This has kind of been bugging me about iTunes for the past year or so. I had some tiny hope that it would be addressed in iTunes 9, but of course it hasn’t:
Why aren’t DVDs played in iTunes like CDs are, instead of a separate uni-task app (DVD Player)?
Okay, I understand clearly why Apple isn’t going to allow users to rip DVDs using iTunes. But iTunes has clearly moved beyond just audio (or Tunes, as it were) and now stores videos, movies, TV Shows, and even mobile applications. With iTunes Albums (for music) and iTunes Extras (for video), it has become the mac’s digital media repository. Some of the changes in iTunes 9 reflect this evolution.
What makes this even weirder is that DVDs are present in Front Row, which has always seemed to me like nothing more than a pretty, full-screen interface for iTunes. Why, then, isn’t DVD play just integrated into iTunes? All of the extra features in DVDs could easily be accounted or without adding much to the interface with the same simple controls any remote offers and the heads-up display in iTunes video already has.
OS X has loads of interface inconsistencies; most of which are easily overlooked by the vast majority of its users (especially if they came from Windows1). However, this is a functional inconsistency that seems confusing to me. As iTunes has now supported video for some time, many users might expect a more consistent treatment of entertainment on an optical disc.
- The way Windows treats DVDs is not only confusing, but actually downright pathetic. Windows Media Player will recognize a DVD and add it to the media list. That’s where the convenience ends, unfortunately. That’s because Windows doesn’t come with a codec that will actually play DVDs. Instead, you have to purchase a third-party DVD Decoder, even if in the so-called “Ultimate” editions. A cryptic error message indicates that you need to do something to get Windows Media Player to play the DVD, just not what. And Windows Media Center (the equivalent to Front Row) doesn’t even show a DVD at all (though it might once you’ve paid for something Microsoft should have included in the OS). [↩]