The Worst Product Apple Have Ever Released

It hurts me to say this and goodness knows I’m not a fan of the “if Steve Jobs” were alive mantra but Apple have finally managed to release a product so bad, so beta, so limited and so shonky that I had to spend time working out how to remove it and that takes me back to my windows days.

So what is it? Well most of you won’t even notice but in Mavericks Apple kindly introduced iBooks for OSX.  I read a lot on my iPad on my iPhone and  – you know – actual books.  I have over 2000 books in iTunes syncing across devices.  I never had any real urge to read books on my computer but Apple obviously thought I did (or they were up to something nefarious) so they brought out iBooks.  Why is iBooks so terrible?   Well let’s start with the fact that it removes your books from iTunes completely and imports them into “iBooks” where they can no longer be found via spotlight.  If you’re looking , and looking , and looking you’ll find them hidden away in

~/Library>Containers>>Data>Documents>iBooks>Books  – intuitive eh?

Of course not ALL books are there, no, no, .  I went from 2058 books in iTunes to just over 1600 books in iBooks with 400 odd left behind in my old iTunes folder (I spotted that, iBooks certainly didn’t tell me).  I believe those are ones I dropped in from other sources and not from the iBookstore.  So that’s annoying but I’ll just carry on using iTunes and ignore iBooks…..

Unfortunately no.  As soon as you launch iBooks it starts the ibookstoreagent and that takes over from iTunes, you no longer have a books folder in iTunes and none of your books are visible there.  Your iPad or phone syncs with the new iBooks app (the one with 400 books missing).  The iBooks app itself is horrific, you can’t edit any metadata on books (like correcting author names or titles or book covers) or sort the books the way you want – basic stuff that we could do in iTunes.  So now I have 400 books missing, a useless app oh and all my books moved to that container folder have been given a numeric code instead of the useful filename so I can’t search for them by title or author in spotlight.

I check my iPad and iPhone and neither have all books on them, even all books bought from Apple.  If I look at “purchased” I have tons to download manually because they won’t sync.  At this point I’m ready to roll back to Mountain Lion .. but some kind person on the Apple support community (well several kind people) offered a way to remove iBooks and go back to my happy place with iTunes and books management in there.  Here’s what I did

1. Used Activity Monitor to stop the iBookstoreagent

2. Found the ibookstoreagent and moved it to trash (otherwise it will keep restarting

3. Used AppCleaner (free to install but not from AppStore) to remove iBooks and all its related files completely

4. Launched iTunes and my books folder was back with the 400 missing books in it

5. Dragged / dropped all the books in that container folder into iTunes

6. Choose File – Library  – Organize Library to get all those books back into the iTunes folder structure

7. Deleted the container and everything in it including the copies of books I now had back in iTunes

That’s it.  It took about 5 mins (10 if you need to download AppCleaner)  and now I am back to the way I worked before, all collections etc intact and 2058 books in place.

I’m now very nervous about any iTunes or OSX updates going forwards, for the first time since I moved to Mac 6 years ago, i’ll be holding off to let others go through that pain barrier first.  If you haven’t launched iBooks yet, I’d recommend you don’t.

Bad Apple.  Bad.