Thanks to Victor A.'s recommendation, I finally made my first iTunes music store purchase: a multi-pass ticket to The Daily Show (my favorite show -- I manage to watch many of the episodes despite never being home and never having access to the Comedy Channel. I met one of the producers of the show while I was out in Cayman Brac last week, which was really exciting...). I hate the idea of buying music from iTunes because it's sort of like the first sip of Apple kool-aid (and, it only works with Apple playback applications), but buying episodal video is perfect: I get to download, watch and delete, and so I've paid simply to watch the show once. The price was only $10 for 16 episodes, and by connecting to an internet connection wherever I am in the world, I via the subscription, I can automatically grab what I've missed.
I know that the same show is available via BitTorrent, but I have no problem with paying for downloads as long as the quality is fair for the type of media. Plus, it's legal. :) For the Daily Show, you don't really need high resolution video. For other kinds of shows, I would never pay for something of such low quality.
But one problem I've discovered is that iTunes on Windows sucks ass:
- You get this tiny "Now Playing" window that you can't resize vertically (without resizing the entire iTunes window).
- If you right-click on the video, it opens its own window. Fine. But if you then close that window, it keeps playing in the iTunes video area. That's weird.
- You can maximize the video, but it doesn't use the Alt-Enter Max/Min convention that nearly all PC apps use. Where's the keyboard shortcut? You have to hunt around for icons.
- The "Mini Player" mode in iTunes doesn't support video. Lame.
- Audio sync is off on my machine after only a minute or so of playback. Stopping and restarting seems to fix the problem, but there is only so much of that one can handle.
- If you suspend and the wake up the machine while iTunes is active, you can no longer play back smooth video without restarting iTunes.
- Resizing a video window from the lower-left grows the window from the lower-right.
That's a pretty bad, and it certainly isn't everything I don't like about it. Get your act together, Apple! There are 95% of computer users out there who would love a good product.