Would it kill Apple to try to “beta” once and a while?

Yes it’s 2:15am, and I must thank Apple for making this a late night for me, and the fact that I need to go to bed angry.

This morning before I headed off to work, I wanted to add my newest songs to my iPod.  I fire up iTunes 7 and drag the songs over to the "Music" section and watch my iPod update (or so I thought).  I unplug my iPod, put it in my bag and head out.  When I got to work I looked for the new music, only to find that none of my new songs were there!  What’s the deal?!?  I was pretty rushed when I left for work, so I chalked it up to me doing something wrong.

This evening I decide to update my songs before I go to bed.  Sure enough after dragging the songs onto the iPod, they don’t update.  I tried dragging them over twice, three times – then nothing happened.  They wouldn’t show up in my "music" section.

Then I remembered that some of the songs in my "New Songs" playlist actually did show up.  After doing some investigating, I found out they only showed up because I actually drug the songs over to the playlist itself, and not the music folder.  When you drag a song to a playlist, it automatically adds it to your iPod as well.  However, after a brief experiment, I found that my iPod would only take songs if I added them to a playlist – and not the regular iPod.

So now I have a playlist called "Brand New" that I am dragging my albums to, watching them upload and verify that they’re in the main library, then I delete the songs from the playlist (keeping the songs intact on the iPod).

This is a stupid work-around, and another demonstration of functionality that broke in iPods & iTunes from the upgrade to version 7.  I’m glad that some people think Steve Job’s announcements and same-day releases are exciting – but Apple pays a huge price for these mystique, one that their customers are actually paying for.  So worried about secrecy, Apple doesn’t tell anyone that they’re working on these things (like new iPod firmware and new iTunes), then when they release it they encounter a slew of problems – because they don’t beta test!  I would be a lot more accepting of these issues if there was a bit "BETA" slapped on the top of iTunes bar, but instead we’re forced to deal with these stupid production-level problems with these applications.  These bleeding-edge, on-the-shelf technologies may do well in the marketing and Fanboy department – but they’re definitely losing points in the PR department.  Overall they’re doing their customers a greater disservice.

Say what you will about Windows Vista (and I do have stuff to say about it), I can accept their warts because they’re doing extensive beta testing.  Apple has no excuse with iTunes.  Thanks for breaking my iPod.