Apple’s iTunes 5 introduces yet another new variation of Mac OS X Aqua theme

“Until today, there had been 4 different variations of the Aqua theme used by Apple for its OS X software: The standard Aqua theme, the new Platinum theme (I believe that’s what its called), the much distained [sic] Brushed-Metal theme, and the funky Woody theme,” Kortney Hohle writes for “Commentators have pointed out on more then one occasion that while Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) has guidelines for which theme to use where, even Apple disregards those rules and uses whatever theme some unknown source in the company chooses. (I’m not even going to mention the Apple Pro apps which use a completely different theme and widget set.)”

Hohle writes, “With [the] release of iTunes 5, we get a fifth variation of the aqua theme, a darker variation of the Platinum theme, and once again a seemingly arbitrary choice that goes against Apple’s own HIG. Certainly Apple can justify this tangential decision by toughting [sic] features that would necessitate a theme change, right? From what I can tell, there’s not much substance behind the style.”

Hohle writes, “So was this additional theme needed? Personally, I like the new look, but that’s not what this is about… I can’t really say that iTunes 5 is any less intuitive then any of the previous versions of iTunes, so the only card that really leaves me to play is the consistency card. Is it important that all apps are skinned the same way, or only that they follow the same general theme?”

Full article, illustrated with comparison screenshots, here.

Sandy McMurray also tackles this topic for Corante here.

John Gruber also provides a very funny take (contains explicit language) on the issue for Daring Fireball here.
Maybe Apple changes things to keep things “fresh” and also to keep the Sonys of the world at bay?

Related articles:
Sony’s new Windows-only ‘Connect Player’ bears eerie resemblance to Apple iTunes – September 09, 2005


  1. Ok – I am tired of people making such a big deal about Apple not following their own Human Interface Guidelines (HIG). As the name implies, they are only GUIDELINES – not hard, fast rules. If Apple (or anyone else) wants to stray a little bit fron the HIG, that is fine – they are just guidelines. Sheesh!

  2. This is the part of Apple where it drives me up the wall.

    Part of the simplicity and elegance of using the Mac depends on consistent behaviours and consistent appearances. In that regard nothing OS X is has surpassed OS 9 (sorry to say).

    I have used Audacity, a freeware audio app ported over from Windows. It is very inconsistent to the look and the feel of the Mac, but considering how the Mac apps are becoming these days, being too diversified in it HIG, it’s just one of the crowd.

    Mac OS X in really becoming Windows in this regard.

    PS. Closing the iTunes window should stop ALL music.

  3. Bitch bitch bitch.

    Who the hell cares. It all looks good. It all works well. Variations in the interfaces haven’t stumped me a bit. (I do have to say that I liked the Mail with Panther better than the Mail with Tiger.)

  4. Apparently this “journalist” must be to digusted by the theme used in the dictionary app or she is too dumb to use spell checker.
    If she has the time to harp on every detail of others, she should at least spell check her “article”.

    distained- not a word
    toughting- not a word

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