“At the start of the millennium, Apple famously set out to upend the music business by dragging it into the digital realm. The iTunes store provided an easy way of finding and buying music, and iTunes provided an elegant way of managing it,” Jesse Jarnow reports for Wired. “By 2008, Apple was the biggest music vendor in the US. But with its recent shift toward streaming media, Apple risks losing its most music-obsessed users: the collectors.”

“Most of iTunes’ latest enhancements exist solely to promote the recommendation-driven Apple Music, app downloads, and iCloud,” Jarnow reports. “Users interested only in iTunes’ media management features — people with terabytes of MP3s who want a solid app to catalog and organize their libraries — feel abandoned as Apple moves away from local file storage in favor of cloud-based services.”

“There are some open-source alternatives, but for a Mac user seeking a fully operational iTunes-like app that will manage files with the same ease, Swinsian (US$19.95) leads the pack,” Jarnow reports. “It aims to replicate iTunes’ most elegant functions, strip away the bloat, and add some extra tools.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: iTunes has become a ridiculous app. Ridiculously bad. Bolt on too much stuff and make the UI enough of a disaster and people will start looking elsewhere, Apple.

As we wrote back in July:

This has been building for years. With each new version of “iTunes” (even the app’s name hasn’t been right for many years), we’ve had such high hopes, but all we ever get are more and more appendages bolted on to the bloated mass, when it’s exactly the opposite that’s called for!

iTunes is the Yoplait yogurt cup of UIs.

iTunes is the Yoplait yogurt cup of UIs.

iTunes is the Yoplait yogurt cup of UIs. Upside-down, inefficient, messy, unusable in spots and woefully inefficient. The foil top always tears in half; it never comes off in one piece. Trying to spoon it all out of an ever-widening cup maddeningly gets yogurt all over the spoon’s handle and your fingers. And inconvenient bumps molded into the horrid thing to go along with a wide yogurt-catching lip around the top thwart even the most determined of spoon scrapers. The amount of Yoplait yogurt thrown away due to poor packaging design could feed several impoverished nations. The amount of media hidden away, seemingly inaccessible, and lost inside in iTunes is like leftover yogurt forlornly and forever stuck in that awfully-designed Yoplait cup. What a stupid waste!

Apple, take a step back and look at the iTunes app anew. Look at it as if, say, it was a piece of Microsoft software (it certainly looks and acts like one) and approach it as if you’re about to enter the market. What would Apple do? Laugh at what a POS it is and then get to work creating a coherent, easy-to-use solution.

Just like you did with personal computers, MP3 players, smartphones, and tablets make this experience for end users again. Look at what Apple did with non-linear editing via iMovie. You made something very complex into something simple, understandable, and usable for everyone. Reinvent. Simplify. Delight us. Surprise us. That’s why you get the big money.

Give “iTunes” to another Apple team, or teams, or even bring in some outside talent, and see what their fresh eyes might imagine.

SEE ALSO:
Should iTunes be split into 16 different apps? – October 20, 2015
The tragedy of iTunes: Nothing ‘just works’ – July 28, 2015
Dear Apple, please go thermonuclear on iTunes – July 28, 2015
Marco Arment: iTunes is a toxic hellstew – July 27, 2015
Jim Dalrymple: I got (most of) my music back; Apple working to fix Apple Music issues shortly – July 26, 2015
Jim Dalrymple: Apple Music is a nightmare, and I’m done with it – July 23, 2015
Apple’s iTunes: Whatever happened to ‘It Just Works? – July 17, 2015
The iTunes Report: Still a mess – July 14, 2015
Apple releases iTunes 12.2.1, fixes iTunes Match issues – July 13, 2015
Apple Music, both on iOS and OS X, is an embarrassing and confusing mess – July 10, 2015
iTunes 12.2 is mangling network-shared libraries – July 6, 2015
Serious iTunes Match issues for some users ahead of Apple Music launch – June 26, 2015
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015