The Genius Sidebar is really just a big, fat iTunes money tree

Ads have invaded iTunes 8 and I hate it. Suddenly, on the right side of iTunes, the Genius Sidebar now displays at least 23 one-click buy links for me to spend my hard-earned cash through. What Apple calls a friendly recommendation is more like impulsive music buying. 

Back in iTunes 4.x, the software was a music jukebox. It correlated and organized all of your tunes in a nice, light package. Overtime though, Apple added the iTunes Store, the TV shows, followed by movies, audiobooks, and thanks to the iPhone, ringtones. My light music organizer is now a bloated, resource whore.

But, just like any true Apple fanboy, I downloaded the latest iTunes right out of the gate only to discover that this latest flavor is the slowest of them all. It took over an hour to generate all the Genius data and that’s when the horror sunk in.

To the right of the music, sits a recovering compulsive buyer’s nightmare: a bunch of $.99 one-click buttons. Stevie claims that these are here to help us, but we all know they are there to help him; to help pad the deep coffers that is the iTunes Store. He claims they are there to recommend new music and I am stating that they are there to help pay 1 Infinity Loop’s energy bill.

Thankfully, the sidebar can be turned off. I can only imagine the amount of impromptu purchases that these ads are going to create. Unknowing ‘rents are going to leave their account signed in, only to have their kids purchase more Hanson – or whatever crap kids listen to.

Prediction for iTunes 9: subscriptions service paid for in pancreas donations.