This is more rant than anything, but I've been working all day so I need to decompress.
For some reason I was contemplating the software I would immediately re-install if I had a catastrophic failure. From there, I thought about the quality of that software. Then I started looking at some basic stuff, like how resource-intensive these programs were. And then I got annoyed, mostly at iTunes, but others are guilty as well.
Why does Apple get a pass when they make crappy software? (Sit down, zealots.) I have an iPod, so I pretty much have to use this software. It's a pain to go back and forth from one player to another, so I just made my default player. The management/UI/experience part of iTunes is top-notch. Really, I like using iTunes. What drives me crazy is that the application itself sucks up way too many resources.
For example, I have iTunes running right now with my iPod docked. iTunes runs three (visible) processes on my machine: iTunes.exe, iTunesHelper.exe, and iPodService.exe. Three processes for one application. Ok, I can live with that; PGP takes two on its own. But, the amount of resources required is a little high:
- iPodService.exe - 5,384K
- iTunes.exe - 52,584K
- iTunesHelper.exe - 4,316
That's over 60K (or 60 megabytes) of memory to support the functionality of one applications whose sole function (at the moment) is to play music. To put this in perspective, Winamp takes 13,184K, or less than 1/4 the resources. Even taking away the iPodService and iTunesHelper (Helper?? what the hell is it helping? and why can't it be part of the main process?), Winamp is still using less than 1/3 the resources needed by iTunes.
Put another way, all iTunes processes use about the same amount of resources as Outlook. Microsoft gets crapped on all the time for Office apps being resource hogs (which they are), but I just don't get the free pass given to Apple for a good UI. Why can't the application give back the memory it doesn't need now that it's not synching with the iPod? Depending on what the helper is doing, why can't I turn that off if I don't need it (similar to Winamp agent)?
I said others are guilty as well. All those little niggling applications that hide in svchost.exe processes need to 'fess up. Maybe I'm being fussy, but just because I can put a gig of RAM in this box doesn't mean developers should require it.