They make some amazing hardware, however, software/firmware? Not so good, and never really has been. Got an iPod? /probably. Got a computer? Even more likely. Is it a Mac? Less likely. If your computer has average/below average, you have been sharing the hell I have been (trying)to endure. You will know how painfully slow iTunes is on Windows, yet with OS X on a machine with the same specifications, it is very responsive and instantaneous. Is this just Apple ‘screwing Windows users over’? It does look like a big marketing ploy to get people to buy a Mac instead. Maybe it is, but I’ll leave that for you to decide in the comments.
I keep getting problems with my iPod, problems that I am not the only one to suffer from, and I can only imagine the problems people probably get with Macs. For example, the Photo Library never ending ‘Rebuilding Database’ (it just crashes after a bit), podcast time getting reset to –:– resulting in no audio navigation, apps disappearing from the home screen, music removing itself, music duplicating itself, albums splitting into several parts across the library, Safari constantly visually messing up… the list could go on. I gave up using iTunes to manage my iPod since iTunes 9.2 was released (see more in the upcoming ‘Avoiding iTunes’ post) apart from to update to iOS 4.0. I have downloaded podcasts and music on the iPod itself and watched other items (such as Revision3 shows and Apple Keynotes that fail to download in (mobile) iTunes) by copying the to FileApp or the VLC app. This is not the way Apple intended it to be, and people wouldn’t deviate from the Apple’s chosen path if the software worked. But it doesn’t so people jailbreak and hack to make their Apple experience better.