Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rant -- Downloaders

I like to buy and download music. And I've been noticing a very annoying trend.

The various sites for legal download all require that you install special "downloading software" on your computer.  So if you buy something from Amazon, they want you to install their downloader. Then, when you go to eMusic, you need to install their downloader. And, iTunes, of course, has you install iTunes, which contains a downloader.

So now I have multiple bits of software that all do the same thing, just for different websites.  And it's all so unnecessary:  there's a download capability built into every web browser ever made.

Yes, these help sort your files after they're downloaded, but even that is fairly pointless.  If you use iTunes as your player, you still have to move the file so iTunes will recognize it.  Heck, you probably have to move the file anyway to get it onto any player. And the downloaders don't give you the option but to save the file to where they think it should be.

I'm strongly against taking options away from users, and any software that doesn't let you specify such things is inherently flawed in the first place.

The downloaders don't work together at all, so you have to load up your computer with all sorts of crap just in case you want to download again from the same site.

Amazon, at least, lets you download manually (even though they try to imply that's not a cool way to do it).

I've seen this with other software, too.  IIRC, McAfee installs one if you want to use their software.  You need to download their downloader to download the software. 

What next?  Downloading a downloader to download the downloader?