A Different Take on iTunes 4.0.1

Looking around at the headlines on various blog friends…

“iTunes 4.0.1 Goes Straight To The Top Of My ‘Blow Me” List’ – Corey Tamas

“iTunes 4.0.1 = ass” – Peter Cohen

…you’d think Apple has pulled the biggest boner in history with iTunes 4.0.1.

For you non-Mac users (and it’s required by bloglaw that I describe the situation), iTunes 4.0 had the ability to stream music over the Internet, as a offshoot feature from the Rendezvous sharing. The community bit into this like a rabid dog, and immediate there were twenty ways to steal MP3s via this manner, never mind huge listings of places you can stream off of people. iTunes 4.0.1’s biggest change is that you can only stream off of people on your subnet.

Before I start off on my little anti-anti-Apple rant, let me just say that I agree with Peter that it’s silly to try and use technology to police human nature. And I agree with Corey that Apple trying to push this as some sort of great, positive upgrade is hugely boneheaded.

But honestly, what’s the option for Apple here? Their product is getting exploited for uses that it wasn’t designed for. Are they supposed to ignore that? Are they supposed to just leave the feature in and go, “Hey guys, cut that shit out”?

And needless to say, we are talking about Apple here. The company where every move they make is followed by a flood of criticism, no matter what the decision is. Faster machines? Well, they aren’t cheap enough. New OS X upgrade with tons of new features? Well, shit, we shouldn’t have to pay $130 for it, we should pay $20 instead. Losing support for my machine from 1996? Those bastards, how dare they. Won’t get Quartz Extreme to run on my Rage IIc with 2MB VRAM? I hate Apple, I’m going to go buy a PC.

This isn’t a forced upgrade, although I would imagine things will break as much as Apple can make them break if you’re still using 4.0 – which isn’t very much. You can’t stream on a LAN between 4.0 and 4.0.1. Maybe somehow they can disable the IMS for 4.0 users – but to the people that are really fighting this upgrade (the ones who quite possibly might’ve been abusing the internet streaming), is that really going to matter?

I think that given all the options, Apple made the only decision they really could – and I’m not going to begrudge them of that just because they took away a feature I barely use.