Archive for September 8, 2005

Thursday, September 8, 2005

iTunes 5

I like that the huge margins are gone, but the rest of the changes make it uglier without quite matching any of Apple’s other non-standard applications, either. It still uses modal dialogs and fudges the display of the keyboard shortcut for Play.

The first thing I tried to do was search my library for podcasts that matched a word, and it didn’t find any even though I have many matching tracks with that Genre.

The second thing I tried was the new Show Duplicate Songs feature. But this doesn’t compare the file contents like iPhoto does; it just compares the metadata, finding tracks with the same name and artist (case insensitive) even if the content and duration differ. What’s the point of that? First of all, there are some songs that I have many different versions of—on purpose. Second, it’s worse than useless for some classical albums: Albinoni’s “The Complete Concertos, Opus 9” has six tracks called “Adagio” and six more called “Allegro.” I don’t think Yo-Yo Ma, who was in Apple’s audience yesterday, thinks that he played the same track 16 times in a row on his 1999 solo album. CDDB is weak for classical CDs, but still.

Here’s what other people are saying:

2lmc spool:

How much have they broken their HIG this time? I think square is the new black. For some reason, everything I see is square.

Eric Blair:

iTunes’ improved search functionality is nice, but a little inconsistent. Some fields, like Album, are always searched, but others, like Description, are only searched when they are displayed.

Mike Cohen

I think iTunes 5.0 is UGLY, especially the new glossy playback status bar & the volume slider.


Burnt Aqua isn’t ideal, but it’s hopefully some movement, and I’ll get similar pleasure if and when we see everything move to Aqua Unified. If everything starts getting those horrid Mail.application icons, I shall rail, but for just one day I’d like to see it as a hopeful sign of improvement instead of more weirdness, even though those in the other camp have just as high a chance of being right.

M. Uli Kusterer

Now all Apple have to do is add this stuff to the HIToolbox and (on a more selfish note) AppKit, and fix Safari and iChat already.

Gus Mueller:

But why, oh why- do we need yet another custom window on osx?

Rory Prior:

I was really hoping the unified/plastic look would replace brushed metal but it looks like we are just going to get a new smooth metal variant which I think is actually uglier *sigh*. Seriously someone needs to gift wrap the ugly stick and send it back to Redmond.

Brent Simmons:

Me, I don’t have a lot of opinion yet (just observations).

Daniel J. Wilson

The new paint job is nice (still visually distinctive in Exposé, though not as heavy as the metal), but I’m not impressed thus far. With regard to lyrics, the lesson is: if you are going to implement a feature, do it right or don’t do it at all.

Dan Wood:

I’m going to put off downloading iTunes 5 for as long as I can. It is butt-ugly. I don’t mind the smoothed over brushed metal look too much, though the gradients are a bit over-done. But everything is so horribly crowded now.

Mike Zornek:

What’s up with the corner radii of these windows?

…in the previous version of iTunes there was consistency in these widgets. The widget layout was the same between the large iTunes window, and the smaller utility version. Now it’s inconsistent and widgets rearrange themselves depending on the window type.

The iPod nano looks to me like a home run. Take that for what you will, since I thought the original iPod would flop; and though, it was much better than the competition, I found the 3G frustratingly inelegant. But, if you like the other iPods or the iPod mini (and tens of millions presumably do), it seems to me that you’ll like the Nano even better. Personally, I’m happy with my Shuffle. It does exactly what I need and does it better than the Nano would.

September 8 Update

September 9 Update