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Thursday, June 02, 2005

QuickTime infects PCs with iTunes

Apple apparently is attempting to remove any shred of good faith it had with its customers. For sometime now Apple has chosen to force end users who wish to install their QuickTime Media Player to also install the iTunes software. As if the only MP3 player in existence is the iPod and every PC owner has one, shame on you Apple.

Visiting the default QuickTime Download Site greets you with only two options:

1. QuickTime 6.5 with iTunes for Win 2000/XP
2. QuickTime 6.5 for Win 98/ME

No big deal right? You figure during installation you will have a choice to NOT install iTunes, wrong. Fine you can't do that, how about using Add/Remove and removing iTunes by itself? Wrong again, Add/Remove only lists one application for removal, QuickTime. The problem doesn't really start to sink in until you try uninstalling QuickTime as a last resort…

…after you're done with your expletives and putting your fist through your keyboard you will see QuickTime has been removed but iTunes still exists. At this point you realized Apple has officially wasted your time and I will not waste any more of yours.

You need to download and install the iTunes Software and then uninstall it. iTunes and the crap iTunes Service it installs with it, will be effectively purged from your system. The problem is you still don't have QuickTime installed!

Not a problem, simply get the Standalone QuickTime Player. (Conveniently not obvious on the default download page)

Yes you can use an alternative, in this case the QuickTime Alternative. But, in my opinion, there is not substitute for the real thing. For the most part QuickTime works and does what it is supposed to do with a clean, easy to use interface.

Closing Tip:
Killing Qttask.exe: QuickTime by default installs the Qttask.exe startup application that is effectively useless. Removing it from starting up with Windows by using Msconfig will only last until the next time you use the QuickTime Player. It will then magically reinstall itself. You can stop this from happening permanently by renaming qttask.exe in the C:\Program Files\QuickTime\ folder to qttask.old

The only logical motive for Apple to force install iTunes is with the hope people will use the service to purchase music. By not providing a simple means to remove the software however, Apple has moved their reputation from reputable to dirty, shame on you Apple.


zridling said...

Thanks for the tips. The ONLY reason I use QuickTime from Apple is to convert MP4 part-files into full mov files. Otherwise, I wouldn't go near the thing. A few usability tweaks and it would be great, though.

West Side said...

Or, you could have just selected the Windows 98/ME version of Quicktime, which is the exact same version that is bundled with iTunes, just without the iTunes bundled.

Andrew said...

Then why is it labeled Win98/ME and the standalone version linked way off on the right away from the download options? There is no excuse for that and the reasons are obvious.

The Magic Monitor said...

One can simply use this link for the windows version of Quicktime without I-Tunes.

I found it is less than a minute.


PissedOffGuy said...

Yes Apple is annoying bundling itunes with quicktime in order to get a larger market share. Yes I don't like it but a simple google search of quicktime without itunes will give you the first link to standalone quicktime

Andrew said...


Try reading the article first. The download windows only lists two options and the standalone download is far from obvious. If you bothered to read the article you will see that the standalone option is mentioned.

"B. No matter what this article states, it does give you options of standalone versus featured installs."
Really where? Buried on the far right hand side of page away from the download choices?

What does that have to do with the inability to remove itunes from your system?

West Side said...

Why would you assume you couldn't run the Win98/ME version on Windows XP, 2000? This isn't the difference between OS 9 and OS X where you need to install a special layer to have compatibility mode.

You are blaming Apple for your inability to investigate for yourself.

Andrew said...

Maybe because it says Windows 98/ME????? Are you serious? This is blatantly obvious.

I blame Apple for deceptively attempting to get people to install the iTunes when they just want Quicktime. I've investigated the issue fine, notice the link to the standalone install. THAT is what people should install not the Win98/ME link.

If you can't comprehend this don't post here.

Brian T. Grant said...

You've got to be kidding me. You claim that Apple is forcing iTunes on users through the installation of QuickTime. But Apple is not hiding the fact that, if users download from the form on the left, they'll also get iTunes.

Oh, poor me! Boo-hooh! I don't want to install iTunes; what ever shall I do? I guess I could spend 10 seconds and look over the rest of the page and -- sure enough -- there is an option to download QuickTime without the evil iTunes.

Seems simple enough. You even draw attention to that "conveniently not obvious" option. I fail to see what necessitates the inflammatory tirade.

Andrew said...

Apple is also not including an option in the download section to just install Quicktime. The average user will not know any better and install both. Some even think they need iTunes for Quicktime to work.

Did you fail to see the problem with the inability to uninstall iTunes? Or would you consider that normal behavior for software of this caliber?

Simple enough would look like this:

1. QuickTime 6.5 for Win 2000/XP
2. QuickTime 6.5 for Win 98/ME

Andrew said...

Personal Attacks will be removed.

Andrew said...

I am also not going to continue to debate why the standalone version is not obvious. If you don't get it when you see it, you never will, move on.

Brian T. Grant said...

What does "the average user" care if they install iTunes or not? Just because it gets installed, people aren't forced to use it. I was never asked whether or not I want Internet Explorer installed on my PC, but its there anyway. Same goes for Windows Media Player. The fact that they're there doesn't piss me off; I just don't use them.

The simple fact remains that Apple provides the facility to download either QuickTime w/iTunes or QuickTime w/out iTunes on the same page. Ultimately, it seems that you just don't agree with the way the QuickTime download page is organized.

Andrew said...

iTunes installs a service further slowing down Windows, Internet Explorer nor Windows Media Player does this. Not to mention it wastes drive space.

Being upset about what is included with Windows in no way justifies bundling irrelevant software with the Quicktime Media Player.

The simple fact remains that Apple deliberately does not make it easy to just install Quicktime in Windows 2000/XP and deceptively shows options that will lead to the unnecessary installation of iTunes. So far it has succeeded and the newer PCs I work on have iTunes installed when they have no need for it. Anyone with half a brain can understand what I am talking about. Organization my ass.

aa1to said...

I just installed iTunes and uninstalled QuickTime, which was forced on me.

JTT said...

I saw where v. 7 of Quicktime Pro can support MPG files. Yet, when I ask to open it in QTPro, it just sits there and never adds in the file to view/edit. I thought it might need iTunes to play the audio or something. From what I read, iTunes is never needed to play/edit, etc. a video like MPG or AVI, etc. into QT. Am i wrong or am I missing something?

Andrew said...

No Quicktime 7.0 Supports the following formats:

3DMF (Mac OS 9 & Windows)
Animated GIF
Audio CD Data (Mac OS 9)
CAF (Mac OS X)
Cubic VR
JPEG 2000 (Mac OS X)
Macromedia Flash 5
MP3(MPEG-1, Layer 3)
M3U(MP3 Playlist files)
M4A, M4B, M4P (iTunes 4 audio)
PDF (Mac OS X)
Quartz Composer Composition (Mac OS X)
QCP (Mac OS 9 & Windows)
QuickTime Image File
QuickTime Movie
SD2 (Mac OS 9 & Windows)
SF2 (SoundFont 2)
System 7 Sound (Mac OS 9)
VDU (Sony Video Disk Unit)
Virtual Reality (VR)

If the file is not playing try reinstalling quicktime and checking the preferences to make sure that file format is being launched by Quicktime. If it still does not work seek help in the Apple Support Forums.

Anonymous said...

Amen. Apple bundles and tries to force people to use their cash cow -- iTunes -- and the fanbois come out in droves and point to the fact that there is, in fact, a teeny tiny link to a standalone version in the lower corner. If Microsoft did this (anymore), they'd be in court and fined one beeeeeelion dollars. Apparently, Apple can do no wrong and Microsoft can do no right.

That ain't software; that's religion.

Yes. The link is there. It's still horrendously bloated (30megs when QuickTime Alternative is teeny) but it's there.

The bigger question is: why is Apple doing this? How come there aren't two sets of links, "QuickTime + iTunes" and "QuickTime only" (for each platform)? It's fairly clearly a marketing ploy. Of course, from a marketing perspective, it has merit: iTunes IS Apple's cash cow, and iPods + iTunes make Apple far more money than all of their Mac sales combined (no really, look it up). So any opportunity to get iTunes on a PC is a major bonus; they can bundle it with Mac's, but most PC users are a tad more skeptical about Apple than most Mac users (who seem to subscribe to the previous philosophy of -- chant with me, now -- Apple can do no wrong).

Does Microsoft make crappy, bloated, buggy products (like iTunes)? Yes, of course. Does Microsoft bundle products in order to try to lock out the competition? Yes. Is it okay when Microsoft does it? No.

But *it's not okay when Apple does it, either*, and the fanboi crowd needs to stop its navel gazing and realize that *Apple is copying Microsoft tactics* to try to grab a bigger market share.

Is Apple becoming a clone of Microsoft -- just with prettier packaging and better marketing -- really what you want?

No, this is in nobody's best interests. If it was a simple mistake on Apple's part, they'd be best to prominently display the standalone QuickTime linke. If this was an intentional land-grab for market share, then Apple should be roundly slapped on the wrist by the computer using community for *stealing a page from Microsoft*. And if it turns out that iTunes is INTENTIONALLY invasive -- like QuickTime itself, with its suspiciously persistent qttask.exe -- then it should be treated as malware.

Personally, I use QuickTime Alternative. It works flawlessly and I'm not forced to have 25 extra megs of Apple crap shoved down my throat.

Coppery Clover said...

I noticed this iTunes thing on my PC. As an "average" user, who doesn't do much audio stuff, I didn't know what it was, or indeed where it actually came from. I couldn't and still can't figure out what to use it for. Everytime I tried to get rid of it, it appeared again, hindering me from properly using my preferred media player. My system advised that uninstalling it would make my pc unstable.

It wasn't until searched on how to remove it, that I found Andrew's blog. And now I know what iTunes is AND how to remove the damn thing. It is malware, an irritant, unwanted, unwelcomed and crap to boot.

Thank-you Andrew - from a female, middle aged, average user.

2 old 2 care said...

This is interesting that a discussion about marketing techniques dating back over 100 years should consume so many [check Coke cola; IBM; Exxon; .....]

Apple and Microsoft use proven marketing methods as evidenced by this discussion.

Learn a little engineering and you do not need so much redundant software.

And, thanks for the research. Very helpful!

Alex, =) said...

I enjoy iTunes. I feel it is better than Windows Media Player. Have you thought about Microsoft putting Windows Media Player on Windows computers? That's just what Apple is doing. Apple is wrong for doing this, though. So I agree, and think its ridiculous that you cannot uninstall it.