I got my iShuffle, that I won at Smalltalk Solutions, up and running. I was annoyed when I installed the software for it. It installs iTunes and Quicktime (WHY?!). The iShuffle is nothing more than a memory stick, but requires iTunes to transfer music files. Now, my iRiver is setup the same way except I can use ANY software to transfer my music. iTunes was removing the iShuffle as a drive when it started (and it started everytime the iShuffle was plugged in). And why is QuickTime required to run iTunes?! The mind boggles. I played with iTunes for a little while and I just didn't like it. I'm very happy with Media Monkey and MP3 Gain for all of my ripping needs. I hated how iTunes rearranged my music files after I told it not to during setup. The view of songs as a list without hierarchy was also annoying. I have over 40 gigs of music files and to see it one list is like drinking water from a fire hose.
What's a programmer to do? Search the internet of course! A Google search shows that I am not alone. In fact, Martin Fiedler wrote a great tool in Python that allows you to write the necessary database files for the iShuffle to recognize any files you transfer to it. The code was so easy to understand that I rewrote it in Dolphin in an afternoon and added it to my mp3 management software. I was able to uninstall iTunes and QuickTime. I'm a happy boy and a proud owner of an iShuffle now.
The moral of the story is the internet is a powerful place. If you write proprietary messes, someone will figure how to get around it and publish it. iTunes on Windows would have been great if it had not tortured me so bad upon setup. I also hated all of the advertisements for iStore and other Apple products. RealAudio pulled the same stuff with their audio player years ago and I never have a desire to install that virus ever again. If Microsoft pulled the samething, you would have a million blogs on it and everyone up in arms. Why is Apple different? From my eyes, they are more proprietary than MS and they even have a strangle hold on their hardware as well. With that being said, I still want a Mac just to experience what everyone else raves about (Plying with Self wouldn't be all bad either). But, I'm not happy with Apple on my MS PC.