iTunes 7 isn’t up to par

I’m not a huge Mac fan. I can handle my own on the system and used it as my primary education system when I was earning my multimedia (graphics design, desktop publishing, web design, etc) major while in high school. I remember the Macintosh operating system before it was known as “Mac OS”, at least before version 7, as I remember upgrading to 7. The transition to Mac OS 8 was dandy as well. In short, I’m not a huge Mac fan, but I’m not anti-Apple.
I’m way behind in the iPod game. I don’t own one, or any other mobile digital music device, but I’ve never been huge on always having music with me. I didn’t know what podcasting was for quite some time since the name doesn’t tell you anything, unless you’re familar with the iPod and made the connection.
However, with discovering podcasts, the iPod is now very tempting. I have a whole set of NPR podcasts setup in iTunes as well as a few other favorites, including Paulist Father Dave Dwyer’s Busted Halo. This is great! I can hear the story of the day on NPR with news and commentary whether or not I’m able to catch the live broadcast.
The only thing that could make it better is if I could take it with me in a form a bit easier than my full laptop.
I digress. I’ve been using iTunes to some degree since v. 6, so I’m new to the ballgame. I had previously used MusicMatch before college and mostly Windows Media Player over the past few years. iTunes was a bit of a jump as much of my ripped music was in WMA format and iTunes has to convert those files to mp3 or AAC to be useful.
Nevertheless, I jumped over to the iTunes game and recently upgraded to 7.0 and the shortly-released-thereafter 7.0.1.
I can’t stand it now. It is slow and brings my laptop to a near halt. Sure, I could use more RAM but I figured 1 GB would be enough. Song playback is full of pops and crackles. When attempting to watch a downloaded TV episode on my roommate’s computer, we were unable to get through five minutes of it without it becoming jerky and unwatchable.
Did they put too much into iTunes without ensuring everything can play together? How did some things, like sound playback, get worse?
I expect a basic level of quality for software and iTunes 7 fall short.
Lastly, why can’t they put the iTunes store online as web-accessible? I’m online at a computer lab on campus, but would like to purchase a song to be downloaded when I get home. Shouldn’t I be able to login, purchase a song using my iTunes account and be able to download it when I open iTunes at home?






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