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Even though I work as an Information Systems professional, I have never been an early adopter of new technology as a consumer. I'm happy to let the geekier people work their way through the high prices and growing pains of the latest new toys. Then when something is here to stay, I may eventually take it up knowing that both product and support structure will be robust. For example, I didn't get my first mobile phone until 2000, and then only because it was subsidized by my employer. Now, I can hardly remember what life was like before we all had them.

Similarly I greeted the gift of an iPod Touch from some colleagues five years ago with a bit of bemusement. I wasn't quite sure what it did, much less what I might use it for. But after a year or so I realized I could use it to listen to radio programs I wanted when I was driving. And I was off.

Now I'm a devoted user, above all for listening to Podcasts. I started with Fresh Air. Since then I've added:

and others.

Anyway, what makes it all work is the iTunes software which I have loaded on my Windows7 machine. It took some getting used to, but eventually I became reasonably adept at getting it to download and organize my podcasts. And I've generally taken the software updates more or less immediately when I'm notified of them. So, I didn't think anything of it when the Apple software updater notified me of a new version of iTunes (11.1) earlier this week.

But the first time I opened the new software something was quite wrong. My podcast list had entries for all the episodes of every podcast I subscribe to, including episodes I had long since listened to and deleted. I thought it was a glitch of the conversion, so I just tried to delete them manually. But now there's no way to delete entries from the podcast episode list. Well, that's a nuisance, since some of my podcasts have more than a hundred available episodes. And then on some podcasts I have been listening to epsiodes out of sequence and deleting them is a way to 'remember' that I've already listened to them.

But I'm used to Apple software being a bit quirky so I did a search thinking there must be a way to do this that is not obvious to me. I quickly found a forum on the topic in the Apple Support Communities website. It turns out it's not just me. Other people have noticed this and there does not seem to be a workaround.

One guy said he reverted to the previous version (11.0.5) and that sounded like just the ticket for me. But Apple does not make older versions available. I found a website called Old Apps that purports to have a copy of the software for free download. But I wasn't sure I wanted to trust this download blindly. So, I posted an inquiry about it in the support forum. But it was deleted by the moderator because Apple does not approve of getting their software from others.

So, my questions are: Is there any place to get a reliable earlier version of iTunes? If so, is installing it a good idea? Are there alternatives to iTunes for managing content for my iPod and are they any good?

Please excuse the diversion from the primary purpose of this site. But people share on all kinds of topics here and there's a wide variety of experience that I'd like to tap in on without the heavy hand of the Apple content moderators interfering.


Have you installed iTunes 11.1?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tell me what you know (11+ / 0-)

    Perhaps Apple is working on a fix to this, but, if so, they haven't let on. And for all I know they consider this new behavior to be an improvement.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 01:39:44 PM PDT

  •  This was exactly my experience (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned, BachFan, Sylv, Mr Robert

    I all but screamed at my computer when that huge list of podcast showed up.  I tried using Windows system restore feature to take it back prior to the update but then i-Tunes would not function correctly.   How could anyone think that feature, combined with not being able to disable it or delete podcast you don't want is what most people would like?

  •  thanks for posting this (6+ / 0-)

    I have noticed that new versions of itunes get progressively worse at handling podcasts.  I started using an app on my iphone to be able to update my podcasts straight from my phone, and now I use it exclusively for podcasts:


    It's actually so much better in every way than the itunes podcast app.

    I have had other problems with 11.1, though, including an inability to connect to the itunes store and continued difficulty (and this is no change from previous versions) in trying to sync my phone.  About every 3 attempts at syncing I find my iphone is not recognized and I wind up having to dump and reinstall itunes on my computer (Windows 7) to make it work.  This is has happened now with multiple phones, multiple computers, and multiple new iterations of itunes.

  •  Oh oops (6+ / 0-)

    sorry mis-posted to your tip jar.

    Well, I opened the podcast "folder" under library in iTunes and unchecked the box that said "sync podcast subscriptions...."
    and the box underneath that says "Automatically download...."

    I don't know if this was a new option for this new version because I never paid much attention to podcasts.  Any way it might prevent further library cluttering.

    "You want to be a bit compulsive in your art or craft or whatever you do." Steve Martin

    by Kristin in WA on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 02:00:29 PM PDT

  •  Filehippo archives old installers of programs (5+ / 0-)

    that they offer.

    Their page for 32 bit iTunes for Windows

    and for 64 bit

    Look on the right, there's a listing of older versions and a link for an even longer list. The longer list goes back to at least 2009.

    •  Thanks, I found FileHippo (0+ / 0-)

      I wasn't sure whether it could be trusted. Have you used it?

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 02:04:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Extensively. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Demi Moaned, IndieGuy, WakeUpNeo

        I've never had an issue with anything downloaded from them that wasn't also an issue with the same program version downloaded directly from the source.

        They're my go-to for getting freeware installed for the first time on new systems, actually, because I don't have to go hunting around the web to find everything.

        •  The FileHippo Update Checker is very useful for me (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Demi Moaned, Cassandra Waites

          to identify available new versions and to assist with downloads. And as noted above, also useful for finding older versions.

          That, and Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) to flag possible security problems and fixes:

          The Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) is a free computer security solution that identifies vulnerabilities in non-Microsoft (third-party) programs which can leave your PC open to attacks.
  •  Screw Itunes (4+ / 0-)

    Why pay a buck a piece for songs when you can download every song you ever wanted for about $10 bucks month for Rdio.  You can 'synch to mobile' all the songs your ipod will hold for nothing above the monthly fee.  I've got close to 16 gigs of songs on my ipod. I don't really travel that much, but when I do, it is nice to have a huge selection of albums to listen to.  There are other services besides Rdio, but Rdio is what I know.  I love it.  

    I think that I've got every record album I ever owned on my ipod via Rdio, except for 4 or 5.   Will never forgive myself for selling off my old records 15 years ago.  

    BTW, you can play artist 'radio stations' much like Pandora, but with no commercials.  They even have genre stations.  Since I work at home, I queue up about 4 or 5 albums, then when they are done, Rdio will automatically continue to play similar music.  It is really cool.  

    "In 20 years, the GOP will be small enough to drown in a bathtub." - me

    by estamm on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 02:02:37 PM PDT

  •  iTunes is one of the worst pieces of software to (12+ / 0-)

    ever infect my hard drives. I don't think they could make it less user friendly if they tried. It's really baffling why it's such a mess, given the elegant interfaces of the iPhone and the iPod.

    I come from an IT background, so I consider myself quite proficient with computers, but I was never really able to wrap my head around iTunes.

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 02:09:28 PM PDT

    •  In general, I have not found Apple software (10+ / 0-)

      ... to be particularly user-friendly. I yield the floor to Paul Krugman:

      So, my problem with Apple. In general, the thing about Apple is that it reflects the spirit of Steve Jobs, who knew what was good for you — and left you no way to do things differently. And if you are an atypical user, you end up putting a lot of effort into fighting iOS in order to do simple things.

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 02:19:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (5+ / 0-)

      I'm a long time MS-DOS/Windows user; mainly for work. Several years ago shortly after the Vista fiasco, I switched my home computer to an IMac.

      I wasn't expecting much, but I was astounded at how user-hostile Macs were after all their hype to the contrary. I've since concluded it's much like Fox News: if you have to tell people constantly how "fair and balanced" you are, you probably aren't "fair and balanced."  Similarly, if Apple has to advertise how easy and straightforward its software is, well, consider why.

      And ITunes is about the worst of the worst. I also dislike the photo manager app (don't recall what it's called). It's very difficult to find and manage your photos, because it doesn't seem to follow any kind of logical structure.

      •  I'm a PC guy all the way. I worked on a Mac once (7+ / 0-)

        and I share your opinion on it. I found the user interface to be cluttered and unintuitive (especially the way everything seems to pool at the bottom of the screen), and the single button mouse horrendous. The only redeeming quality about it was the gorgeous monitor.

        “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

        by 420 forever on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 02:26:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I just switched to an iMac after 28 years of PCs. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jlukes, Demi Moaned, pimutant

        I did it because I'm no longer doing my statistical work (I kept using PCs because didn't want to spend > $1000 on new statistical software for a Mac) and I was tired of spending hours and hours when I ran into a glitch on my PC. I would end up on the internet trying to find out why this or that was going wrong, attempting downloads of things to fix it and sometimes this would work and sometimes it wouldn't. As the computer/fixit person in the house, it was all up to me.
        So I went and bought an iMac.
        At first, like you, I was disappointed because things weren't as easy as I had thought they would be. I have an iPhone and an iPad so I'm pretty comfortable with other Apple products, but this had a lot of differences.
        However, now, 3 mos later, I happy as a clam. It's exactly like what happened to me when I had to use a different statistical package (I used SPSS for years, and suddenly had to change when I worked in a place with SAS). You have to learn a whole new logic. I'm learning it.
        AND!!! there's someone to call. I spent $99 on a 1 year program that will probably cost Apple much more than that. I've had 2 private tutoring sessions and I am planning on more. And I can take workshops. In addition, when I ran into a problem, I had someone to call. (Once, when I bought a new PC, I paid extra for a service at the store that was supposed to help me if I ran into problems. They never came through. It was a total waste of money).
        I love the iMac. I know its limitations (e.g., iPhoto is nowhere near as good as promised. Picasa was better). But the whole experience has been much more pleasant than I ever had with the many PCs I've owned.
        I also have to add that I just discovered this: é or ê or ë (hold down the key and take your choice of accents). So now I can write this: Français!

        While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

        by Tamar on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 04:21:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have always hated itunes integration (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    420 forever, Demi Moaned, jabney, Bendra

    as a wintel user - I have tried several times over the past - what - geez, almost 2 decades now!!! ...

    ANYWAY - now that we know i am old! ... I have used to  try itunes  every couple years or so - and i have NEVER liked it and always ended up uninstalling it

    i listen to a bunch of podcasts - but I use RSS feeds because I have never had a good itunes sw experience

    "I want to keep them alive long enough that I can win them to Christ," - Rick Warren, Professional Greed Driven Scumbag

    by josephk on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 02:13:23 PM PDT

  •  I hate iTunes 11+ (8+ / 0-)

    All the controls have been moronified, and now you can't do anything unless you are a very stupid person. I used to be able to go to the radio thing and select from a list of radio stations. Now, you select categories, and you don't appear to be able to actually get to radio stations. The album list and song list are almost unusable.

    Anything by fucking Apple is crap. This is the worse "improvement" in something I have seen.

    So, what is the best alternative to iTunes?

  •  I decided to bite the bullet and install iOS 7.0 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned

    on my iPhone 4s even though it has received, shall we say, mixed reviews.  For one thing, I wanted to try iTunes Radio.

    Unfortunately, iTunes 10.6 (which I was running because I really disliked iTunes 11 when it was first released), won't permit upgrading iOS to 7.

    So I installed iTunes 11.1 on my Win 7 Pro x64 computer.  What a disaster.  In addition to the mostly cosmetic issues that I had last time (no cover art/cover flow, and a few other things* I can learn to live with, such as turning off the silly duplicate entry that shows the presence "in the cloud" of every song you've bought), iTunes crashed every time I attempted to access the iTunes store.

    Until I did figure out how to disable the cloud display (Edit > Preferences > General > Store > UNcheck "Show iTunes in the Cloud purchases") iTunes would just crash on opening.  After I turned that "feature" off, I could use iTunes to play and sync, but as soon as I clicked the "Store" button, iTunes would crash.

    It turned out that for whatever reason, Apple forgot to modify the system Path variable to include a path to C:program files (x86)common filesappleapple application support\ .  Once that was added, things seem to be working.

    I think is probably OK, but you can also get (some) older versions direct from the horse's mouth: (Careful, Apple's mixed in the Mac and PC versions without much identification).

    *Note: that CNET article isn't quite accurate.  You can do some of the things that the article says are missing.

    We must drive the special interests out of politics.… There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will neither be a short not an easy task, but it can be done. -- Teddy Roosevelt

    by NoMoJoe on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 02:16:48 PM PDT

    •  Thanks tons for the Apple support link (0+ / 0-)

      I looked and looked and couldn't find previous versions through navigation. But this link definitely has them. Unfortunately the newest prior version they're showing is 10.7. It's more than a year old. I was hoping just to go back to 11.0.5, but maybe this will be OK. I think I'll try it.

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 02:27:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  itunes 11.x (5+ / 0-)

    was a huge step in the wrong direction.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 02:25:17 PM PDT

  •  I've never had an iPod, and hell will be an (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned, Mr Robert

    icy wasteland before I ever do.

    All the music I'll ever need is right there on youtube - for free! - and if I ever want to just have the audio, I rip it straight from the video using TAudioConverter (an extremely useful tool).

    (WARNING: free software at the link)

    'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

    by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 02:30:14 PM PDT

  •  Can't Run iTunes. v 10 Crashed During Update (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned

    and there is nobody who can do a forced update or uninstall.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 02:32:50 PM PDT

  •  hmmm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned

    There really is nothing out in the "tubes" that i cannot acquire outside of Itunes...It's kinda like taping albums from FM radio on cassettes..
    or TV and movies on VHS

  •  Winamp, mofos! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned

    I've used Winamp pretty much since the very, very early days of MP3s.  I think first installed the version that was out in 1997.  I've never bothered with iTunes and have avoided iPods and iAllThings the entire time.

    Winamp is quite good for managing my rather large music collection.  I started out years ago digitizing my CDs.  I had over 2000 discs and a single disc player, so too much time was spent staring at the racks trying to figure out what to listen to next.  

    In more recent times I've discovered tons of electronic acts tend to release stuff for free on netlabels so I'm constantly finding new and interesting stuff over at  Anyhow, the long and short is Winamp manages my ever growing media library very well with few hassles.

    It also has the ability to manage an iPod.

    For Windows users, Winamp is pretty solid.  It also won the popularity contest recently at Lifehacker for the best media library manager.

    •  It can manage an iPod! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Sounds pretty good to me. I'll check it out.

      I've never really understood Apple's reputation for ease of use. But the iPod was a gift and so far it's been quite serviceable. There was one episode about a year ago when I had to re-image it multiple times, but otherwise it's been quite reliable.

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 02:50:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hate iTunes with a passion (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned, Hey338Too, Mr Robert

    I'm not a tech illiterate, but iTunes makes me feel like one.  It's the most non-intuitive piece of crap I've every used.

    I have an iPod Touch specifically for music.  One would think, with the millions of iPods sold specifically for music, that iTunes would make it simple to add or remove tracks from your device.  No.  Not simple.  And the fact that Apple makes you go through iTunes for pretty much anything is annoying.  I've hated it for years and I've hated every new 'improvement' when iTunes updates.

    It's the only Apple device I have left, as I've switched my phone and tablet to Android.  Google should really introduce a music device just to stick it to Apple.

    you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

    by Dem Beans on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 03:10:42 PM PDT

  •  Heavy User Of Podcasts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned

    I was frustrated with the changes made after responding to a request to update my iTunes months and months ago. I have been turning down requests to update to what must be 11.1 for quite awhile now. Worried that someday I might click on yes by mistake. I was able to google and find others ago with similar frustrations and got some work arounds.

    •  So, tell me more (0+ / 0-)

      What are the workarounds?

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 03:40:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You Might Have Different Issues (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Demi Moaned

        I was always was use to the sidebar on the left where I could drag podcasts in my library to my iPod. That disappeared with the update. Googled and saw that I believe under the view menu you can click on "view sidebar".

        I had it set up so synchronizing would not delete podcasts I had already listened to. Will relisten to podcasts with my son often. The update automatically synchronized where it would delete previously listened to podcasts on my iPod. Thought I remember a setting in previous versions where you could turn that off globally for every podcast you subscribed to. I had to go into each podcast I subscribed to and change the setting.  

        Maybe operator error on these. Think there is level of geekness on people who love updates that they explore to see what is new that they can use. I still miss features that I use to use in the previous version of Daily Kos. Have to fight my fear of the new in this Brave New World.

  •  this happens sometimes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned, Mr Robert

    it didn't happen to me this time around. must have been your turn.

    are you running windows or a mac?

    this isn't necessarily a problem with the product or service.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 03:58:07 PM PDT

  •  I love my ipod touch (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned

    but I hate iTunes 11.1. It took me the longest time to even figure out how to sync my ipod with the new version of the software--it stinks.

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 04:33:29 PM PDT

  •  Mum just gave me her iPod nano and OMG I forgot (3+ / 0-)

    how much I hated iTunes.  It doesn't want to work without it - and iTunes is shite.  Complete and utter shite.

  •  I have found a program called (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned

    syncios that is freeware (although be careful when you install- it will ask if you want to install a toolbar but this is easy to avoid), and while it requires itunes to be installed, it is much easier to use.

    It will add and delete files straight on the device (I have an Ipod Touch 5gen), as well as convert audio and video.

    The device does not need to be jailbroken.

    Try it; you may like it. I love it, and would happily purchase this program.

  •  The not so helpful iTunes help (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned

    take me back to what it was like using MS-DOS back in the early 1980s. The interface is a total disaster and leaves me at a loss as to how to accomplish anything.

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 08:58:20 PM PDT

  •  Can anyone explain why the music (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned

    files that I added from CDs don't show up in the Albums or Songs? I just sync'ed the iPod to iTunes and the albums I purchased at the iTunes store show up but the CD tracks do not. Any ideas or suggestions?

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 09:01:46 PM PDT

  •  Will they fix it in my lifetime? (0+ / 0-)

    With the installation of iTunes 11.1 not only have I experienced the inability to delete any podcasts, the reloading of hundreds of podcasts I deleted months ago, but now on top of all that, I've lost all play controls. The only podcast I can play is Coffee Break Spanish.  I can only play that because I deleted Coffee Break French, which was previously the only podcast I could play.

    This iTunes is the most worthless piece of broken software I've seen in the last 25 years. And now that I've downloaded it there is nothing I can do about it.  

    I've sent "this is broken" messages from the feedback screen every day since I installed 11.1  

    What are they smoking?

    Lucky for us there is other playback software out there.

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