Why I Hate Apple Part 1


I named this “Part 1” because I have many complaints about Apple, as in the snooty computer company. I wouldn’t care enough to post about them if they didn’t offer 2 great products. It’s just the fact that they have 2 superior products (iPod and Final Cut video editing software) that I am involved enough to really get annoyed with the way Apple does things. Everything else about Apple really gets under my skin. I’ll try to keep this one short-ish (I failed, so I put sub-headings in the post). It has to do with what I just spent the past hour of my time trying to figure out.

What I’m After

This has to do with my iPod…more specifically, with one of the most horrible applications ever spewed into the digital world: iTunes. One quick note, if somebody is reading this and knows of a better solution, PLEASE let me know of an alternative.

A while ago, I bought a large collection of audio CDs by a religious author of whom I have grown quite fond. His name is Truman G. Madsen. Shortly after buying the discs, I ripped them to my computer in mp3 format, the most universal compressed audio format around. So now that I have a nice new iPod (my old one died after only 5 years of very infrequent use, which is really a joke, VCRs typically last much longer) I figured I’d use the neat new Audio Books section to listen to Truman’s dissertations. Boy was I in for a surprise!

The Problem

I started by moving the files to my iPod using iTunes. Then I selected the files and looked for a place in the “Get Info” menu to set them to audio book files (since I could only drag the files to the iPod, not to a specific area). That option didn’t exist. I then turned to the iTunes help menu…no help. So I went to Google. The only solution I found (which I found in around a dozen different places) was quite the opposite of Apple’s claim of how “it just works.”

The Solution

Here’s what I found out, step by step, that I have to do to get this to work:

  1. Put the mp3 files into the iTunes library, the one on my computer, not my iPod.
  2. Change the import settings to import songs using the AAC format.
  3. Convert the mp3 files to aac files (hooray, I get to double compress the files since I have the CDs in storage).
  4. Here’s the fun part!

  5. Now, rename every aac file extension from .m4a to .m4b. Apparently that makes the files show up in iTunes as audio book files (nice and easy, since most people don’t even know what a file extension is).
  6. Add the newly converted and renamed files to the iPod. They will now show up in the Audio Books area.

Now, to me, that seems a bit more tedious than being able to drag the files directly into the Audio Books area within iTunes. I don’t know, call me lazy, but that seems like it would make the most sense. After all, there is an entire area devoted to audio books with its own little icon and everything. Wouldn’t it make sense to be able to drag files into that area? If only I was smart enough to figure that out, maybe Apple would let me do it.

How I Would’ve Done It

I’ll now make a comparative step-by-step list of how I think it should be done, just for comparison’s sake.

  1. Drag mp3 files into the Audio Books area of the iPod contents within iTunes.

That’s not entirely true, I would have it set up to do it without the use of iTunes, but that is simply inconceivable.

Why I’m Mad at Apple

The fact that I couldn’t find anything about how to add my own audio book CDs to my iPod within Apple’s help files tells me one thing that I already knew about Apple, but for some reason, thought they may have lightened up on: If you are willing to pay Apple a lot of money, they will let you use their products in the way they decide you should use them on your own computer. Now isn’t that awesome? All I get when I use Windows is a choice of what software I would like to use to do whatever it is I want to do in whatever way I want to do it. I guess Windows doesn’t realize I’m too stupid to realize that the way I want to do it isn’t the cool or trendy way in which I should do it.


Thanks Apple! If I ever get rich enough to use only your products, maybe I’ll be able to run my computer just like everyone else with an Apple so I can be trendy and awesome!


Because in the end, I like things to work the way I think they should work (yeah, I’m a PC user, not a Mac user, I think for myself), I will most likely spend the time to re-convert those files, rename the file extensions, and put them on my iPod so I can pretend that Apple isn’t trying to ruin my brain.

If I post deeper into this series, you may see a recurring theme of how I feel that Apple is pure evil for 2 reasons. First, they require large sums of money to stay true to their products and be able to get full functionality out of the things for which end users have already paid. Second, they make it very difficult to customize the way their products work. I believe that is because they figure most people are too dumb to know what they want and might break things, so they just tell you that their way is the cool and groovy way to do it.

The End…for now.

Comments (13)

Maybe that link will soothe your Apple hate. And it’s free!!

Disclaimer: This message was posted by on a Mac.

Woo! That looks good, I think I’ll give it a go. Thanks broseph.

I don’t know if I should comment. It seems as though you’ve made up your mind already. We could go into the the whole PC vs Mac wars but that would be like the Ford vs Toyota wars, Carl’s Jr. Vs. Burger King, Surfing vs wakeboarding etc etc.

iTunes doesn’t suck to me. And although apple may be the “snooty” company the hardward and software works for me, and I don’t have to buy 6 versions of Vista.

Wow, pretty scathing! šŸ™‚ The only thing I have to comment on is the remark about thinking for yourself. I have used – and administrated – all three major OSs available today (and for no small time) and my experience has been that, as a whole, Mac users tend to think more for themselves than Joe PC User.

Of course I know people whom I consider to be brilliant who use one of the three (or any combination for that matter) major OSs so it seems one’s intelligence cannot be determined by which OS a person chooses to use.

Unlike MS, Apple do actually listen to customer/developer comments (especially on their Open Darwin projects) so perhaps input to them would help get your problem resolved. I’d love to see integrated audiobook support in iTunes.

Haha, I know I have many Mac user readers. I thought this would spark up some commentage. Keb, as to your buying 6 versions of Vista comment. What I like about Windows is that the updates are FREE. OS X updates every once in a while, and you have to pay a lot of money to stay updated…not cool. So I’d rather pick which version of Windows I’ll need and get all the updates for free.

Actually, the $200 I’ve paid for the last two updates (Tiger and Leopard) is less than the cost of a single XP license.


It’s really not a sour thing (I really believe choice is good for the consumer), but I will say I’d be angry if I’d actually paid for Vista. I’ve yet to feel that way about the three Mac OS releases I’ve used.

That being said, I don’t mean to detract from Billy’s complaints. In no way is the Mac platform perfect and I believe there is solid room for improvement in some areas. Granted, Apple likes to keep control of things, but I personally switched because after years of Windows and Linux, I craved the simplicity.

I’ve got your back here Billy. Granted, I haven’t ever used a Mac much, but I feel the same way about iTunes-seems like one must waste quite a bit of time to use it. Also, the battery on my 5th generation iPod is already going bad. On top of all this, I don’t really ever want to buy a Mac just because of their arrogant commercials and their faggy spokesperson.

Not gang up you Billy, but OSX updates are free. The only time you need to pay is when a new operating system is released. The thing is that Windows users have become accustomed to waiting SEVERAL years for a new operating system. However, because Apple is proficient enough to churn them out about every two years it might seem to a Windows user that Apple is constantly trying get your money,(which it sounds like you do). I have been very happy with all of my OSX purchases for what it’s worth.

Disclaimer: This message was posted on a Mac

Windows has the lion’s share of the operating system market; iPod has the same in the mp3 player market. Simply going with the market leaders doesn’t seem like strong evidence of thinking for oneself.


You’ve always had such a good attitude Billy. šŸ™‚ BTW, update on the wakeboarding?

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