iTunes 9: A Better, More Intuitive Product

  • Posted: 13 September 2009 09:23 PM

    While iTunes 9 hasn’t resolved all of my issues with what has become an unwieldy digital store, it is a big step forward in developing a much more intuitive interface.

    Oddly, (someone correct me if I’m wrong on this point) the app store genius mechanism works only on the phone, not on the iTunes installed on a Mac or PC.

    Still, it’s a step forward in making the digital store front easier to use and easier to find and buy apps, music and movies.

    From a shareholder’s perspective, iTunes 9 should be a boost to iTunes store sales.

    Thoughts?

         
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    Posted: 14 September 2009 12:34 AM #1

    DawnTreader - 14 September 2009 12:23 AM

    While iTunes 9 hasn’t resolved all of my issues with what has become an unwieldy digital store, it is a big step forward in developing a much more intuitive interface.

    Oddly, (someone correct me if I’m wrong on this point) the app store genius mechanism works only on the phone, not on the iTunes installed on a Mac or PC.

    Still, it’s a step forward in making the digital store front easier to use and easier to find and buy apps, music and movies.

    From a shareholder’s perspective, iTunes 9 should be a boost to iTunes store sales.

    Thoughts?

    You must not have experienced the kernel errors yet with unexpectedly quitting applications.

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  • Posted: 14 September 2009 12:38 AM #2

    Eric Landstrom - 14 September 2009 03:34 AM

    You must not have experienced the kernel errors yet with unexpectedly quitting applications.

    No. But the report of it is troubling.

    I’ve had no issues yet and in my experiences it loads and responds more quickly than the previous version.

         
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    Posted: 14 September 2009 07:13 AM #3

    I’ve not really had any problems running the update under 10.5, and just updated one machine to 10.6 with little fanfare (might post about the few minor glitches later). My biggest problem with the new format is that it forces too much into the wide screen format. I have (had) an old powerbook that got run over by my brother’s jeep running as a TV/media server, at 800x600 resolution. No going with the new iTunes. It wants MORE!

    The home sharing is the next step towards a consolidated home media library. With the impending update to the Apple TV software, I fully expect home sharing to come to the living room.  Biggest question is will an Apple TV count as one of the 5 devices, or as one of the unlimited iPods?  Now I believe the AppleTV is an iPod. The process should be as easy as enabling sharing on all your macs, then going to the AppleTV and signing into an iTunes account (or two or three? not sure if they’d do that at first), then telling it to sync music, movies, and TV shows. Not sure if they’d do apps to the AppleTV, other than as a nice value add for backup purposes. 

    An Apple TV with a 250GB drive or larger is my strike point for purchase. Even 160GB is “too small” for my library.

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  • Posted: 14 September 2009 10:35 AM #4

    I’ve had no problems with the new iTunes, either on MacBook Pro (running SL) or on my Mac Pro (10.5.8). The white backgrounds bother me?too bright. I did the “Organize Library” feature on both libraries with no problems.

         
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    Posted: 14 September 2009 10:45 AM #5

    The minimize to miniplayer ‘green window button’ now requires the ‘option’ modifier to switch the window to mini-player.  I guess Apple did this to be consistent across their SW portfolio, but it annoys me to use two hands to accomplish this much used task.

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  • Posted: 14 September 2009 11:51 AM #6

    macglenn - 14 September 2009 01:45 PM

    The minimize to miniplayer ‘green window button’ now requires the ‘option’ modifier to switch the window to mini-player.  I guess Apple did this to be consistent across their SW portfolio, but it annoys me to use two hands to accomplish this much used task.

    It does bother me some that Apple makes interface changes this late in the life of a product, and typically relies on third party blogging to reveal those changes to users.

         
  • Posted: 14 September 2009 12:12 PM #7

    Agree with Rezonate, even on my 14 inch iBook the new interface is really cramped, would be nice if it was either more scalable or had a whole separate version designed for smaller displays.

    My question is, does this new update do anything to help with reading files off remote drives, or in general handling large libraries? Mine is nearing 200GB, some of it purchased, most of it not, and the last couple versions of iTunes have struggled. I haven’t tried rebuilding it again under 9, wondered if anyone else noticed improvements in that area?

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    Posted: 14 September 2009 01:18 PM #8

    Nobody has mentioned the Genius Mixes. That is a great feature. I’ve already made several. I have run into one oddity though. with some of my more obscure music, Sami Amie by Wock for example, it can’t make a mix. It just has no idea what to do even though I did purchase the song from iTunes.

    Overall I’ve had no problems with iT-9. It runs fine. No errors or crashes. It doesn’t feel cramped on my Mac Book. I haven’t noticed any annoying bits about the interface.

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  • Posted: 14 September 2009 02:06 PM #9

    DaiMac - 14 September 2009 03:12 PM

    Agree with Rezonate, even on my 14 inch iBook the new interface is really cramped, would be nice if it was either more scalable or had a whole separate version designed for smaller displays.

    My question is, does this new update do anything to help with reading files off remote drives, or in general handling large libraries? Mine is nearing 200GB, some of it purchased, most of it not, and the last couple versions of iTunes have struggled. I haven’t tried rebuilding it again under 9, wondered if anyone else noticed improvements in that area?

    My library is well over 200GB (but mostly TV shows) on an external drive and I have had absolutely no issues with upgrading, rebuilding, etc. but YMMV. smile

         
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    Posted: 14 September 2009 03:11 PM #10

    geoduck - 14 September 2009 04:18 PM

    Nobody has mentioned the Genius Mixes.

    I think the whole “Genius” feature set is a Genius move by Apple.  Both in its implementation on a customer level, but even more as a data mining view into consumer music tastes.  I would imagine that this information is mannah to the record business marketing departments . . . just think, detailed information on millions of consumer libraries and playlists.  And it’s a fair exchange - you give them your library information (what other retailer has this level of detailed information), they give you Genius mixes, suggestions and the like.  Big Win - Win.

         
  • Posted: 14 September 2009 04:55 PM #11

    DaiMac - 14 September 2009 03:12 PM

    ... Mine is nearing 200GB, some of it purchased, most of it not…

    We shall all assume the “most of it not” meant most of it not from iTunes, but in form of a CD or some other (legitimate) sound carrier…

         
  • Posted: 14 September 2009 05:59 PM #12

    Overall, I am happy with the changes, though I have had a couple of crashes and occasional slow speeds when clicking a link on my 2009 Macbook Air and older Mac Pro, both with Snow Leopard. Though this isn’t a huge surprise considering the youth of the OS - other apps crash a little too, but bugs will be fixed over time as with previous OSs. I’ve even purchased an LP of one of my favorite bands. The only thing I don’t like is how some titles are cut off… My Pro is connected to a widescreen TV and my Air is new, so this shouldn’t happen. Unless I’m missing something.

         
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    Posted: 14 September 2009 11:15 PM #13

    I really haven’t dug deeply into iTunes 9 yet, but here are my initial thoughts:

    1. The “chromier” look is ok, but the unconvincing gradient around the circular control buttons kind of suck.

    2. Option+clicking the green button to toggle the full/mini player (completely contrary to the way iTunes 1-8 functioned): big ol’ box of suck.

    3. The new App manager for iPhones/iPod Touches is pretty darn cool.

    4. For syncing music to your iPod, there is now an option for “automatically filling free space with songs”—which is something I’ve been hoping Apple would do for a few years now: VERY freakin’ cool.

    I have not tried out Genius Mixes, but I’ve heard good things all around. I’m looking forward to digging deeper to see more of the new features. So far it looks like a mixed bag, but at least it seems to be a lot easier to get a great mix of music to dump on your iPod without having to rely on a large set of smart playlists, as I have been doing.

         
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    Posted: 14 September 2009 11:41 PM #14

    macglenn - 14 September 2009 01:45 PM

    The minimize to miniplayer ‘green window button’ now requires the ‘option’ modifier to switch the window to mini-player.  I guess Apple did this to be consistent across their SW portfolio, but it annoys me to use two hands to accomplish this much used task.

    It is also a menu command under VIEW. The keystroke is shift-command-M.

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    Posted: 15 September 2009 03:59 AM #15

    The kernal protection failure that randomly crashes other applications is sweet. Working with my Mac is like playing Russian Roulette if iTunes 9 is open.

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