 9 and iPhone update are beyond Microsoft bad.

I'd feel embarrassed for Apple, but I'm just too angry. After wasting loads of my time, losing my data, and turning my phone into a brick... well... let's just say Windows Vista now has some company as MY MOST HATED SOFTWARE EVER! If you care to read all about my woes, I've put a profanity-laden rant in an extended entry...

It's not too late to turn back!

Rated R

"Tell Me Why"

Before I even get to the six hours of torturous horrors I endured trying to get my iPhone to work again, let me start off by saying that the new look for the iTunes Music Store sucks ass. Instead of the nifty control-panel-style overview you used to get, you now get a "simplified" view that I'd argue actually makes things more complex, and I fucking hate it. There are so many problems that I almost refuse to believe this steamer came out of Apple.

First of all, the rotating banners at the top are just stupid. S-T-U-P-I-D stupid. Most of the time when you mouse over rotating banners, they STOP so you have an opportunity to click on what you want. But not here on iTunes. The banners keep going and going, so unless you are very fast with your mouse-finger, you're not going to get what you expected. This is just plain asinine on a cataclysmic level of dumbassery.

Second of all, there are rendering errors that are just plain idiotic. I mean, come on... when you have something like this mess ON THE FRONT PAGE, what does it say for quality control? Did anybody even bother to look at it before rollout?...

iTunes 9 Sucks Ass

Lastly, the new iTunes Store interface is S-L-O-W. And, in addition to waiting exorbitant lengths of time for shit to load, I am getting the "spinning beach ball of death" more often than I ever have previously with iTunes. My MacBook Pro comes screeching to a fucking dead-stop so often that I am beginning to wonder if iTunes 9 has been rewritten in BASIC.

And now for the main event... Busted-Ass iPhone Syncing in iTunes 9. Where do I begin? The 3.1 iPhone OS update went off perfectly, as usual. Until I went to sync it with iTunes 9 after the update and got this...

Cannot sync iPhone because

My immediate reaction is WHO THE FUCK CARES?!? I don't even have the ABILITY to make OR delete a fucking folder on the iPhone, so why is this bullshit suddenly MY problem? If some folder is missing, then DON'T FUCKING SYNC IT AND MOVE ON TO THE NEXT ITEM YOU STUPID PIECE OF SHIT!! Because, seriously, what can I do about it? I'll tell you what... ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

I tried THREE times to get my phone to sync. I got the same error every time, even after a reset.

Okay then, time for more drastic measures. I decide to wipe my iPhone and start over from a backup. Sounds logical, right? WRONG! Because when I go to sync my phone, I get this...

Cannot Sync iPhone, Error (-48)

Not just once, mind you... but a DOZEN TIMES! Pressing "OK" just causes yet another box to pop up with the same error. And, again, I have to ask... WHAT THE BLOODY FUCK?!? It's meaningless! Is this nondescript error message supposed to be helpful to me in some way? How about you dispense with these dumbass errors I can do nothing about, AND FIND A WAY TO SYNC MY FUCKING PHONE?!?

But it doesn't end there! Inbetween the (-48) errors, I also start getting this idiotic message...

Cannot sync. Required file cannot be found.

"The required file cannot be found?!? WHAT file? WHAT can I do about it? WHAT A FUCKING JOKE!!

At this point I finally unplug my iPhone... only to find that it is completely dead.

And thus began HOURS of fucking drama as I attempted to get a working iPhone. No less than a dozen syncs had failed before I finally managed it, and that was only because I went in and manually deleted apps left and right until something finally worked (I still have no idea what). And, of course, MobileMe is fucked up beyond all repair, so I never did manage to get all my data back. This is the THIRD time I have lost all my iPhone photos for no good reason other than Apple doesn't seem to give a flying fuck about making sure my data is safe.

And now we get to why I am more pissed at Apple than I have ever been...

Every time you plug your iPhone into your computer, you have to sit through a backup process that takes FOREVER!! This wouldn't bother me so much, EXCEPT THE BACKUPS NEVER FUCKING WORK!! Every time I've had an iPhone problem, my backup ends up being worthless. So WHY FUCKING BOTHER TO BACK THE SHIT UP?!? It's just a colossal waste of time.


I could rant for days about this clucterfuck of idiocy to come out of Apple today, but I'm just too damn tired. Suffice to say iTunes 9 has some problems in it.

Tags: , , ,
Categories: Apple Stuff 2009, Music 2009Click To It: Permalink


  1. Reading your experience and that of another friend of mine (who also ended up with a brick for several hours), it almost makes me glad I’ve got the flu and slept the day away. Guess I’ll hold off updating for a bit until the kinks are worked out.

    • Dave2 says:

      Odds are good that you wouldn’t have any problems (most people upgrade just fine), but if you DO have problems, they’re pretty major and, worst of all, the inexplicable errors you can do absolutely nothing about make you helpless to get it figured out. I still don’t understand what happened and how I got it to work.

  2. Marc says:

    What’s the point in buying remastered recordings when you buy them in compressed form? They likely still sound worse than the original CDs.

    You should have read about the frustration over in the official Ultravox forum when the announcement was made that four tracks didn’t fit onto the remaster CDs and were only going to be available in digital download form…

    • Dave2 says:

      The “iTunes Plus” format actually compares quite favorably to a CD for me… though I am no audiophile, and probably wouldn’t notice a difference anyway. The only problem I had with the old “regular” iTunes format is that some sections had a bizarre echo effect, and others ended up with muddy bass that added some “fuzz” that I didn’t notice on the CD. This is pretty much gone in the higher quality “plus” format Apple has adopted… at least for me.

      My problem with the Beatles CD masters they released in the 80’s is the stereo separation for mono tracks, which is pretty bad on some songs. Hopefully when iTunes gets the tracks (at long last!) they’ll use the remasters AND give us a choice of mono or stereo.

  3. ssp says:

    Uh-oh, if you’re in rage like this, things must be really bad. I’m not impressed by iTMS either. It mostly just seems hard to find stuff there and they deleted my shopping cart. The non-speed of the store (and, frankly, iTunes in general) keeps being disappointing. I had hoped for a bit more when they stepped the main version number up a digit.

    (Did your site become wider? It doesn’t fit in my browser window anymore.)

    • Dave2 says:

      And why DID the version number for iTunes leap from 8 to 9? What new features justify the bump? My guess is that Apple just wanted to have a 9 for 9-9-09, and rushed the product out the door in order to make it for their event. Well, congratulations Apple, you made it alright! And ended up pissing off a total Apple Whore in the process! Hope it was worth it.

      Sorry for the browser issue… I am still working on my site templates, and there are some details to be addressed yet. I had a MIN-WIDTH / MAX-WIDTH for the pages, but this broke in Internet Explorer (and ONLY Internet Explorer) so I had the template coder go with a fixed-width to accommodate the nested comment replies I wanted. Since my stats show only 4% of my visitors are viewing Blogography with a browser width under 1000 pixels, I compromised on that number because I ran out of time. It’s not an ideal solution, I admit. Hopefully I’ll have time to sit down and figure it out when I get back from Alaska and Amsterdam! Out of curiosity, what width is your browser window typically set at?

      • ssp says:

        The 9-9-9 thought crossed my mind as well. But a the end of the day, the version number is the least of iTunes’ problems. At least I wouldn’t mind if they set it to 100 or 5 or −70 if they made the app great at the same time.

        I really was an iTunes fan in the early days. But I’ve become increasingly annoyed by the application which keeps doing more and more less and less well. My kitchen laptop needed all night to ‘update’ its library whose songs are on a SMB volume (admittedly OS X’s crappy SMB support may play a role there as well, but still) and that home sharing feature seems much less appealing in practice than it sounded 🙁

        The bad thing is that Apple are pretty much a monopoly on music players and with their power and money nobody will invest the money needed to create a competitive product. As Apple strives to make iTunes incompatible in every conceivable way (no other music players with iTunes, no other music apps with Apple’s players, no library sharing with other applications etc), they are clearly not interested in improving the experience for their users.

        [The single good thing about iTunes 9 seems to be that browsing classical music has improved.]

        My browser is always less than 800 pixels wide, 700 is not uncommon either. If a site displays text that doesn’t fit in there, it’s hard to read anyway, so I guess the designers didn’t want me to read it in the first place.

        I tend to think of using max-width (you can specify that in em, so people with larger font sizes get a greater pixel width and line length grows with the font size) as a good compromise. People with remotely able browsers end up with a good experience and the IE users – uh well.

        Interestingly the page’s width seems more resonable in mobile safari (line break after ‘two’ in the first line) than in Desktop Safari (line break after ‘of’).

        • Dave2 says:

          If only it were that easy… while only 4% of my readers are using a browser window less than 1000 pixels wide, 46% of them are using some form of Internet Explorer.

          I’m struggling with my site for the exact reason that I DO want people to read it in the first place! 🙂

          And when will we see YOUR write-up on iTunes 9? I’m really looking forward to that!

          • ssp says:

            Hm, actually think, the width issue _is_ that easy. Put a reasonable max-width in there for the competent browsers and hack the width you have now on top for the retarded browsers. Same experience for IE users, better experience for me. Looks like a win-win situation.

            I don’t think I’ll go into great detail about iTunes 9. It has become tiring with very little _interesting_ new stuff happening there and many new features being user hostile and frustrating. People will just say I’m grumpy.

  4. Tracy says:

    I don’t have an iPhone, but I am having problems with iTunes 9. My biggest issue is that they got rid of the ‘shopping cart’ feature, and when I try to use the new Wishlist, I’m denied – it won’t take my password for some f’d up reason. GRRRR. I feel your pain.

    • Dave2 says:

      So One-Click buying is the only option now? I hadn’t noticed that. Kind of inconvenient if you are on a slow connection and want to check-out at a later time!

  5. Jeff says:

    OK Dave, how much do you need for the Beatles Mono Gift box and what’s your Paypal address? You need to be compensated for your total waste of time and I have the bucks to do so. My good fortune to pay for your unlimited entertainment. Really. Just buy me a couple of drinks when you are dropping by LA.

    I’m waiting.


    BTW, you HAVE to by the box, no porno purchase unless I say so. Fine, what kind of porno do you like? Hookers you say? I’m flexible……

    • Dave2 says:

      Hah! That’s really very kind of you… but I’ll manage to get by with my original Beatles CDs until iTunes finally has them for sale!

      But HOOKERS?!? Where were you when I was just in Vegas?!? 🙂

  6. Robin says:

    If I had an iPhone, I would chuck it in the morning….I would chuck it in the evening…Naomi Campbell-style!

    While I am really sorry that this happened to you, your entry just confirmed why RIM will always have my business when it comes to smartphones.

    • Dave2 says:

      Oooooooh… but I had even WORSE luck with the three Blackberries I owned! At least with iPhone it takes iTunes to mess it up… with my Blackberries they managed to mess up all on their own! I remember once that my Blackberry decided to brick… IN THE MIDDLE OF A CALL! Another time, all my contacts had their data shift during a backup, resulting in half the people having the wrong phone numbers. It took me a month to figure out that it wasn’t selecting the wrong contact, and I very nearly went insane for weeks. At least with Apple my insanity only lasted a day! 🙂

  7. kapgar says:

    YES! The backup process on the iPhone sync is PAINFUL. That’s why we rarely plug in and sync Katie’s iPhone. She doesn’t have much need to do it regularly anyway since she always does her app updates via the phone and rarely changes out her music collection. Unlike me, that is.

    Sad to hear about iTunes 9 sucking so bad since I just authorized the update immediately prior to reading your post. Dammit. Does make me love Amazon’s MP3 store even more, though.

    • Dave2 says:

      I use the Amazon store from time to time because they have really cheap specials, but on more than one occasion the song I buy is NOT the song I get! I have no idea why… and their customer service routine doesn’t make it very easy to get the problem solved.

      I guess ALL the digital retailers have their issues!

  8. whitenoise says:

    hmmm… glad I read this before updating!

  9. Nenette says:

    Sorry to hear about all your iPhone sorrow. I have yet to get my own smartphone, but know many who depend on them.

    As for me, I’m just pissed that Amazon’s MP3 store still doesn’t sell to Canada.

    • Dave2 says:

      Agreed. What I’m pissed about is that record labels still have a stranglehold on distribution and are thinking LOCALLY instead of GLOBALLY. When the latest a-ha album comes out and I can’t buy it because I live in the USA, that’s just frackin’ stupid. You’d think that record labels would work together to maximize release exposure so they can maximize profits… but instead they’d rather blame music pirates for their problems.


  10. B.E. Earl says:

    I’m an anti-Apple guy (who kinda also hates Windows) so the extended entry was like techie porn for me. I really hate Gia’s Mac and her iPhone.

  11. Howard says:

    Wow, sorry to hear about those update problems. Mine installed without a hitch and everything was back up in 15 minutes. So far, the only complaint I have about iTunes 9 is the green button shortcut for the mini player is gone. It resizes the window like the Windows version does now. Turns out Option-Click Green Button does it now. Something to adjust to again.

  12. Michael G says:

    Sorry to hear about your iPhone / iTunes problems.. Interesting, I had none of the issues others are talking about…


  13. Finn says:

    Gah. I wish you knew what you did to fix your phone. Mister upgraded last night and in the middle of the sync it bricked and I can’t fix it for shit. AT&T doesn’t have a clue what’s wrong with it and he can’t get an appointment with Apple until tomorrow evening.

    He gets an “unknown error” when he tries to restore, and I’ve even tried it on my computer and it does the same thing.

    I haven’t upgraded yet and I don’t intend to until we figure out what happened to his phone.

  14. Dude. I haven’t the words. I saw your tweets yesterday and even though your outrage made me giggle, I felt bad. I hate it when technology fails.

    Patting you on the head right now.

  15. Nathan says:

    Hmm…I didn’t have any problems updating my iPhone or my iTunes. Maybe I’m just one of the lucky ones. I hope people aren’t having as many problems as you had.

    I will agree that the new iTunes store blows unless you have side-to-side scrolling (as with the Mighty Mouse and on the MacBook (Pro). Apple wants to force us into using their hardware, which I don’t mind, but I find the Mighty Mouse uncomfortable to use, and the scroll ball breaks pretty fast.

    ALSO, I’m not sure why they felt the need to make the UI in iTunes shiny other than the fact that the new iPod nano is shiny (the only iPod model that is shiny like the UI, by the way). I wish they would have kept it similar to the UI of Leopard/Snow Leopard, but then the iTunes UI is always different than OS X–or it has been for quite some time. At least iTunes 8 had the same aluminum surface texture as OS X’s UI. But then I’m kind of a visual continuity snob…so it looks like iTunes is going to reside in its own space (a la Spaces) so i don’t have to look at it. :p

    /end rant

    • Dave2 says:

      To be honest, all I really care about is functionality. If the product works, and the interface doesn’t get in the way of me doing what I need to do, I’m fine with it. iTunes has much bigger problems than aesthetics, though I have to say the choices they made this time around are positively mind-boggling. It’s as if they actively hate their users, and wanted to create an interface to be as hostile as possible. I maintain that they simply could NOT have done proper usability testing before release. Everything about iTunes 9 reeks of a rushed release so His Royal Steveness could deliver 9 on 9-9-09.

  16. bluepaintred says:

    OK. so now I am terrified to upgrade to nine.


    Would it be so bad to just not update my itunes?

    • Dave2 says:

      Depends on what features Apple will deny you if you don’t upgrade. Sometimes it doesn’t make any difference… sometimes there is new functionality that’s worth the risk. So far, I haven’t seen any of that with iTunes 9.

  17. I’m always nervous about the upgrades, now even moreso! I wouldn’t have had the patience or ability to unbrickify my phone. Instead I would probably have sat on the curb and cried!

  18. Ren says:

    This is far from the first time that I’ve really missed the on-device backup to external media (via 3rd party software) from Palm. I had it setup to do automatic incremental backups at least daily and I could do a hard reset and full restore from the memory card. I could also manage multiple backups and restore individual files when necessary.

    While I haven’t *needed* this on my iPhone, I certainly miss the level of comfort it brought me.

    I’m surprised you’ve lost photos — do those not get pulled into iPhoto or Aperture? I guess mine only get pulled into Aperture if I both have it running and confirm the import. Aperture gets a bit finicky sometimes about letting me change the target import folder when the import is auto-triggered, so sometimes I cancel it. It would be nice if I could configure a dedicated folder for iPhone images and it would automatically import the images there with no user intervention.

    • Dave2 says:

      I manually pull them in with Image Capture, then move those I want to keep to Aperture. It’s a system that works, but any photos I didn’t manage to pull off before the problem happens are lost. In this case, about a dozen Vegas pictures I would really have liked to have kept. 🙁

  19. martymankins says:

    Due to various circumstances, I rarely apply the latest and greatest for iTunes. Your fail just confirms it for me that it pays to wait… no matter how much I want new features.

    But another fail for Apple is now forcing all purchases of TV shows to use only iTunes 9. All previous versions of iTunes are rendered useless now. Previously, Apple still supported older versions for all store purchases. I’m at a loss here except to simply upgrade, hoping that I don’t bork my new (older) iPhone I just got setup and working. Or find another option for downloading TV shows.

    Hope you can get your iPhone back and running again.

    • Dave2 says:

      REALLY? Now that truly is bizarre. I guess it’s one way to force adoption of the latest version… but it seems pretty heavy-handed considering the base files for playing the shows probably hasn’t changed at all. 🙁

  20. Yipes. Yeah I saw your tweets yesterday and knew you were pissed. I upgraded to iTunes 9 this morning on my MBP but haven’t plugged my iPod in yet. Will do that with baited breath when I get home tonight.

    • Dave2 says:

      I wish you luck, my friend. I have been scouring forums to try and figure out what went wrong with my sync after upgrading and have found nothing. Just tales of woe by other people who can’t figure it out either.

  21. claire says:

    Hmm, think I will hold off on updating iTunes for a bit. Sorry it’s been such a hassle for you.

    I do like your new nested comments though: snazzy.

  22. kilax says:

    I can’t wait to play Beatles Rock Band. Woo hoo! I didn’t even realize the songs were being re-released!

  23. Sarah says:

    It’s not just bad, it’s Microsoft bad. hehehe, that makes me giggle.

    I’d leave a comment about itunes 9, but I haven’t gotten it yet because my computer is currently useless until I get a new power cord, which hopefully will be here tomorrow.

    And now I’m just rambling.

  24. Kim says:

    Well, since I’m not allowed to comment on company products, I won’t.

    The Boss is back and he knows where I live.

    But I will say, I FEEL YOUR PAIN. Ahem.

    And some new medicine is definitely in order !!

  25. DutchBitch says:

    Who-Key… I guess I’ll leave THAT update for what it is for now… Thanks for the head’s (and probably finger too) up…

  26. I like the way your comments indent with the new templates. It looks really nice.

    Although before all I had to do was scroll up from the bottom to see everything new. In theory, now comments could be up above that right? (or since you moderate would that not happen, they’d appear at once? or what if you can’t reply until later?)

    Not such an issue at my place where just a few comments is the norm 🙂

  27. The Momshell says:

    I love it. You have trouble syncing and my iPhones just crap out on my completely. I’m on #7 now.

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