WISH UPON A STAR
One of the top discussions on Techmeme today is around a TUAW story titled "Rumors: Apple working on iTunes controller for iPhone", focusing on the following:
"An anonymous tipster tells TUAW that according to code found in the latest firmware release, Apple is working on a new iPhone application called iControl. Like Apple TV and other remote controllers, it would allow the iPhone to connect wirelessly to local iTunes libraries and browse through and play media from those sources."
This is all very good, and I'll be among the first adopters if and when Apple does release a new iTunes manager for iPhone.
But I'd be even happier if Apple were "just" to release a new iTunes Manager for, well, iTunes.
Let me explain.
Over the last few years Apple has done a terrific job of making iTunes central for millions of both Windows and Mac users, in the way they use and manage over a 100 million iPods, and soon over 10 million iPhones world-wide.
By now, most iPod users have at least one iPod, and likely several iPods used by several members of their household. And many users have more than one computer and/or laptop, that they use iTunes on, be it Windows or Mac. Many of those households in turn have their various computers and laptops connected via a home network running ethernet and/or wireless Wifi.
Yet iTunes by itself remains quaintly designed for a world of almost a decade ago, when most people had one iPod, one computer, and no home network.
If you have more than one member of a household using the same version of iTunes for various iPods, they have to jump through several hoops to share an iTunes library with their individual play-lists, ratings, and sub-libraries of music and videos.
Forget making the iTunes library available over a home network via one computer and/or a home server, especially across Windows and Macs in a household.
And you'd better make sure you buy you music and videos via the one master computer that has the copy of iTunes everyone uses in the household.
If you buy a tune or video on a laptop attached to the same iTunes account (which is still archaically limited to five computers), then you have to sneaker-net that item back to the original iTunes library if you want to make sure it's backed up with the master library.
And forget syncing various iTunes libraries across various computers in a household with all the music and play-lists. Cannot be done for now using Apple software.
Much of what can't be done above, CAN be done using third-party applications. But using many of them is a bit of a learning curve into the intricacies of managing an iTunes library, that most mainstream folks won't have the patience to endure.
And there's no guarantee that those third-party apps will work immediately with the next upgrade of iTunes, which as most users know, tend to come fast and furious most of the time. If something breaks, then one typically needs the patience and diligence of a CSI to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.
So it's for all these reasons and more, that I fervently wish Apple would soon introduce an iTunes manager for iTunes.
Followed of course by an iPhoto manager for iPhoto, which has some of the same issues as iTunes, albeit without a Windows version, for now.