1 September 2008

The Curse of iTunes

Since I started using a Mac about a year ago, I've grown very accustomed to iTunes, almost dependent. There's a lot to speak in favour of it. It looks pretty. It's easy to use. It has lots of handy features.

But there's just one major issue. It's not free software.

Apart from Mac OS X itself, iTunes is almost the only piece of proprietary software I use on a daily basis. There are a handful of proprietary Mac applications I use occasionally, like iDvd, but iTunes is the only one that's a major part of my life.

If there was a free software solution that could replace iTunes, I'd be happy, but I haven't found one yet. Since iTunes is free to download anyway, I don't see why Apple doesn't just make it truly free. Perhaps there are issues involving the use of the iTunes store, but I don't really see why making the software open source should have any bearing on it.

And while we're at it, I don't see what's keeping Apple back from making Mac OS X free software in its entirety. They've taken huge and important steps in making parts of it free and utilizing free software tools, but when they wrap it up with a proprietary interface, what's the point? It should be all or nothing when it comes to freedom. Certainly many GNU/Linux distributions, like Ubuntu, and other OSs have proven how successful free software can be. If money's the only issue, they can still sell versions, convenient installation DVDs with additional support, documentation etc, to people who want such things. Or just put up hardware prices slightly.

Corporations. They try sometimes, but they just don't get it.

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