Digital music lovers need a new way to manage their files, says Farhad Manjoo in Slate. Apple's iTunes — the software that pretty much everyone uses now — was fine a few years ago, but these days it feels antiquated and "unwieldy." Fortunately, Google seems to be stepping up to fill the void: The company announced last week that it is working on a yet-unnamed music-streaming venture that sounds like it could "change the gadget and entertainment worlds forever." Here's an excerpt:
"Despite its omnipresence, iTunes hasn't aged well. Unlike most Apple products, it's gotten slower and more unwieldy over the years... It wants to be upgraded about twice a month, and it demands constant attention during the process.
"You've got to approve the 80-plus-megabyte download, you've got to click several times as it installs, you've got to agree to a new license, and you might be asked to reboot your computer. And for what? Most upgrades result in no discernible improvement.
"The worst part is syncing my music and photos with my iPhone and iPad. I usually try to do this when I'm leaving the house—in other words, when I'm in a hurry. iTunes doesn't care. It takes 30 seconds or so to identify my device, then several minutes to sync, and it's not unusual for the program to run into some kind of problem along the way, requiring me to start over. All this hassle seemed tolerable back in the days before Wi-Fi, but now it's anachronistic. It's 2010—why do I have to plug anything into anything to get files from my computer onto my phone?"
Or, as Google exec Vic Gundotra put it this week, "Guess what? We discovered something really cool. It's called the Internet!"
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