MP3 players, crapware and Mac OS X

Out of the box, Windows computers work with whichever accessories you buy for them. If you get an MP3 player, it doesn't matter who sells it. Walkman, Zune and Sandisk devices all sync with Windows Media Player.

But Macs can't do this. Connect a GoGear to a MacBook and you'll have an unsatisfying USB thumbdrive experience. Mac OS X doesn't have a general purpose device sync app!

Yes, there is iTunes. But it's only there to help Apple sell their wares. It is explicitly programmed to avoid doing general device management. When Palm tried to wire their device into iTunes, Apple made it explicit that OS X isn't smart enough to talk to third-party devices:
"Apple does not provide support for, or test for compatibility with, non-Apple digital media players"
    —Tom Neumayr, Apple spokesperson

Windows PCs sometimes include crapware like AOL or the Google Toolbar. This is preinstalled software intended to sell you something; savvy users promptly remove it. iTunes is the same thing. Don't confuse it with an operating system facility; that only leads to heartache.
The quote in question was related to iTunes, not to OS X. Read it here. The complete paragraph states:

However, Apple does not provide support for, or test for compatibility with, non-Apple digital media players and, because software changes over time, newer versions of Apple's iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with non-Apple digital media players. [emphasis mine]

The OS itself supports clean and simple access to USB devices - much simpler and elegant (IMHO) than Win32 API's.
I thought this would have been a good place to make a plug for a more independent media player like SongBird ( -- and to help rally people around that.

I use iTunes because I like how it manages the podcasts. That's really the only driving thing that made me get an iPod in the first place. My generic mp3 player didn't support it in an easy manner. I don't want ot have to write code, run scripts, etc just to manage the podcasts I've listened to and move them off and load on new ones.