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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fuck You Apple, We’re Not Cattle

posted by on July 9 at 8:22 AM


Dear Apple,

I tried (all frikking day long) to transfer an iTunes library from one PC to another. Someone bought a new computer and asked me to transfer their iTunes library to it. “No problem,” I said.

Five hours and three calls to Apple Support later, I failed. You see, it was the Playlists that were important. The person didn’t want to lose their Playlists. But I lost them. I printed out the twelve page instructions for ‘How to use your iPod to move your music to a new computer’ and followed them exactly. But I still lost the Playlists. I would have lost the music too, but thankfully I had backed it up.

How about ‘How to use this motherfucking rage I’m feeling?” How about that, Apple?

I hit ‘Apply’ and everything vanished. Nothing transferred, no music was there. I was so pissed off I could not speak. Then I got to hold for fifteen minutes waiting to talk to a human and got to put those minutes on my phone.

By the time I spoke to someone I had built up a day’s worth of frustration. I said to the Apple person, “I’m not cattle, don’t treat me like cattle. I am a thinking, feeling, human being who can operate computers.”

What gets me is that they know if they make it difficult enough, you will have to go online to the ‘help’ section where you are shown endless advertising. Then you call them and you are so frantic to fix the problem you give them your email address and they send you more advertising. And finally, you will have to go into the Apple Store, where you will spend every cent to your name.

Apple knows if we see enough product, we will buy. It’s like at the grocery store how they put the milk and the bread as far away from each other as possible. They know if we walk through the grocery store, we will buy beer, Kit-Kat bars, and steak.

Hear me now, Apple people. We’re not cattle, some of us can walk through the grocery store and not buy beer, Kit-Kats, and steak. (We may browse Heavy Metal Magazine, but we don’t buy it.)

Apple needs to simplify the instructions and stop cramming advertising up our asses. You know and they know it doesn’t have to be that complicated.

RSS icon Comments


I recently experienced the "damaged library" phenemenon. I opened my Itunes library to find that 3000 songs had been trimmed to 300. The mp3's were safe, but it wiped the playlists.

Fuck Apple.

Posted by bryce | July 9, 2008 10:07 AM

Trent, was this an Apple, Windows, or other machine?

Posted by mackro mackro | July 9, 2008 10:26 AM


I feel your pain. I have not had a problem with Itunes, but I know the frustration of being in help support hell, and I too don't need another add about the latest Ipod or 3g Iphone, I just want the one I already have to work.

I think you should open up a can of woop-ass on the Apple help desk.

Posted by drheavy | July 9, 2008 10:33 AM

i had to perform this same operation 2 weeks ago. ran out of space on my machine and wanted to move everything to an external HD and have iTunes find my library there.

trent, i figured it out, though it took a while. got all my playlists transferred and everything.

one problem: iTunes decides to duplicate every item. one the "can't be located" and one that can. and now my external HD is full with 28,000 songs instead of 14,000...

hey iTunes--"show duplicates". thanks!
hey chops--"you'll have to select each dupe one at a time. let me know when you're done deleting fourteen thousand items!"
hey iTunes--"fuck you."

i think iTunes is made shitty purposefully for PC users.

if apple would spend maybe one-tenth of what they spend on marketing for actually making iTunes (the app, not the iPod hardware) worthwhile...

feh. fuck you, apple.

Posted by chops | July 9, 2008 10:34 AM

after hearing about all the people waiting in line for days on end to buy the new iPhone, it sadly appears that a healthy chunk of Apple's customers are, in fact, cattle.

Posted by brian cook | July 9, 2008 10:44 AM

@5 ... EXACTLY.
When I read the headline, i thought for sure it was gonna be a post about dipshits waiting in line to buy a product.

Posted by Zack | July 9, 2008 10:51 AM

so...i don't know what operating system you're using, but i've done this a few times with no problems. With a mac all you need to do is copy the two iTunes music libaray files (one's an xml file and both are in the iTunes directory folder with the folder holding all of your albums) over to the new computer and replace the same files on the new computer. Copy all of your albums into the same iTunes music folder location, open iTunes up, and shazam, your playlists and music are all there again.

Posted by scratkriby | July 9, 2008 11:10 AM

I love waiting in line, period. I love advertising. I love being way over marketed to. It's the American way.

No wait, just kidding. Fuck you Apple. Thank you Trent.

I do like steak and Kit kats though.

Posted by james | July 9, 2008 11:11 AM

actually, reading these comments has been helpful. i still say fuck apple. line out saves the itunes day.

Posted by james | July 9, 2008 11:12 AM

Apple's explanation of the files you need to copy over to keep your playlists...

Posted by scratkriby | July 9, 2008 11:16 AM

@ 7/10,

for a PC, it's a bit more complicated:

and what the article does explain is that it still doesn't work very well. (see @4.)

Posted by chops | July 9, 2008 11:39 AM

My Zune sounds all staticky like my iPod used to wehn the battery was low. I think it may have started when I went over half on memory, but that may not be the issue. Anyone have an idea?

Posted by left coast | July 9, 2008 11:49 AM

I've been happy with being an iPod owner using a Windows machine... but the main caveat -- as with any machine -- is BACKUP SAVE BACKUP SAVE ALL THE TIME YES EVEN IF IT HURTS

Yes, I click on each playlist and back it up too, although not nearly as often as i backup the actual mp3s.

Posted by mackro mackro | July 9, 2008 11:56 AM

And I know it's really kinda OCD to maintain this, but as much as possible, get rid of as many unfindable files (i.e. those files with the gray triangles with the exclamation points on the side) in your music library as possible -- whether you need to just delete the file reference, or you need to "refind" the file elsewhere.

Posted by mackro mackro | July 9, 2008 12:08 PM

@14, easier said than done when iTunes 'creates' 14k 'unfindable' files.
a simple 'sort by' feature would be nice, so I could capture all of these and delete them at once. instead, they make me click through every single file to see which are the unfindable ones and which are the 'real' ones.

well, enough outta me.

i still say "iPod, you're a bit of okay. iTunes, fuck off."

Posted by chops | July 9, 2008 12:36 PM

Apple's support to iTunes users has always been weird -- they treat it like its a product and want you to pay for support. That's like going to a store and being told that you can't shop there until you replace the front door.

Posted by JimH | July 9, 2008 12:39 PM

"We may browse Heavy Metal magazine, but we don't buy it."


Posted by KELLY O | July 9, 2008 1:06 PM

maybe you guys just have too many songs you'll never listen to.

go vinyl.

Posted by bebo | July 9, 2008 1:28 PM

I have deep feelings about Apple and Digi right now. Maybe I'm just an idiot...

Dear Apple and Digi,

I am a long-time ProTools user, and I need to upgrade my computer, for which I need to upgrade my ProTools, for which there is no working upgrade for your most recent operating system(s).

Digi! Apple! What the fuck are you doing? What's your fucking problem?

Making me choose between your program (which I am familiar with) and abandoning years of work in progress so I can move on to a much better program... makes me want to hack you with a machete.

You don't care about users who spent less than 10 thousand bucks.


Posted by WOLF BLITZER: SPECIAL REPORT | July 9, 2008 2:00 PM

I shouldn't have to be a huge-dollar-amount consumer (mooo) to feel safe about having work that is transferrable to another system when the time comes.

This shit was not cheap.

Posted by WOLF BLITZER: SPECIAL REPORT | July 9, 2008 2:05 PM

That's why don't bother with bread and milk. Beer, KitKats, and steak will do just fine.

Posted by laterite | July 9, 2008 4:05 PM

Granted I do Mac Consulting for work, but would five minutes with google have been too much work? You would have found out that using an iPod to transfer your music is slow and unreliable. Google "transfer itunes to another computer" the first hit explains that you need to move the library folder to preserve the playlists.

There are numerous knowledge-base articles related to this process for either the mac or the pc and the various versions of iTunes.

I have no idea what website you are referring to that has advertising all over the place, Apples website contains no advertising unless you consider the featured apps in the downloads section as advertising. Or do you think that they should never show any of their customers the products that they make?

I get it, you're not a piece of livestock, but what makes you think that they're expected to kowtow to the demands of alt-weekly writers just because you have some sense of self-importance. Soccer moms feel the same way, trust me. They do have other customers you know. Get in line. You think you wouldn't be on hold with HP or Dell or Adobe or Microsoft or Acer or Xerox or any other company? Geez.

Posted by Super Jesse | July 9, 2008 9:15 PM

I spent a lot longer than 5 minutes on Google there, Super Jess.

The instructions I used were the ones the person wanted me to use. She's trying her best to understand all this stuff and it's really hard for her. is the website I'm talking about and yes, there's advertising.

This was a super frustrating experience trying to get the library transfered over. It doesn't need to be so frustrating.

I think they could simplify it, but they don't want to because they make more money by having all the traffic to the site and to the stores. That's what frustrates me and that's where some of my anger stemmed from, feeling like cattle or whatever. I've already spent a ton of money on their shit. They're trying to get me to spend more.

Self important? No. Just an incredibly pissed off consumer who feels like they're being run around in circles.

I get it that you're a Mac Consultant. But you needn't be a prick about it. Nothing I said was self important at all. I said I was a thinking feeling human being who knows how to work computers. Is that self important? I wasted AN ENTIRE DAY messing with this stuff. 3 service calls. I don't know how many minutes on my phone. And I still wasn't able to transfer the playlists. Tell me when I'm allowed to be frustrated by it there Super Frikking Perfect Jesse.

Could I be smarter about it all? Hell yes I could. But I don't have 2 weeks to go to Apple Camp.

Posted by trent moorman | July 10, 2008 12:48 AM

Because I made the mistake of giving support my email address, I received 4 emails from Apple today.

Am I allowed to complain about that, Jesse? I told them I didn't want them to email me, but they emailed me. That's probably self important if I bitch about that.

Do you like Spam Jesse?

Posted by trent moorman | July 10, 2008 12:53 AM

download iDupe to take care of the duplicate files etc. that has been a life saver for me.

Posted by k | July 10, 2008 9:16 AM

what does iDupe do?

Posted by dope | July 10, 2008 11:00 AM

It's just a music library. Get over it. You learn from your mistakes and move on. Trent your whining and anger only makes you look pathetic. As far as I could tell from your posts you didn't loose your music just the play lists.
Boo fucking hoo.

Posted by Biggie J | July 10, 2008 11:33 AM

Just bought a new PC recently myself. I'm fairly computer savvy, and managed to transfer my iTunes library intact including playlists without much problem. What I did lose, however, and could find no way to replace, was which songs were 'checked' and which weren't. While my entire library goes on the 160 gig iPod, only checked songs go on my nano, so recreating that was a bit of a pain.

I've also experienced the problem with suddenly missing tracks and suddenly duplicated tracks before. It can be frustrating. Never bothered to call Apple, because if I can't figure it out on my own after doing a bit of research, they sure as hell aren't going to be able to help me over the phone. That's been pretty much my experience with all computer companies, actually.

And btw, if you think iTunes can be buggy at times, have you ever tried Zune? Jesus Hallmark Christ, never again! Best way to totally fuck up all of your digital music; Zune even fucks with your iTunes library!

As far as the advertising goes, well, every successful company seems to market their stuff aggressively. At least online, there are lots of ways to filter out and disable ads, if you want to do so. Unlike with, say, every other advertising medium.

Posted by rk | July 10, 2008 12:45 PM

Biggie, I was pissed about losing an entire day's worth of work and getting jerked around by bullshit instructions. Is that whining? You know what, I have every right to get pissed, just like you have every right to be as perfect as I'm sure you are.

I vented and tried to make it entertaining. If you think that's pathetic, that's your problem. I'm sure you've never been frustrated by anything in your life. You're perfect, Biggie, don't forget that. Everything you do in life is absolutely fucking perfect, Biggie.

Posted by trent moorman | July 10, 2008 1:44 PM

Look Trent, we all get are feelers hurt by our beloved computers once in a while. I have wasted many hours on pointless and stupid computer related software fuck ups. Yes I found your post funny but do wanna know something even more interesting than that? You are the first person outside of my circle of friends to ever call me perfect! For that I will always be grateful.

Posted by Biggie J | July 10, 2008 3:31 PM

If you actually purchased any music from iTunes, were you able to keep all the those albums tagged with Apple's shitty DRM?

Of the few albums I've actually purchased from iTunes, the DRM on some actually won't let me even burn those tracks to CD, so I'm either going to have to re-record them via line-in though my soundcard, or kiss them goodbye if I ever want to replace my computer.

Posted by Dougsf | July 10, 2008 6:15 PM


Take the hard drive containing all your music out of your old computer, and hook it up to your new computer; either via an internal drive bay or an external enclosure. Best way to keep your music with you. You can then even easily copy your library over to the new drive if you want.

What I did; worked great.

Posted by rk | July 10, 2008 7:48 PM

iDupe is only for Mac; bummer.

Not like that would get me to switch or anything.

Posted by rk | July 10, 2008 7:51 PM

Go to: and get this program. The free version only does 100 songs so you'll have to shell out $20.00. It first copies the files from your ipod and then it downloads everything onto the new computer. All in all, a VERY good investment.

Posted by Don | July 13, 2008 9:18 AM

i am an old fuck and just got intrduced to a one eyed monster with keys but iget on sites like this just so i can get a response from somebody i dont know

Posted by bob | July 15, 2008 11:42 PM

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