Monday, April 5, 2010

Does Apple Need to Pull the iTunes 9.1 Upgrade for Windows?

Amid all the fanfare of the successful release of the Apple iPad a new problem for Windows users of iTunes software has arisen.

In preparation for the launch Apple released version 9.1 of their software for both Mac & Windows (32 & 64 bit), besides the usual security tweeks the software package included some major changes including:

  1. The drivers for the iPad
  2. Changes to iTunes to allow for syncing iBooks and other iPad specific content
  3. An updated version of Bonjour

While the update seems to have gone smoothly for Snow Leopard/Leopard users it has been anything but for Windows users.  A quick look at the Apple support forums, the " Installing & Upgrading iTunes for Windows" will show the myriad of problems which have occurred to Windows users. While I'm always amazed that, considering the wide variations in the configurations of Windows computers, software updates on PC go as smoothly as they do it's apparent that this one is much worse than usual.  Within hours of it's release the issues started to arise, they included:

  • Bonjour 2.0 not being installed correctly in Vista & Win7 machines
  • Apple Mobile Device Manage not being installed properly
  • Problems with the update to the library format including
    • Videos being reformatted (probably being optimized for the iPad) and no longer displaying correctly on smaller iPods
    • Podcast being relabeled as music
    • Library format being updated (that's the usual event but in this case it means that if you roll back 9.0.x won't be able to read your library

Uninstalling and rolling back to 9.0.x may or may not solve the problem depending on whether or not you're able to delete the new version of Bonjour from your system.

Not for one moment to I believe that Apple failed to do some quality testing on their software but it is rapidly becoming apparent that there are too many problems with this version of iTunes for it to be out in general distribution (I haven't seen such error reports since the 7.7 "Spinning beach ball of death" issues).
Although Apple obviously wants to push out this version of iTunes so that PC users can enjoy their iPads I believe that it is time for Apple to admit that there are problems with the update and pull it from distribution.  Possibly they could offer iPad customers a chance to activate their devices at the Apple store so that they can be used.  While this will not allow users to add their personal content to the device at least they can start download apps from the iPad store and use it to browse on-line content.

Posted via web from Dr. Mom's Posterous

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