Today, Apple fixed my main complaint about the new 21.5 inch iMac; you know, the one  saddled with a 2.5 inch 5400 RPM hard drive, all to make it unbelievably thinner for reasons only they understand.  Today, Apple announced  you can pay an extra $250 for the low end iMac so that it will match the glowing performance referred to in nearly all its reviews.  You can order the machine with a 1TB Fusion Drive, something you could only previously do with high low-end machine. Of course, that means that a decent entry level iMac now costs $1549, making this the most costly set of iMacs Apple has ever released.  They are undoubtedly also the best performing, but whether you are getting what you paid for is still up for debate.

Still, I consider this one step forward.  But Apple has performed a lot of missteps lately.  IOS 6 Maps, the initial 2.12 HP Printer Driver update, the flakiness of Mountain Lion when it was first released, the inclusion of 5400 rpm hard drives in iMacs, and now there is another…the latest…Tunes 11.

I’ve been saying privately to my wife that I, as a Mac user, was deeply concerned about Apple’s direction.  I haven’t minded fixing things now and then…even inventing workarounds haven’t been that frequent….except in the past year or so.  Apple software quality control has gotten so poor that I do not automatically apply upgrades; I wait and see what other people are reporting and try to make sure the update is okay before pressing ahead.  I actually thought iTunes 11 (and, yes, I’ve downloaded 11.0.1) was okay… I had managed to reconfigure it to behave the way I liked (since many things in its redesign seemed to dumb the software down, something Apple’s been too guilty of lately).  That was until yesterday.  Then, I noticed that if I selected a song in a playlist, started playing it, selected another playlist, and tried to play it, the first song I selected would continue to play!   Worse, I tried the same trick on a different Mac and got exactly the same behavior!  That became the last straw for me; as I have done too often recently I reverted back to a software set that worked, i.e., iTunes 10.7 in this case.

Listen up, Apple, you’re being given a BIG APPLE FAIL on this software!  Your discussion forums are full of people who, like me, are questioning your technical prowess and value on the dollar.  You seem to be moving from “it just works” to “ it only works the way we want it to…most of the time” while making sure “it just hurts” is what resounds from our pocketbooks.

I don’t mind paying a bit more for a better product, but when I feel like I’m paying more “just because I can”, it’s time to find another party…