“Apple gets a lot of kudos for its design chops, but there’s one product everyone thinks Cupertino can improve: iTunes,” John Brownlee reports for Cult of Mac. “The bloated Swiss army knife app for managing everything from your music library to the apps on your iPhone has been begging for a rethink for years. Yet for whatever reason, Apple has yet to deliver a true design overhaul of iTunes.”
“The situation has gotten so bad, iTunes is now being assigned to college students as a design problem,” Brownlee reports. “Students at German college Fachochschule Potsdam were assigned the task of splitting iTunes up into 16 different apps [Albums, App Control, Apple Books, Apple Tags, Demand, Devices, iGear, iRadio, Movie Time, Music Finder, Podcasts, Push, Shows, Simplay, Sync and Vision]. And the results look pretty good!”
MacDailyNews Take: Apple, especially under Steve Jobs, has shown a great and admirable willingness to cannibalize themselves. They obliterated their iPod business with the iPhone, for one example. But, when it comes to iTunes, they seem paralyzed by fear of change. Apple paralyzed by fear is not a pretty thing and it doesn’t yield pretty things. It yields hot messes like iTunes.
iTunes screams to be broken up into separate, streamlined apps. It’s been screaming that for years. But Apple seems to be scared silly to do so — perhaps 800+ million credit cards have something to do with it — so they’ve tinkered around the edges, making questionable tweaks here an there and bolting on even more bloat.
Grow a pair, Apple, and do what needs to be done already. — MacDailyNews Take, July 17, 2015
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote 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. 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.
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