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iTunes 7.0 Sux

September 14, 2006 Leave a comment Go to comments

This post documents issues I experienced upgrading a 5G iPod with Firmare 1.2 via iTunes 7. It does not cover any other generation of iPods or any other iPod issues. If you are experiencing problems with your iPod and/or iTunes, I recommend visiting the forums on iLounge or the Apple Discussion Forums.



09/20/06 UPDATE: Apple has begun publishing tech support documents to address some reported bugs in iTunes 7.


09/24/06 UPDATE II – A SOLUTION!: Intrepid reader Ben solves the issue. It works like a charm. Scroll down to his comments, and follow his directions! It worked like a charm for me! Way to go, Ben! My new hero!


12/10/06 UPDATE: Apple releases firmware version 1.2.1. I also did a little experimenting and discovered a simpler solution to the updating issue.


02/02/07 UPDATE: iTunes 7.0.2 and Microsoft Vista compatibility issues.


03/05/07 UPDATE: Apple releases iTunes 7.1, adding support for Apple TV and also supports a new full screen Cover Flow and improved sorting options.


07/01/07 UPDATE: There has been reports that iTunes 7.3 is causing issues. Check out the Apple Discussion Forums about iTunes 7.3 can’t save library (Unknown error -50) .


07/11/07 UPDATE: Apple releases iTunes 7.3.1. According to Apple, “iTunes 7.3.1 addresses a minor problem with iTunes 7.3 accessing the iTunes Library.”


09/10/07 UPDATE: Apple releases iTunes 7.4.1. The release notes state, “This update adds support for the new iPod nano (third generation), iPod classic, and iPod touch, plus create customer ringtones exclusively for iPhone.”


09/17/07 UPDATE: Apple releases iTunes 7.4.2. What’s new in this version: “iTunes 7.4.2 addresses an issue with creating ringtones using iTunes Plus song purchases and includes bug fixes to improve stability and performance.”


09/27/07 UPDATE: Apple releases iTunes 7.4.3: iTunes 7.4.3 addresses issues with the initial setup of the iPod touch on some international versions of Windows.


11/07/07 UPDATE: Apple releases iTunes 7.5, which contains some significant new features and updates. This iLounge articles explains in great detail all the changes included in this version.


11/11/07 UPDATE: Read about my experience “jailbreaking” the iPod Touch.


04/04/08 UPDATE: The latest version of iTunes is 7.6.2.


I’ve been using iTunes since version 3 – I believe – and never had any serious problems with it. Sure, there were annoying things about the program (mostly how bloated and slow its become since version 5), but no show stoppers. That all changed with iTunes 7. Below is a list of issues that I’ve experienced since installing version 7 Tuesday night.


First Issue
After completing the installation, iTunes 7 would not recognize my iPod (Video/60GB/Black). After a little searching, I found this article on Apple’s support site. The solution was simple enough and it was not a catastrophic issue. Everything looking good.


Second – and the main and major – Issue
Starting with this release, Apple made it so that the only way to update your iPod’s firmware is through iTunes – there is no longer a separate download for a firmware update. Unfortunately, iTunes does a terrible job of installing the new firmware. In fact, it does such a horrible job that your iPod is not updated at all, and iTunes sits there infinitely with a dialog box that says “Updating iPod …” instead. The first time this happened, I let it run overnight just to see if it was just a slow process. If only. The only way to cancel the “update” process is to kill iTunes via Task Manager. I uninstalled/re-installed iTunes, rebooted, and all the other normal things you do on a PC when something acts up. No luck. I posted a plea for help on the Apple Discussion Forums and iLounge. No replies. Through some sleuthing, I was able to uncover the website from which iTunes downloads the firmware update. Fortunately (or not, depending on your point of view), I was able to browse to the site using Internet Explorer and download the update. Unfortunately, the firmware files were not in a form that can be easily installed manually. Or, I just don’t know how to install the file into the iPod. The update was not a simple executable. So, still no help, luck, or mana from heaven. I finally found a clue while searching through Digg. Apparently, I’m not the only one who is experiencing this problem. The comments section of the post provided a link to this (possible) solution. I eagerly – and carefully – followed the instructions … No Luck. iTunes still ejects my iPod and hangs on that damn dialog box.


Stupid iTunes 7


At this point, I’m between crying and tearing my hair out. After the wife insisted I take a short timeout, I decided to poke around my computer and discovered that iTunes does manage to download the update and store it in the Windows temporary directory. This still does me no good, as I can’t install the file myself, but at least I’m making progress, I think. All this took place over two days, and on this, the third day, I’m still without a solution, and this experience has made me resentful of Apple. Not only has iTunes become more bloated and hogs up ever more resources, but now a major functionally simply does not work. I love my iPod and I think Macs are nifty machines, but Apple – and this pertains to Quicktime also – cannot write Windows applications worth a damn. Steve Jobs should take some of that money he’s making hand-over-fist from the iPod and hire some programmers from Microsoft to write all of Apple’s Windows applications. Some have argued that I would not be experiencing these issues if I was using a Mac. Indeed that may be so, but that’s no excuse for poorly written software. If Apple wants to make something available to PC users, then it should do it well and not offer second-rate products to non-Mac users. Many other people have complained about a multitude of other issues, both with iTunes and the new firmware. So perhaps its a a good thing I don’t have the update, but I should still be able to install it without problems if I want to.


Third Issue
This is minor and more of an annoyance. With iTunes 7, you have to have your iPod connected to the USB cable first before opening iTunes. Otherwise, iTunes will not recognize the iPod. This is not the case with version 6. Also, once you eject your iPod and close iTunes, re-opening iTunes will not cause the iPod to mount. Instead, you have to unplug the iPod from the cable, plug it in again, then re-open iTunes. With version 6, you can re-open iTunes and the iPod will mount. I have the “Enable Disk Use” option selected, so this might not be an issue if that option is not used. I also do not recall how it worked previous to version 6.0.5, so it is possible that version 6 was broken, and version 7 fixed the behavior.


The Upside
Nevertheless, there are some good things with version 7. I like the new pretty icons (I’m a sucker for pretty icons), and I love the new way to browse your songs by album cover – eventhough it smells like a copy from Microsoft’s Windows Media Player 11. I also like how iTunes will now automatically download album covers. This features comes a bit late for me, as I had already spent 6-months diligently finding artwork for each song in my collection, album-by-album. [iTunes is either an OCD’s worst nightmare or dream come true]. I also enjoy the new way iTunes displays information on its left-hand pane, although I dislike how music videos can now only be represented by a Smart Playlist. A feature many other users are excited about – but which I am nonchalant – is Gapless Playback. I had to have someone explain the concept of gapless playback to me. I’m still not sure why it’s such a big deal. Oh, well. So, if anyone happens to stumble upon this article and know of a solution to my issue, please let me know. I’m going nuts over here.


UPDATE – 09/14/06 at 10:33 pm
After work, I had the brilliant idea of installing iTunes on my wife’s laptop. If it won’t install on my laptop, then maybe a fresh install on a clean machine will do the trick. The result? . . . No luck (again). I got a step further – iTunes actually showed a dialog indicating it was downloading the update and displayed the release notes, but then the same result (stupid dialog box). Really, the only thing left for me to do is to restore my iPod. I loathe to do this, as it is the “nuclear” option. Also, I would be even more peeved if, after going through the trouble of wiping my iPod, the problem still persists. However, the fact that a fresh install of iTunes on a clean machine does not resolve the issue makes me believe the problem is with the iPod, not the computer(s). Also after work, I searched through the iLounge forums again and found this post. I tried it and (you guessed it) no luck. I checked out Apple’s Discussion Forums again, and found this post. I haven’t tried it yet, and I’m not sure I will. At this point, I’m thinking that I should just wait and see if Apple will release an update in the next few weeks. Except for the firmware updater, Version 7 works fine in every other respect. Surely, Apple cannot ignore all this uproar. If an update is released, and I still experience issues, then I will go nuclear. Sigh.

Categories: iPod
  1. Patrick
    September 16, 2006 at 8:07 pm

    Geez… you think the latest version would make it easier to use iTunes! Well I’ve updated and have had no problems. Probably do to two things: 1. I don’t have an iPod (although I would like one soon…) and 2. I’m running Mac OS X 10.4.7 on an Apple MacBook (I don’t know which is more kick-ass, the OS or the MacBook!) and as everyone knows Apple software always runs a lot better on its native system. It’s like translating sentences between languages. If anyones looking into buying a new and inexpensive computer, but would like to make/try “the switch,” (Windows –> Mac) I would highly reccommend an iMac for desktop and a MacBook for portable. But for all you Windows iTunes users, and don’t get me wrong, I used to be one of you guys, I guess you’ll just have to deal with the technical issues until further refined versions are released.

  2. Pelagius
    September 17, 2006 at 7:16 pm

    We’ll see how this goes… it’s taking about 22 minutes for iTunes to import a 3:20 song from a CD… Not looking good.

  3. Tommy Collins
    September 17, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    Same exact problem for me too (not recognizing my pod) and spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out and fix using all the step and fixes offered by Apple. I thought installing the new version would actually make the program and Ipod work better with each other, but the fact that such a monster company would release a product which has these kinds of problems is disgraceful. At least they could give you the option on their website to download the previous version so I can actually update my pod again. If they don’t come out with a fix soon, I will consider selling my pod and getting something else.
    Good job Mr. Job’s.
    -disgruntled consumer

  4. Duncan
    September 18, 2006 at 3:54 am

    It is nice to see that I am not the only person who has issues with iTunes 7.0. I run iTunes on both my work machine and on my home PC (which is a damn sight more powerfull than my work PC) and are both running WIN XP. I must say that I am very disopointed with the whole performance of the new version.

    For the issue on the gapless playback, the way I understand it, if you have a CD with a live concert on it ie: live with no fades or gaps between tracks. This new feature allows you to ‘mark’ the tracks to use gapless playback, OK? So what? What this now does is if you use the crossfade feature in iTunes, all the tracks marked with this gapless function will automaticaly not utilise the crossfade function and play the tracks in their original state as they were produced. Got it, good. It took me a while to understand this concept.

    The slowness of iTunes is I think due to the fact that it is constintaly scanning your library real time. Ever notice how when you shut it down you get a small screen that says it is now uddating your library? Bit of a stupid way of doing it because if you have a huge library it will take forever for this process to complete. This is like I say only what I have assessed.
    The other down side is with the previous versions of iTunes you could share music on various levels of versions, now you need 7.0 to be able to listen to other users music. Another downside is the album info that getsdisplayed in visulization mode. It is tiny to the point where you have to get up close to the screen to read the info. Not good.

    Umong other down sides I have found with it, it seems that 7.0 has gone the same way version 5 did. Very disapointed and am now going to roll back to 6.0.5 (found the files to keep to not lose my playlists etc.).

  5. ads
    September 18, 2006 at 7:22 am

    i have had the sam problem with my ipod not connecting. I called the apple icare, even though i dont have that plan thing with them. After sitting on hold with them for 3 hour i finaly got someone. The guy walked me through a bunch of things, after installing and uninstalling 500 times and restarting my computer at least 20 times…..it didn’t work. So he told me to go to the nearest apple store and see if they could fix it. The nearest apple store is 3 hours away. SO that is out of the question. I was messing around with it again and all of the suddon it started to update. After getting it to update, itunes didn’t find my ipod still, but it is updated. I would say give them a call and ask them. But i just went back to itunes 6. I cant buy music from itunes because i don’t have itunes 7, but thats really there problem, because now they aren’t getting my money. Good Luck!

  6. September 18, 2006 at 10:40 am

    Yea. Interesting that you’ve had all those problems. (And totally lame might I add). I also have had a number of issues with this new version of iTunes, one of which is being unable to LISTEN TO MUSIC! (Well not entirely factual, but close). Everytime I play music, and any other sound is being processed by my Sound Card (Audigy 2 ZS) The music goes from fine, to garbled skipping CRAP. Why exactly this is happening only the Apple programmers know. So, I sympathize with you. And I Honestly hope all your problems go away with 7.0.1! (And mine too). :)

  7. Matt
    September 18, 2006 at 5:22 pm

    Thank you Thank you for this article.
    I am getting to the point wher I do not want to update ANYTHING once I have it set up. 7.0 gave me a huge headache!!

  8. Josh
    September 18, 2006 at 7:51 pm

    I too have been having many problems with iTunes 7.0. From choppy fullscreen video to skipping crappy sounding music to it not recognizing my iPod. I tried to uninstall the software but for some reason it wouldn’t let me so I had to do a sys restore…HUGE mistake. Whenever I tried to open iTunes it told me a newer version had been previously installed and therefore couldn’t open. Again it wouldn’t let me uninstall because there were now “missing files”. So after 2 days of scouring the internet I found a way of removing every file..ie going into the system registry, deleting files folders and whatever. After all evidence of Apple was completely gone from my computer I re-installed 6.0.5 and finally got it working again. There were all of my videos and music and all that good stuff. One HUGE problem I had received an iTunes card and had planned on downloading a movie, 2 music videos and a song. You apparently can’t do that unless you have the latest version of iTunes. At this point I am NOT a happy person. So I emailed customer service explaining I refuse to put this infernal software back on my precious laptop and the response I get…” In order to make any further purchases with us you must download the latest version of iTunes” So let me get this straight…Apple is forcing me to put 7.0 on my computer only so I can relive the 2 day nightmare I had before. I don’t think so. So I simply sent them an email back explaining how I am currently saving money to purchase a Macbook, and I now have 2 iTunes cards to use and if I absolutely MUST download 7.0 in order to make a purchase then, the money saved so far for the Macbook will be used on something other than their product, the cards will be given away, iTunes will be removed from my computer, and I will sell or maybe take my iPod out back and set fire to it or crush it with a hammer. I have yet to hear back from them. This whole thing has been to say the very a HUGE NIGHTMARE. My advice… don’t download it…if you do, don’t expect ANY help from Apple because apparently they don’t give a rat’s ass about their customers.

  9. Duncan
    September 19, 2006 at 4:44 am

    Well, did the regretable last night. Rolled back to iTunes 6.0.5. What a relief! A version that finaly works properly again.
    However, to add coals to the fire, if anyone has a huge database of music and numerous playlists and settings, guess what? YOU LOSE IT ALL! (not the music files though). It now seems that the latest version of iTunes writes it files in a new format and unfortunatly (for us mere mortals) none of the previous versions can read the fricken files!!!!
    That realy sucked for me, days and days of perfecting playlists and filters down the damn toilet.
    So to all those who want to roll back from ver. 7.0 to an older version, beware. You will have to start again.
    Thanks Apple!!!!

  10. Amy
    September 19, 2006 at 1:41 pm

    I recently just got the 80GB video ipod. I downloaded 7.0 because they said I had to. Now some of my music that was originally in my library cannot be recognized by 7.0 because it says it can’t find “the original host”. And I can’t find the original host because it isn’t coming from a CD or from iTunes. Most of it is music a friend shared or that I downloaded from another source. Any suggestion on how I can get iTunes 7.0 to recognize these songs and get them on my iPod?? It’s more than 400 songs so I would be very sad if lost all of them. Thanks!!

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