Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 3rd Sep 2010 16:12 UTC
Apple "By now, most iTunes users have already downloaded and installed iTunes 10. We've already given you the low-down on the biggest addition to the new version of iTunes - the Ping social network - but we also wanted to give our impressions on two 'improvements' promised in the release notes: look-and-feel and performance. While we agree that iTunes is 'faster and more responsive', we're not sold on the revised user interface." Vertical window titlebar widgets? Can't we just take this thing 'round back and put a bullet between its eyes? We'd be doing everyone a favour.
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Comment by Eddyspeeder
by Eddyspeeder on Fri 3rd Sep 2010 17:36 UTC
Eddyspeeder
Member since:
2006-05-10

The song listing has become clearer and more concise and the interface has definitely gained in aesthetic appeal and calmness. But boy, was I happy about Ars' explanation of how to easily get the original title bar back:

* The vertical widgets shocked me and made me dread a possible future where Apple would use vertical widgets in all its applications (the horror!)

* I often minimize iTunes by double-clicking the title bar. Now, with less space to do so, it has become less easy.

* Though I understand a larger volume control helps usability, why does the round knob have to be so terribly ugly? There are better alternatives.

* I applaud the switch to monochrome icons, especially with the left sidebar. I do not use it often and always thought it was in my face too much.

* The buttons at the bottom of the screen have always been a bit awkward in my eyes. They do not serve usability as well as they should. This has not gotten better nor worse in my view.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Eddyspeeder
by Manik on Fri 3rd Sep 2010 19:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by Eddyspeeder"
Manik Member since:
2005-07-06

This should restore the widgets in their horizontal position :

defaults write com.apple.iTunes full-window -int -1

I didn't try it yet.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Eddyspeeder
by macUser on Fri 3rd Sep 2010 19:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Eddyspeeder"
macUser Member since:
2006-12-15

This should restore the widgets in their horizontal position :

defaults write com.apple.iTunes full-window -int -1

I didn't try it yet.


It works. You should probably quit out of iTunes first.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Eddyspeeder
by redshift on Mon 6th Sep 2010 16:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Eddyspeeder"
redshift Member since:
2006-05-06

yes it works....that is how I fixed mine.

Reply Score: 1

ring tone maker
by poundsmack on Fri 3rd Sep 2010 18:57 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

anyone else notice the ring tone maker feature has been removed?

Reply Score: 2

Offtopic but, I Never liked iTunes......
by robojerk on Fri 3rd Sep 2010 19:10 UTC
robojerk
Member since:
2006-01-10

Never liked iTunes but I still use iTunes.

I liked SoundJam MP but once Apple got their hands on it and turned it into iTunes I have never really liked it. About that time I switched from using Macs to Windows.

After SoundJam MP I switched to MusicMatch Jukebox and loved it, even paid for it. I used it for years until one day I upgraded and my serial key stopped working, then Yahoo destroyed it. I wish Yahoo would open up that source or something, it's so outdated now (lacking support for newer formats) that it's not a realistic choice.

I've tried SongBird and MediaMonkey but they unfortunately feel like unfinished projects where they do have cool features, but the main program feel like they're not quite there.

I would describe myself as a disgruntled iTunes user. There are probably a lot of us out there like me and unfortunately no one is willing to put some coin down to complete with iTunes because I feel that there is a market out there. It just needs to be better than the current iTunes alternatives out there at the moment. I'm kind of shocked Amazon hasn't done so.

Reply Score: 2

poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

you sound like you would probably like Foobar2000 (http://www.foobar2000.org/)
Amarok is also nice, and the windows version is coming along nicely.

Reply Score: 3

mrAmiga500 Member since:
2009-03-20

I would describe myself as a disgruntled iTunes user. There are probably a lot of us out there like me and unfortunately no one is willing to put some coin down to complete with iTunes because I feel that there is a market out there. It just needs to be better than the current iTunes alternatives out there at the moment.


I agree. I've been waiting for YEARS for either a better iTunes alternative or for iTunes to improve. Instead, iTunes has gotten more bloated and awkward with each version - with Apple adding junk that is only there for them to increase sales, while making it harder for me to do what I want.

I got tired of fighting iTunes and iTunes alternatives, dumped my iPod and went with a MP3 player that allows simple drag & drop file copy and folder organization.

I'm much happier and I never need to worry about upgrading my computer to run the latest iTunes. I don't need any software at all. I can even copy MP3s from my Amiga if I want to! (..and I do)

Reply Score: 1

mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

iTunes has gotten more bloated and awkward with each version - with Apple adding junk that is only there for them to increase sales


This is because iTunes is provided FREE and since the launch of what was originally the ITMS it's PRIMARY purpose, despite it's ability to sync with iDevices, is to sell content. Geeks complaining about that fact is both irrelevant and senseless because for the average user iTunes is a big part of the reason the iDevices are perceived to be at the pinnacle of user friendliness. iTunes is a one stop shop for buying, managing (the content AND the devices), playing and syncing the content - ALL content. Yes it's bloated and awkward, but then for most users so is Microsoft Office. That doesn't stop people from using it either...

Reply Score: 3

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

There is always the old stand by, WinAmp.

Reply Score: 3

ciplogic
Member since:
2006-12-22

I "like" iTunes 10. First of all I have Win64, which may be a less made build. Also I've always UNCHECK "I want that Apple to update my Apple software" because I don't want Safari "for free", with QuickTime and all that crap/soft-ware.
Of course I've had installed QuickTime at the end. And of course the Apple Update part was installed, silently. iTunes 10 anyway excluding that first time it locks, after I closed it with task manager, it seem to be working.
I think that QA is an issue at Apple in installing/first start cases. Probably they do it by purpose (to install unattended software), but this will make me think that Apple is another monopolistic corporation as was Microsoft 10 years ago.
Regardless of this biased review, and the first (b)lock, the software will run fairly smooth afterwards.

Reply Score: 2

poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

"...but this will make me think that Apple is another monopolistic corporation as was Microsoft 10 years ago."

That would be because they are ;)

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

"...but this will make me think that Apple is another monopolistic corporation as was Microsoft 10 years ago."

That would be because they are ;)


I'd add that if you need a simple example, just look around you in a public place and count how much iPod devices there are.

There's simply no more real competition in the pmp player market anymore, except in the low end (Because Apple fail to understand that a music player without a screen is not worth more than $20) and in the very high end (because audio geeks, having known the MD era, often won't be easily lured into using SonicStage 5 aka iTunes).

Edited 2010-09-03 20:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

""...but this will make me think that Apple is another monopolistic corporation as was Microsoft 10 years ago."

That would be because they are ;)


I'd add that if you need a simple example, just look around you in a public place and count how much iPod devices there are.

There's simply no more real competition in the pmp player market anymore.
"

But the Apple business model does not depend on being a monopoly. They have an almost monopolistic profile in music players because their players simply outsell everyone else's (the argument as to why that is the case is a separate one). Apple don't need monopoly practices because they think that they can out compete anybody in the open market and they probably can.

In this context a monopoly practice would be encoding all music in iTunes in such a way to make exporting or playing it in another player impossible and I don't see Apple doing that. Getting mp3 into and out of iTunes is easy. They do sell music with DRM built in but all the evidence points to their willingness to abandon DRM if the music labels agreed, when they did Apple did.

They may have achieved a monopoly and they sure as hell want to defend their sales but their model is not monopolistic, this is very different to say Microsoft which also achieved a monopoly, but did so as a deliberate business strategy and then ruthlessly defended that monopoly (remember "embrace and extend").

Apple does not deliberately erect barriers to new players entering the player market, it thinks is can beat them fairly and routinely does so.

Reply Score: 1

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Apple does not deliberately erect barriers to new players? You mean their attempts at blocking the Palm Pre from syncing with iTunes wasn't deliberate?

Also, Apple is far from the only option in the portable mp3 player market, and even further from the best. Their players are poor value for money, compared to the rest of the market. They just happened to become fashion.

Reply Score: 2

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Apple does not deliberately erect barriers to new players? You mean their attempts at blocking the Palm Pre from syncing with iTunes wasn't deliberate?

Also, Apple is far from the only option in the portable mp3 player market, and even further from the best. Their players are poor value for money, compared to the rest of the market. They just happened to become fashion.


There are available ways to do sync with iTunes using Apples SDK. What Palm did was a cheap trick which misused the agreed public rules governing the USB standard which was to pretend to be a device it wasn't (ie an iPod). I have no idea why Palm took that route - it seemed nonsensical to me but it was after all coming out of a business that was imploding. But Apple did nothing wrong here and Palm's actions, subverting and breaking agreed open standards around USB, should not be defended by anybody here.

I will also restate my main point - which is that Apple's business model is not monopolistic even where, though free and fair open competition, they have achieved any sort of monopoly (the only case where they have done this is with the iPod). Apple does not use monopolistic practices as part of its business model. Apple does make products and services that work unusually well together, that is very much part of their business model, but that is not monopolistic - its just clever.

Reply Score: 1

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I will argue that...
-Once distributors begin to put iPods apart from others DAP/PMP, on a shelf that's visible right away while the others are put aside in the back of the store, as if it was some kind of special product...
-Once we ONLY see ads about iPods, and they are everywhere... (ads costs money which competitors don't have)
-Once the most popular music store, which mostly gained its place through clever use of the already large iPod market share, will only easily sync with the iPod... (don't tell me that the files can be accessed, I know that. The problem is that most people don't, and think iTunes files can only be accessed through syncing)

...we can suspect that there's some monopolistic practices around.

Edited 2010-09-05 06:48 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

I will argue that...
-Once distributors begin to put iPods apart from others DAP/PMP, on a shelf that's visible right away while the others are put aside in the back of the store, as if it was some kind of special product...
-Once we ONLY see ads about iPods, and they are everywhere... (ads costs money which competitors don't have)
-Once the most popular music store, which mostly gained its place through clever use of the already large iPod market share, will only easily sync with the iPod... (don't tell me that the files can be accessed, I know that. The problem is that most people don't, and think iTunes files can only be accessed through syncing)

...we can suspect that there's some monopolistic practices around.


Again my argument is that there is no evidence that monopolistic business strategy forms any part of Apple's overall business strategy. Apple's approach, often stated by Steve Jobs is to make the best products that offer the best user experience and then let the customer decide, through their purchasing decisions, whether Apple has succeeded. Apple doesn't need to cheat or use monopolistic manipulations (unlike, say, Microsoft) because it has utter confidence that on a level playing field it will win.

Taking your points:

- Store owners will promote the best selling products. There is no evidence I have ever seen that Apple applies pressure to resellers to discriminate against its competitors (unlike ample evidence in the case of Microsoft). If you have any evidence then please do offer it up.

- The fact that iPods are so successful and you see them everywhere is not itself evidence of Apple having a monopolistic strategy or implementing a monopolistic practices. Its simple evidence of the success of their products.

- Apple are not going to deliberately make it easy for their competitors - what company monopoly or otherwise ever does that - and since there has been no clamour from customers for the features you talk about Apple are not interested in developing them. The important point is that Apple has not deliberately designed iTunes in such a way that it locks out its competitors, rather Apple have just ensured through the integrated design of their hardware and software, that the experience of using it is for most consumers so easy that it makes their competitors efforts look clumsy. Using the (by industry standards) unusually integrated use of software and hardware to create (by industry standards) unusually seamless experience for consumers is the very essence of Apple's distinctive strategy. Its what makes their products so hard to beat.

Reply Score: 1

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

You conveniently forget that Palm didn't mimic Apple's USB string before Apple started updating iTunes to lock them out.

Reply Score: 3

redshift Member since:
2006-05-06

Palm needed to make their own sync tool. Instead of masqueraded as a device by spoofing an ID in the USB protocol. That is a DYI hacking approach and is not becoming of professional software development.

I tried many other MP3 players and they all sucked horribly before I got an ipod 3G (which still works). Eventually I moved to an iPhone 3G. It has worked extremely well for me for a couple of years now. It even syncs well with my corporate email. Droid is about the only thing that comes close to providing a strong alternative... and it is not there yet. Especially with Motorola locking Droid X up tighter than an iPhone.

I will agree that iTunes on windows feels awkward. It is much more natural on OSX.

Reply Score: 1

ggiunta Member since:
2006-01-13

Glad to see I am not the only one having had the 'locking up' problem (using vista home).
I just hope it is a 1st-time-only occurrence because, if the time Apple is taking to fix the problems that the itunes installer has with upgrading the bonjour service is of any indication, I would have to basically switch to another player.

Reply Score: 1

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Let me see if I have the logic correct:

Product X by company Y, which nobody is forcing me to use and is free, does not do exactly what I want because for some reason company Y doesn't bother to read my mind. Ergo company Y must be a monopoly.

I am not saying all these huge mega corporations don't use douche moves to achieve huge market shares. I am just saying that throwing the "monopoly" term around sort of diminishes the validity of some of the grievances.

If you don't like OSX, use windows or linux or BSD or whatever (and vice versa). If you don't like iTunes, use Win Media player or some of the free alternatives. If you don't like the iPod use a different mobile player.

Edited 2010-09-04 01:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

dragossh Member since:
2008-12-16

What if you don't like the crapware Apple installs using their /update/ tool, but like iTunes?

Reply Score: 1

Snappier Performance?
by Phloptical on Sat 4th Sep 2010 13:37 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

It takes forever to load. And what's this $1.29 for songs?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Snappier Performance?
by shotsman on Sun 5th Sep 2010 17:14 UTC in reply to "Snappier Performance?"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Well, I just tried out the new version on my MacBook.(2008 13in version).

Frankly, it is a big improvement over the previous version.
At last the Albums (I have more than 50) are easily identified. It seems snappier than before.

After one (and fairly short) experience where I downloaded 6 different Posdasts to the MacBook and thence to my iPhone(company std) then synced 6 CD's I bought at a car boot sale yesterday(1970's prog rock), I am pleased with its operation.

I do have another MP3 player. This is my Vosonic VP5500 with a 160Gb HDD. I use this for my Photo Shoot backups. IT has all my 45Gb+ Music collection on it. I have no problem dragging & dropping MP3's to it from the MB.
I'm off on a photo shoot to the Pyrenees at the end of next week. I'm driving the kit down to the location which is close to the Andorran border. I shall be listening to music the whole way down from my iPhone or MP3 player. Nuff said.
It works pretty well.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by darrelljon
by darrelljon on Mon 6th Sep 2010 11:02 UTC
darrelljon
Member since:
2008-05-29

Its nothing to do with the "users are idiots" mentality. Whenever one company dominates a market, it's bad for consumers. Internet Explorer 6 is a good example.

Edited 2010-09-06 11:02 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by darrelljon
by darrelljon on Mon 6th Sep 2010 12:05 UTC in reply to "Comment by darrelljon"
darrelljon Member since:
2008-05-29
RE[2]: Comment by darrelljon
by Neolander on Mon 6th Sep 2010 12:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by darrelljon"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08


Excellent article, thanks for the read !

Reply Score: 2

Vertical Window Widgets
by redshift on Mon 6th Sep 2010 16:35 UTC
redshift
Member since:
2006-05-06

Graying out the buttons and most of the other changes were not a big deal to me and it does seem like iTunes is more responsive. However, I could not take the Vertical window management buttons. I sent them a bug report for that and asked them to have an intervention with there UI designer, as his drinking problem is beginning to affect the quality of his work.

Fortunately, the fix is a simple terminal command.
defaults write com.apple.iTunes full-window -boolean YES

I just can't see violating a fundamental UI convention to save 10 pixels of space on a 24" screen. The inconsistency of this being the only app that has a window that works this way makes it even worse. Not that I would want vertical buttons everywhere... but they do need to pick one. I really can't see how it got out of QA without some one asking... What the hell is this... really?? You sure about that button placement because it looks like a bug to the testers?

Reply Score: 1

Perfectly happy with sansa
by JeffS on Tue 7th Sep 2010 19:42 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

I switched from being a full time iPod user (with iTunes, of course), to being only an occasional user. Now it's mostly my Sansa Clip, and I use, for syncing, either manual drag and drop (easy, works like a charm), or MediaMonkey, Songbird, or Windows Media player. All sync up with the Sansa very easily.

And I love the Sansa Clip. It is really a capable little device, with superior sound to the iPod Nano (which is what I have), lots of features, and one third the cost of the iPod Nano. And, of course, I don't have to use iTunes. iTunes has lots of good features, but it is totally bloated.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Perfectly happy with sansa
by Neolander on Tue 7th Sep 2010 20:10 UTC in reply to "Perfectly happy with sansa"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I switched from being a full time iPod user (with iTunes, of course), to being only an occasional user. Now it's mostly my Sansa Clip, and I use, for syncing, either manual drag and drop (easy, works like a charm), or MediaMonkey, Songbird, or Windows Media player. All sync up with the Sansa very easily.

And I love the Sansa Clip. It is really a capable little device, with superior sound to the iPod Nano (which is what I have), lots of features, and one third the cost of the iPod Nano. And, of course, I don't have to use iTunes. iTunes has lots of good features, but it is totally bloated.

I'd add that my girlfriend, who doesn't care about the extra features the tiniest bit but didn't want an iPod because of the premium price and various bad experiences with iPod nanos around her, still loves the Sansa Fuze that I bought her some times ago.

When I look at it, Sandisk really made wonders on their little devices' UI when you have ease of use in mind. The home button is just a great idea, and the menus are uncluttered and simple to navigate through. I wish they had more market exposure for this.

Edited 2010-09-07 20:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Perfectly happy with sansa
by JeffS on Tue 7th Sep 2010 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Perfectly happy with sansa"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

Yup, I'm sold on Sansas. My next device will be a Fuze.

I'll also add that MediaMonkey, which I had previously mentioned, syncs up great with the Sansa devices, and it works with iPods as well.

Reply Score: 2