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Software is broken

April 1st, 2008 . by Noah

Pardon me while I rant a bit, Software is broken and let me tell you why.

I was at a bar with a friend once and he casually mentions that playlists on iPods will update on the fly. I thought he was crazy cause I had owned an iPod Touch for few months and I never saw my playlists update on the fly, I always had to sync with iTunes before my playlists would update on my iPod.

Until today that is. I had created  a new pretty simple Smart Playlist, it had maybe 3 criteria. I noticed today as I listened to Podcasts, they would disappear from my play list. This had never happened to me before and I was excited. So I get home and start Googling this to see how I could make my other playlists do this.

I came across a few posts that explained why my other playlists weren’t behaving in the same way. So I spent way too much time tweaking and testing playlists to see if I could get them to update on my iPod as opposed to having to sync them to iTunes before the playlists would update. I finally got it to work but then my playlist wasn’t exactly the way I would like it to be.

Which brings me to my point. Why can’t I have my cake and eat it too? It seems far too often we have to work for our software then it working for us. Why do I have to not have this and not have that to make a feature work? It should just work and if it doesn’t work someone should fix it, simple as that. Now I don’t know how to code software, so in reality in may not be that simple but I am sure someone at Apple has the know how to make it work right. Yes I know they have a list of things they need to do and this particular feature is probably not high on the list but why have the feature at all then? I know they can’t please everyone and make iTunes do whatever you want it to but if you add a feature make sure it works and works right.

This problem is not specific to iTunes I see this type of stuff in so much software. All I ask is make software make sense, make sure features work and make it uniform. We have database software at work and depending on what part of the database you are in, you can hit enter to return a result or you can’t. No rhyme or reason why it works some places and not others, people just shrug and go “It has always been that way,” which seems like such a cop-out to me. We make software, it does what we tell it and if it doesn’t, we bend it to our will.

Sure I want awesome features but I also want features that work exactly as advertised. So I think when you make software, make it simple at first then as you perfect it (yes I know all software has bugs and problems) add on to it. Don’t just throw a bunch of half ass features at me and assume I will be happy.

I know what I am saying is probably not new but I wanted to get it off my chest.

End Rant.

One Response to “Software is broken”

  1. GeoffNo Gravatar Says:

    Would you like some cheese with that whine?

    Just kidding, I know what you mean. The priority is more often getting the product out the door with as many “features” as possible, without actually getting all of those features running perfectly. But this is business. The bottom line is that people still buy it, and most do so happily. The percentage of consumers who actually care about the full potential of a product is sadly small. I think it’s going to stay that way, too. There just aren’t enough people like us.

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