Tuesday, January 29, 2008

iTunes and Device Control- Another Opinion

One of my big theories about the internet is that it's always hard to evaluate anything based on what's written on the internet. People who really like things seem to be slugs for the most part, while the haters out there seem to have a ton of energy.

Now don't get me wrong. I hate the record companies as much as the next guy. I'm also a pragmatist. The iTunes store would never have happened without DRM, and the DRM (FairPlay) has never caused me a problem. I've never been unable to play a song when I wanted to and where I wanted to. And I'm way outside the curve. I actually have 5 computers that get daily use- a MacBook Pro, a MacBook, a G5, a Mac Mini, and an HP PC of dubious origin.

The MacBook Pro has, for the entire time I've had it, been my primary iTunes box. It's the machine all my iPods, my iPhone, and my MacTV are linked to. It's also dead as a doorstop due to an odd series of circumstances. I wasted no time moving my portable needs to the MacBook, but with the MacBook Pro on its way to Texas to get some Applecare, I didn't want to set the MacBook up as my iTunes home. For one thing, the hard drive isn't big enough. For another, if the MacBook Pro does come back alive I don't want to have to do all that work twice.

Now, if you don't set iTunes up properly, when you sync your iDevice, it will wipe out whatever is on it and replace it with whatever you've told iTunes to autofill the device with from that computer- usually nothing.

But if you do set it properly, you can still plug in, get a charge- and transfer all the purchased items from the iTunes store that are on it to the computer, but only if you want to.

That device control- which usually gets knocked as a DRM-centric, crippling liability- actually has allowed me to keep my devices charged and full of their own music, and not have to cross-pollinate the different iTunes libraries that are divergent on my different computers.

I like it. I don't feel crippled. i just feel like I have the control that I want.

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