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Apple tops PC rivals in customer experience, but iTunes lags behind

post #1 of 51
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In a recent survey of customer experience, Apple ranked above its main competitors in the personal computing space, but consumers found iTunes to be behind rivals Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

In the new Customer Experience Index of 133 companies compiled by Forrester Research, Apple and its iTunes music service are ranked in places 35 and 46, respectively. While this placed Apple above its PC competitors HP (62nd place), Toshiba (71), Acer (79), Compaq (89), and Dell (97), iTunes fell below rivals Barnes & Noble, which came in first, and fourth-place Amazon.

iTunes' performance relative to other online services was specifically notedÂ* to BusinessWeek by Bruce D. Temkin, VP and principal analyst of customer experience with Forrester.

Even if iTunes doesn't rank as high as Amazon in terms of "customer experience," it is still the premier destination to download movies, music and other content online. Last year, it was found that 25 percent of overall U.S. music sales come through iTunes. In terms of online music sales, iTunes is the undisputed leader with 69 percent of the market.

Also in the Forrester study, AT&T Wireless, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the US, was ranked below competitors T-Mobile and Verizon, but bested mobile carrier Alltel. AT&T saw a similar result in a study released in December, in which consumers ranked the carrier last in terms of customer satisfaction.

The Forrester study was comprised of 133 companies across 14 industries including PC manufacturers, wireless carriers and retailers. Retailers took 12 out of the top 20 spots, while healthcare and Internet, TV and cable providers were found toward the bottom of the list.

The only industries to receive a overall good rating (average score of 80 percent) were retailers, hotels, and parcel delivery services. Barnes & Noble retained its first place ranking from last year's survey with both Charter's cable and TV services taking last place.Â*

The Index was based on the responses of 4,653 US consumers made in November 2009. The companies were rated on three main questions:

1. Thinking about your recent interactions with these firms, how effective were they at meeting your needs?
2. Thinking about your recent interactions with these firms, how easy was it to work with these firms?
3. Thinking about your recent interactions with these firms, how enjoyable were the interactions?
In a similar study of customer experience done in April of 2009, Apple took the top spot among its peers, besting the competition by a considerable margin, being the only computer manufacturer to earn a "good" rating. In fact, Apple consistently outperforms its peers in the computer industry when it comes to customer satisfaction and service.
post #2 of 51
Perhaps this is one of the reasons that Apple is rearchitecting iTunes to be less of a fat client app and wore of a webapp?

It's now possible to listen to music previews using only a web browser. Soon, it will be possible to buy music over a web browser.

Perhaps that will help the consumer ratings.
post #3 of 51
I don't know much about Amazon or B&N, but compared to what it orignally was, iTunes has become cluttered junk. Apple really needs to retool it from the ground up.
post #4 of 51
I believe a completely rewritten client is needed. The interface changes should be minimal, but the underpinning code needs to be largely scrapped and written with speed in mind.

Additionally, when is iTunes going to get 64-bit support on Snow Leopard???
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post #5 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post

Perhaps this is one of the reasons that Apple is rearchitecting iTunes to be less of a fat client app and wore of a webapp?

It's now possible to listen to music previews using only a web browser. Soon, it will be possible to buy music over a web browser.

Perhaps that will help the consumer ratings.

While I like some of the changes in iTunes 9, especially the home sharing feature which works extremely well for us, the new store layout is certainly not one of them. Album and movie covers are much too small now - on a high density screen they are almost indistinguishable, artist names and titles are cut off everywhere - especially helpful when you are on a TV show detail page and it lists 10 seasons under "More Seasons" all having exactly the same name ending with "..." (and of course the season number being included in the "..." part).

I have started to buy some music on Amazon, because the iTunes 9 store is so annoying - at least they have a better presentation than an impressive but useless collection of ellipses.

Maybe some people like it, but for me they have made it much worse.
post #6 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

Additionally, when is iTunes going to get 64-bit support on Snow Leopard???

What would that be good for? I have never seen iTunes using more than 200-250 MB of RAM... and it is not really doing any fancy calculations.

I really hope they work on Final Cut, Aperture, etc. instead.
post #7 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I don't know much about Amazon or B&N, but compared to what it orignally was, iTunes has become cluttered junk. Apple really needs to retool it from the ground up.

I think they need to separate the stores in iTunes itself and not inside the iTunes store page. I want the iTunes Music, iTunes Movies, App Store, Podcast.... etc to be visible on the left side under Store not mixed all together. I want to be able to go to the song part and search for songs. I don't want to search for a song and get apps, movies... etc.

iTunes need to be redesigned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

I believe a completely rewritten client is needed. The interface changes should be minimal, but the underpinning code needs to be largely scrapped and written with speed in mind.

Additionally, when is iTunes going to get 64-bit support on Snow Leopard???

Exactly.
post #8 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

I think they need to separate the stores in iTunes itself and not inside the iTunes store page. I want the iTunes Music, iTunes Movies, App Store, Podcast.... etc to be visible on the left side under Store not mixed all together. I want to be able to go to the song part and search for songs. I don't want to search for a song and get apps, movies... etc.

iTunes need to be redesigned.



Exactly.

i agree Nasser. the site is way too difficult to navigate. and slow. also i am still upset with the itunes song price structure. i think there is justification for charging more for 'hot' songs, but it's ridiculous that relics were not lowered in price.

i started using amazon to register my 'vote' in the marketplace, and have not been disappointed.
post #9 of 51
Agreed - Apple took a good design and overthunk it, and now it is a confusing mess.
post #10 of 51
I actually hate iTunes! Everything about it bugs me. It's very un-apple, cluttered and bloated.

Spotify for me every time, simple, elegant, convenient .
post #11 of 51
Argee, not only iTunes client, but everything from Server, Client, Network Distribution, needs a lot of re-engineering. Using iTunes to navigate everything inside the Store ( App, Music, Podcast .. ) is slow, any current web-based Store response faster. And since it is not web based and does not bound to Web based development restrictions, everyone expect it to be much faster.

Itunes Software in itself is slow.

Unless tunes means something else, why does it have Apps and other Videos for sale?

iPhone Syncing inside iTunes?

Hoping these problems would be Solved with iTunes 10 and QuickTime X./
post #12 of 51
itunes needs some work for sure, but let's be real, if there's one website that is the epitome of cluttered, heavy, badly though and all in your face design that is amazon.
post #13 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

I believe a completely rewritten client is needed. The interface changes should be minimal, but the underpinning code needs to be largely scrapped and written with speed in mind.

Additionally, when is iTunes going to get 64-bit support on Snow Leopard???

Im a not a fan of the iTunes Store layout. I find the whole thing a cluttered mess reminiscent of Yahoo.com. Id much rather buy store from the iPhone OS iTunes and App Stores.

As for a 64-bit version of iTunes, that will come when they make it a Cocoa app. This is a huge undertaking and has likely been in the works for at least a couple years now.I would wager it will come this fall at the iPod Special Event as iTunes X. Apple seems to be naming the Cocoa rewrites with an X marker. Just look at QuickTime 7 to QuickTime X. Also, its 2010 so it make sense and sounds cool at the same time which equates to good marketing.

iTunes X cant simply drop most of its features to be slowly re-added over the next 8 years to catch up to the current iTunes in features. This app will have to have most of the features people already expect from iTunes and itll have to work well. Too many iDevices depend on it. Im sure some things will be different as they find better ways to do things during the process, but for the most part they cant come out with a much simpler app that loses a lot of features people like, they way did with QuickTime X.
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post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Also in the Forrester study, AT&T Wireless, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the US, was ranked below competitors T-Mobile and Verizon, but bested mobile carrier Alltel.

Doesn't Verizon own Alltel?

Why are they listed separately? Is there a map for that?
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by eehd View Post

Doesn't Verizon own Alltel?

Why are they listed separately? Is there a map for that?


June 5, 2008, Verizon Wireless announced it would acquire Alltel Wireless in a deal valued at $28.1 billion. The merger was approved by the Federal Communications Commission on November 4, 2008 and completed on January 9, 2009. With this merger, Verizon Wireless now has approximately 83.7 million wireless subscribers, and covers nearly the entire United States population, making it the largest network in the country by area covered and number of subscribers.
On May 8, 2009, AT&T announced it will acquire 79 of the divested wireless properties, including licenses, network assets, and 1.5 million current subscribers, primarily in rural areas across 18 states. Verizon Wireless is required to divest these properties as part of the regulatory approvals granted for its purchase of Alltel.
Pending regulatory approval, Verizon Wireless has agreed to sell the remaining 26 divested Alltel markets to Massachusetts-based Atlantic Tele-Network.


That's the story behind Alltel
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post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

itunes needs some work for sure, but let's be real, if there's one website that is the epitome of cluttered, heavy, badly though and all in your face design that is amazon.

I've never had a problem using Amazon.com, no matter what I'm searching for. Whether it be books, music or other random items, a quick type of what you're looking for in the Search field and 9 times out of 10 what your looking for is right at the top of the returned results. I really can't say the same about iTunes where I usually have to do quite a bit more clicking to get where I wanted to go.

And a big issue is customer service. I had been using an ancient AOL user ID for iTunes and was informed at some point I needed to switch to an Apple ID. I didn't want to lose all my iTunes+/Complete My Album items, so I decided to try to contact Customer Service. iTunes customer service is mostly fine but getting to them in the first place is a huge pain in the rear. There's no direct like in the iTunes Store. It's hiding somewhere on Apple's site and it's not the most obvious thing to find. Amazon's customer service link is far easier to find and use.

And at least Amazon's site is static. None of the changing ads, scrolling banner thing that dominates the iTunes main page. If you want to talk about in your face, THAT is is the epitome of it.
post #17 of 51
ITunes just doesn't do it for me anymore, its visually an eyesore and has way too much useless stuff on it now.

Attempting to buy music is awful its laggy as all hell even with a direct hardline connection. I do like they have even the most obscure music.

Maybe its just one of my pet peeves but when attempting to find artwork via itunes if you don't have the artist and album spelled exactly correct then it won't find the artwork at all, I figure it should have a suggestion system for what one is looking for.
post #18 of 51
While I prefer iTunes to all other music/movie management software (that I've tried), it does need improvement.

I have 1800+ movies in my library. When syncing to my iPhone, or even clicking on the "movies" tab, it is RIDICULOUSLY slow. Like it has to load info on every single movie; it literally takes about 5 minutes for iTunes to become responsive after clicking the "movies" tab of my iPhone in iTunes.

I also have some nagging problems with songs not being compiled into complete albums. Say, I put a couple songs from an album in iTunes, and got the rest of the album's songs "somehow". Well, I will rename all the songs with the same album, artist, and track # of #, but they will still not play in the correct order, or group together. I'm probably doing something wrong, but this is way too hard.

There is also a problem with iTunes retrieving the correct album art for many albums/songs.

I also have a terrible time with my Apple TV. It randomly, but surely, looses connection with my computer (iTunes). I know when it is acting flaky because it will stop displaying movie artwork (and then say the movies are in the wrong format). I have to restart iTunes and unplug/replug the Apple TV often to get them to sync up correctly. This is lame lame lame. There's no way I could go on deployment and leave my Apple TV with my wife, and expect it to reliably work day-in and day-out.

I don't mind the iTunes store or the general layout. I can usually find what I want quickly. I don't use Genius at all. I just hope they fix the performance problems and AppleTV connection/syncing issues.

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post #19 of 51
I don't mind iTunes 8 (which I'm still using - actually 8.2.1), though it's got some annoyances.

iTunes 9 is awful, though - the final straw was when I couldn't buy anything because I had cookies turned off in Safari. You can't buy anything in iTunes 9 unless you let Apple set Safari cookies. If you don't have Safari 4, you're out of luck.

I was lucky to be able to get back to iTunes 8.2 (I only use iTunes for music, so it works for me. And I can still use the shopping cart!). iTunes 9 changes the iTunes Library file, so you can't go back to 8 unless you have a copy of the old file.
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

I believe a completely rewritten client is needed. The interface changes should be minimal, but the underpinning code needs to be largely scrapped and written with speed in mind.

Additionally, when is iTunes going to get 64-bit support on Snow Leopard???

What speed are you referring to?

My library from music, films, podcasts and apps is extensive and the only time it runs slow is when
I am on the Store and using a slow connection.

But at home, it is virtually instantaneous, even with Genius on.
post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by IHateRegistering View Post

I also have some nagging problems with songs not being compiled into complete albums. Say, I put a couple songs from an album in iTunes, and got the rest of the album's songs "somehow". Well, I will rename all the songs with the same album, artist, and track # of #, but they will still not play in the correct order, or group together. I'm probably doing something wrong, but this is way too hard.

There is also a problem with iTunes retrieving the correct album art for many albums/songs.

There are several things that can make songs list incorrectly. One of them is if some tracks on an album have a disc number listed and some don't. Another is if some tracks are marked as part of a compilation and some aren't.

Another problem can be if some tracks list an "album artist" and some don't, or one of the "sort" fields is different for different tracks.

And beware of having an extra space in the album or artist name.

Album artwork works for me most of the time (when iTunes sells the album - album covers from Beatles albums for example can't be found in iTunes).

There are times, though, when iTunes has the album but says it can't get the artwork, or when it gives me a totally wrong album cover. There should be a way to get covers manually from the iTunes website when iTunes makes a mistake.
post #22 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

What speed are you referring to?

My library from music, films, podcasts and apps is extensive and the only time it runs slow is when
I am on the Store and using a slow connection.

But at home, it is virtually instantaneous, even with Genius on.

Browsing or playing my movies in iTunes is quite fast, and playing them is fast (it was horrible on an older Hp laptop however).

But when I attempt to sync to an iPod or iPhone, it is incredibly slow. Not the actual syncing, but loading the list of my movies in the "movie" tab of the iPod or iPhone in iTunes.

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post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

There are several things that can make songs list incorrectly. One of them is if some tracks on an album have a disc number listed and some don't. Another is if some tracks are marked as part of a compilation and some aren't.

Another problem can be if some tracks list an "album artist" and some don't, or one of the "sort" fields is different for different tracks.

And beware of having an extra space in the album or artist name.

Album artwork works for me most of the time (when iTunes sells the album - album covers from Beatles albums for example can't be found in iTunes).

There are times, though, when iTunes has the album but says it can't get the artwork, or when it gives me a totally wrong album cover. There should be a way to get covers manually from the iTunes website when iTunes makes a mistake.

Man, I've selected all the songs I want to be part of the same album, did a "get info", selected every single field and made them identical, and did a batch change to all the songs. They still play and list in the incorrect order. Not every album but some. Yes, I've modiffied the track numbers too. It just makes me pull what's left of my hair out sometimes.

When I import my library into iTunes (I seem to have to do this way more often than I'd like), it assigns crazy album covers to some songs/albums. Way wrong. Thankfully only a small portion of songs are affected like this.

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post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by IHateRegistering View Post

Man, I've selected all the songs I want to be part of the same album, did a "get info", selected every single field and made them identical, and did a batch change to all the songs. They still play and list in the incorrect order. Not every album but some. Yes, I've modiffied the track numbers too. It just makes me pull what's left of my hair out sometimes.

When I import my library into iTunes (I seem to have to do this way more often than I'd like), it assigns crazy album covers to some songs/albums. Way wrong. Thankfully only a small portion of songs are affected like this.

Can you do a screen shot of the actual problem and post a LINK to the image here?
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post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

While I like some of the changes in iTunes 9, especially the home sharing feature which works extremely well for us, the new store layout is certainly not one of them. Album and movie covers are much too small now - on a high density screen they are almost indistinguishable, artist names and titles are cut off everywhere - especially helpful when you are on a TV show detail page and it lists 10 seasons under "More Seasons" all having exactly the same name ending with "..." (and of course the season number being included in the "..." part).

I have attempted to replicate your issues, but I must be missing something.

Unless you are using a slow computer and connection, the 'i' buttons and rollovers work beautifully and extremely fast. Especially love the previews.
post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by IHateRegistering View Post

Browsing or playing my movies in iTunes is quite fast, and playing them is fast (it was horrible on an older Hp laptop however).

But when I attempt to sync to an iPod or iPhone, it is incredibly slow. Not the actual syncing, but loading the list of my movies in the "movie" tab of the iPod or iPhone in iTunes.

So you are using newer HP laptop?

'Loading?' Are you referring to the actual time it takes to download the movie to your iPod? How large are they?
post #27 of 51
It is AMAZING that:

- iTunes (Store) has an awkward search and browse engine.
- iTunes (desktop application) does not allow to RESUME playback if you quit the application and open it again, restart or shut down the Mac and start up again.

- Much as it is also amazing that QuickTime window cannot be expanded just clicking the top left green (+) button.

FOR YEARS NOW!!! Shame, shame, shame!!!
post #28 of 51
The story lists the rankings for the computer manufacturers. I'd like to see the rankings for iTunes, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
I can't imagine an online store much worse than Amazon. Well I guess I could, but I haven't seen one. Borders wasn't mentioned, but I like that site. So I'd rate that one and the two mentioned above over Amazon.
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post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

- iTunes (desktop application) does not allow to RESUME playback if you quit the application and open it again, restart or shut down the Mac and start up again.

Youre right! I never noticed this but it should open up the last thing you used and resume where you left off. All iDevices do this just fine.

Id also like to see an option to open videos with QuickTime. I hate using iTunes for storing videos because I hate having to right click, Show in Finder, and then click play in QuickTime (Ive already set the file types to open with QuickTime by default). The player acts nothing nothing like the QuickTime player.
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post #30 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Id also like to see an option to open videos with QuickTime. I hate using iTunes for storing videos because I hate having to right click, Show in Finder, and then click play in QuickTime (Ive already set the file types to open with QuickTime by default). The player acts nothing nothing like the QuickTime player.

This can easily be done using AppleScript. I use this one: http://www.macosxhints.com/dlfiles/i...deo_script.txt

You can also add a keyboard shortcut in System Preferences to run this script.
post #31 of 51
My experience with itunes is a very good one. very easy to buy music and apps.

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post #32 of 51
A lot of Apple's hardware and software decisions frustrate me, but I actually think that iTunes is one of the few things that they are truly doing right. Nothing else even comes close to competing with it. I've yet to encounter any of the issues other posters are claiming in this thread.
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by IHateRegistering View Post

While I prefer iTunes to all other music/movie management software (that I've tried), it does need improvement.

I have 1800+ movies in my library. When syncing to my iPhone, or even clicking on the "movies" tab, it is RIDICULOUSLY slow. Like it has to load info on every single movie; it literally takes about 5 minutes for iTunes to become responsive after clicking the "movies" tab of my iPhone in iTunes.

I also have some nagging problems with songs not being compiled into complete albums. Say, I put a couple songs from an album in iTunes, and got the rest of the album's songs "somehow". Well, I will rename all the songs with the same album, artist, and track # of #, but they will still not play in the correct order, or group together. I'm probably doing something wrong, but this is way too hard.

There is also a problem with iTunes retrieving the correct album art for many albums/songs.

I also have a terrible time with my Apple TV. It randomly, but surely, looses connection with my computer (iTunes). I know when it is acting flaky because it will stop displaying movie artwork (and then say the movies are in the wrong format). I have to restart iTunes and unplug/replug the Apple TV often to get them to sync up correctly. This is lame lame lame. There's no way I could go on deployment and leave my Apple TV with my wife, and expect it to reliably work day-in and day-out.

I don't mind the iTunes store or the general layout. I can usually find what I want quickly. I don't use Genius at all. I just hope they fix the performance problems and AppleTV connection/syncing issues.

I have the same problem with my Apple TV, and it drives me nuts.

As for iTunes, what a train wreck. It looks like a spread sheet and runs like it's stuck in the 1980s. Absolutely horrible. Why does it take iTunes 5 minutes to sync my iPhone, even when there is nothing new to copy over? It's just stupidly slow.

I can only assume Apple have never seen the Zune desktop client. It's beautiful, slick, and fast.
post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

A lot of Apple's hardware and software decisions frustrate me, but I actually think that iTunes is one of the few things that they are truly doing right. Nothing else even comes close to competing with it. I've yet to encounter any of the issues other posters are claiming in this thread.

What happens when you connect an iPhone or iPod? iTunes has always put up a spinning beachball if I try to do anything in iTunes during the first couple of seconds of syncing.
post #35 of 51
The iTunes Store is a mess. Since the recent redesign I can't find anything as quickly as I used to before. Granted the old store layout was also cr4p because you could only read one screen of apps at a time, and not jump three ahead or so, but the "improvements" are no better. The search is inaccurate, and while I used to find useful apps quite quickly, now I have to plough through loads of useless crud - as well as music tracks, videos and stuff I have no interest in.

Amazon is much better because the search is good, the recommendations are helpful, the ability to drill down is simple and informative, and buying is a piece of cake. In contrast, the iTunes store just puts so many barriers in my way to making a purchase that I now don't browse it al all anymore, I only buy what I see someone else recommend on a forum or blog.
post #36 of 51
Well what bothers me on iTunes is it memory leak (if you play music over hours the memory footprint starts climbing like crazy). Plus if you search for a genre of music it is a lot harder to find music/movie of a certain style.

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post #37 of 51
Another vote for a redesign from me. I use Play or Amazon to purchase music though, I will not pay a premium just to use iTunes.

On my Mac iTunes is ok and I like using the remote to control it. However on Windows it's dire, I hate using it there. With nothing else to sync the iPhone with though I suppose we have to live with it.
post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

So you are using newer HP laptop?

'Loading?' Are you referring to the actual time it takes to download the movie to your iPod? How large are they?

No. I mean the time it takes for iTunes to populate the fields of movies and movie artwork in the "movies" tab of my iPhone/iPod in iTunes. This is where I select which albums/songs to sync.

Of course syncing takes a long time, but I understand that it is moving gigabytes of movies. My movies range from 500MB to 2.5GB.

It is also annoying that not every movie can be played on my iPhone. I'm not exactly sure what qualifies a movie to be playable on the iPhone or not. They are all H.264 movies.

I use a 2 year old Gateway desktop as my main media server, but iTunes did these same things when I used my MacBook as my media server.

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post #39 of 51
iTunes has become so cluttered that I have found myself not exploring for new artists/podcasts as I have done in the past. This is coming from someone who generally accepts Apple software with open arms.
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post #40 of 51
Hmmm. I didn't realise people had such a negative experience of the iTunes store (never used it myself...)

I guess Apple have to prove they are 'King of Interface' all over again...and make it faster and more efficient and stable.

I can't believe someone said Zune marketplace is better.

But then, I guess Apple have to step up. It's not like they're not making any money out of it and they have nearly 40 billion in the bank.

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WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

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