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 You Cannot Make This Stuff Up! Marcie's Blog 

Marcie Haitema is one of the nation's leading experts in the areas of e-banking, automated clearinghouse (ACH) transactions, electronic funds transfer services (EFTS), Treasury Solutions, payment conversions, and mobile payments. Having served as NACHA's Board Chairperson in 2010, Haitema offers  20 years of senior leadership and consulting experience in product management, operations, business and strategy development, complex project planning and execution, and solution set design and execution working with Fortune 500, middle market, small business companies, as well as large and small financial institutions.

Monday, April 23 2012

My Mom has Alzheimer’s. She’s now resides in a facility that specializes in “Memory Care,” which is the euphemistic term for dementia these days. Communication with my Mom is only possible if I can tap into memories of people and events that occurred a long time ago---which is very normal for people with Alzheimer’s.

Music is supposed to be another way to “reach” Alzheimer’s patients and so I decided to compile a “Playlist” filled with music that my Mom loves and would hopefully remember.  She has always loved classical music as well as Anglican choral music and hymns.  
I was not so pleasantly surprised to find out that iTunes has a lousy search engine! Granted, I was seeking music composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff, Gabriel Faure’, John Rutter and Felix Mendelssohn, not Adele, Lady Gaga or Carrier Underwood.  But I couldn’t believe how hard iTunes made me work to find the music I wanted!
The iTunes search function is not “smart” at all.  Upon trying to compile this play list for my Mom, I had to spell every name; composer or artist correctly otherwise I got a message that iTunes could not find a “music match.”  I kept thinking that this just could not be happening.  This is Apple after all--famous for its elegance, ease of use and intuitive navigation.  Aren’t you smart enough to know that when I type in  Rachmoninoff, I meant Rachmaninoff?  Well the answer to that is no, Apple is not!  Apple’s search engine is not smart at all. I am shocked.
So Apple, this is a serious design flaw. Perhaps you have not paid much attention to your iTunes search engine as of late because you have such a “market domination” position?  Well listen up:  Your  amazing market position does not mean that you get to treat us like a captive audience and then provide such an unhelpful, make-me-spell-everything-out-correctly tool in order to be able to find and then PAY you for the music I want!
Don’t you know that the Google people down the street have set the standard on search as well as our expectations when it comes to searching for anything online? Don’t you know that Google perfected its search engine functionality by spending time behind the scenes looking at what people are doing including all the mistakes--typos and misspellings--and figured out what we really wanted to find? Yes! Google found out what our real intentions are and provided the Did you mean? (in less than a second) alternative whenever we type  a misspelled word or search string!  That rocks!

I know that you are redesigning you App Store in an effort to make it feel less like Home Depot, but may I also suggest that you include your iTunes search engine in your redesign efforts.  I should not and do not want to spend so much time hunting down the music I INTEND TO PURCHASE! 

I should not have to pull out a dictionary to find out how to spell Liszt.  I know you guys are smart enough to make the process easier! Not everyone is into the latest Grammy or CMA award winners, so wake up and make me feel happier about being a captive participant of the Apple World.  Please take a page from Google playbook and improve your search functionality. And please include the same functionality on the iPad. 

My search suffering occurred on a PC.  I would have given up if I was using my iPad and forget about my iPhone, but I still have trouble with your iPhone keyboard and the keyboard is the only thing I still miss from my Blackberry!

I like my long fingernails that suited Blackberry’s keyboard just fine – but not yours. 

I will do just about anything to make my Mom smile these days, but it should not have been so hard and time consuming to assemble a Playlist filled with her favorite classical music!  If this Playlist does the trick, I will certainly be back to iTunes.  But…Apple…will you please make it easier for me the next time around?
Posted by: Marcie AT 05:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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