Taming iTunes

Over at ZDNet, I’ve just posted instructions for installing iTunes without adding a lot of unnecessary junk. Here’s an excerpt:

As it turns out, the iTunes installer has been bulking up for the past year or two. Don’t be fooled by the filename: iTunes8Setup.exe includes much more than the iTunes client. Without any disclosure and without your consent, the iTunes 8 setup program installs kernel-mode drivers, multiple system services, and at least one add-in. It takes a supersize helping of chutzpah to create an ad that criticizes Windows for its “bloat” and then deliver an upgrade with as much unnecessary junk as this one.

The last time I wrote about this, several commenters defended Apple by insisting that every component in that full install was necessary, and that trying to carve away any of those bits will degrade Apple’s awesome end-to-end experience. I’ve looked at the iTunes installer on multiple Windows machines and am convinced that those Apple defenders are wrong. If you’re like most people, you don’t need any of that additional junk. In this post, I’ll explain how you can figure out which parts of the package you need, and then show you how to wrestle control of iTunes back.

The whole thing is here:

Slimming down the bloated iTunes 8 installer

3 thoughts on “Taming iTunes

  1. Ed, you are a lifesaver. Unlike Adobe and Microsoft, that provides an easy way to customize their installations for corporate/educational use, or Java that has a full documentation of their plug-in for customized installs, Apple wants you to have the full pie, and on the plate they give you. Even the licensing Apple provides for corporate/educational use makes you force every end user to read the eula on a corpoate intranet. We have been using the standalone quicktime installer, but had not have the time to investigate an easy way to deploy without the extra bloat.

    Thanks again for all your hard work.

  2. So can we expect similar breakdowns for Dell, HP, Sony installs? Oh that’s right, every PC user is already used to the reformat, boot from CD, reinstall, download drivers, apply updates, etc… routine for dealing with bloatware.

    While I think your coverage of this scenario is over the top, aren’t you missing a few details? For example, doesn’t iTunes have Bonjour sharing on by default, so when you don’t install it, iTunes will display error messages saying the service isn’t available until you shut sharing off in Preferences? Maybe I’m wrong, but ignoring those details could prove very annoying to people trying to follow your over-the-top but useful instructions.

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