In my move to ultimate portabilitiy, and my ever-long quest to downgrade my life, I’ve been trying to leave behind my music library in favor of a streaming app like Spotify or Rdio. iTunes Match is great in theory, but I’m starting to get tired of having to purchase music all the time. The files eat up my hard drive space, even though iTunes Match pseudo-streams your files. Managing them has become a bore. I’ve finally settled on Rdio, so it seems, but my move to the service has re-ignited the flames of fustration I feel for iTunes, and more particularly the currently location of the iOS App Store, which is buried within the music application. Long story short, it’s time kill it off, and move the iOS App Store for good, and it should happen right this second.
If Apple’s intention was one App Store to rule them all, they lost that war the moment they released the Mac App Store, which is ironically called App Store in OS X. There are now three distinct App Stores in OS X, and two of them share the same home, while the other has been liberated and is now enjoying its golden age in solitude, away from the anarchy and choas that’s become iTunes.
The last week I’ve been using Rdio exclusively, and I’m increasingly getting annoyed that I have to open up iTunes just to get at the iPad and iPhone App Stores. It makes no sense for me any longer, and in the grand Apple scheme of things, it makes less and less sense for the company to include the iOS App Store in iTunes at all. For me, now that I’ve moved to a streaming service, iTunes is no longer about the music, and it’s entirely about iOS apps. I now have to open iTunes and wait for my connection to work so iTunes Match works, then I can click on the iTunes Store (poorly named at this point), then I have to click the App Store links that are pushed to the periphery at the expense of Music, Movies, and TV Shows. Which, for a company increasingly reliant on iOS apps, iPhones, and iPads as their primary business model these days, makes very little sense to me.
It’s pretty clear that iTunes is having an identity crisis these days, isn’t it? All Apple has to do is move all things iOS to the actual App Store application in OS X, and then rebrand the iTunes Store to something along the lines of a Media Store, but with a catchier, Thundbolt-like naming convention. Then, if I want audio and video, which I don’t these days, I can open up what’s become Apple’s most bloated OS X application. If I want an app, I can head to the actual App Store. The personal benefits are two-fold: first, I can leave behind Apple’s iTunes for good; second, I can leave behind Apple’s iTunes for good.
My 11-inch Macbook Air has limited storage real-estate, despite my harddrive upgrade, and dedicating that precious space to a music and video library is a thing of the past for me. Netflix all the movies, and Rdio all the music. Sure, those solutions have an additional monthly stipend, but the price has become more about the cost of everywhere access, and less about purchasing the individual works of art. I think about these prices more like a monthly membership to a museum than I do buying a Monet. One’s ridiculously overpriced, and the other I can look at whenever I want. I’ll take the monthly memebership fee to look at hundreds of thousands of paintings before I’d be willing to shell out the cash for my very own Monet. The economics and technology have changed, and unless iTunes is going streaming in the near future, I don’t see myself ever purchasing an album outright again.
I’m done with music in iTunes, just in case you couldn’t tell, but what I’m not done with is the iOS App Store. Apple, please stop making me traverse the terrain of one just to get to a completely unrelated land of awesome. It’s tiring, and it’s growing more annoying each and every day.