Apple Rant: How hard could it be to copy an mp3 to iPhone


Sorry Apple but this is a rant about how bloody stupid it is to be forced to use your proprietary software iTunes to do the simplest of things to my iPhone, manually copy a handful of mp3s on to my iPhone. Arrgh!

Last week I was going on a road trip and wanted to listen to an audiobook on the journey.  It was Kate Russell’s Elite:Dangerous novel Mostly Harmless.  I had been listening to the mp3 files on my Samsung Galaxy S4 phone without any problems. But for the road trip I wanted to use my iPhone with the Griffin FM transmitter accessory so that I could listen through my car stereo.

Sounds simple enough right? Let’s just copy those mp3 files from the Samsung Galaxy S4 to the iPhone. I plugged both phones into my old netbook. The Samsung appeared but the iPhone only showed up as a camera device.

What the?  So I can’t just drag and drop files? Seriously?

A quick Google later and I am reminded that I need to use the Apple iTunes software to manually add the mp3 files to a ‘library’ whatever that is, and sync it with my iPhone.

OK this is going to be a problem. I’m not at home and the little old netbook I had didn’t have iTunes installed. I go to try and download iTunes but I notice on the download page that the operating system I was using at the time wasn’t supported by iTunes anymore.

A little more Googling and I find a site offering downloads of older versions of iTunes. I find one that should be compatible and download it, at great length. Eventually it downloads and I get it installed.

I plug in the iPhone again and iTunes recognises it. Hurray!

Message: A new version of iOS is available for your iPhone, would you like to download and install it? No, bugger off.

Right. I follow the menu options and add my mp3 files to the library and try to ‘sync’ the iPhone in order to copy those mp3 files on to the iPhone.

Problem. I get an error message saying ‘This iPhone is synced with another iTunes library. Do you want to erase this iPhone and sync with this iTunes library?’.

I’m sorry, what now? You want to erase my iPhone in order to copy a few mp3 files on to it?!

What exactly does erase my iPhone mean? A complete wipe? You seriously have to be having a frigging laugh! Not that I have much on the old iPhone but I don’t want it wiped either. There’s pictures, contacts, etc that I don’t know if they’re backed up elsewhere.

More Googling.

It turns out the message is complete Apple overkill. What it means is that any files (music, videos, etc) that you have bought from iTunes and previously uploaded, or synced, to your iPhone may be removed.

No big loss as there’s little to nothing on it in terms of iTunes crap. But really, does that sound sensible to you? Trashing whatever you have on the iPhone in order to copy a few mp3 files on to it. Really??

I relent as the night is drawing in. And after what seems like a very short time my mp3 files are apparently transferred to the iPhone.

A quick test confirms they are there and can be played.

So the story ends well. I am able to play my new mp3 files through my iPhone and the Griffin FM transmitter through the car stereo. And that means I am able to find out what happens to Cmdr Angel Rose in the end.

But seriously Apple. You think that’s the most efficient way of doing this?

I have three words for you.

Drag and Drop.

But no, you have to try and protect your precious device by forcing people to install bulky proprietary software to do the simplest of tasks. Shame on you. Shame on you.




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