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'Dramatically simpler' iTunes features new interface, tighter iCloud integration

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
A radically redesigned version of iTunes for Mac and PC was unveiled by Apple on Wednesday, aiming to simplify use of the desktop software and add new features like a redesigned mini player.

Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue said the new iTunes interface is "dramatically simpler" than its predecessor. The new, cleaner grid-driven interface is a major change from previous versions. It will debut in late October.

A new "In the Store" button allows users to quickly access the iTunes Store and buy more content. And Apple also said that managing playlists has been made simpler.

A new "Coming Next" button has been added that allows users to change the order of upcoming tracks. Users can also click a "Play Next" button that will add a track next in the existing queue.

Searching has been revised to show results inline, and a new min-player has also been introduced with tiny album art, basic controls, and built-in search capabilities.

Enhanced iCloud integration syncs positions of videos across devices. In one example, users can pick up where they left off on a movie across devices via wireless iCloud syncing. Apple dubbed this feature "Cloud Position."
post #2 of 35

Looks like someone has been looking at Google Play Music a little too much.    ....and neither hold a candle to the Zune desktop software.    

post #3 of 35
No pictures? Come on AI. Even the-site-we-are-not-allowed-to-link-to had pictures of it.

 

 


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post #4 of 35

Completely axes anyone not on the latest past two Mac hardware revisions. I can sync on my old POS Windows box, but not on a system that doesn't support at least OS X 10.6.8.

 

Stupid move.
 

post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Completely axes anyone not on the latest past two Mac hardware revisions. I can sync on my old POS Windows box, but not on a system that doesn't support at least OS X 10.6.8.

 

Stupid move.
 

No kidding. Sadly I'm about to give in to Mountain Lion...I want the cloud. Snow Leopard is possibly the best OS ever, but it keeps being left out now too much :/

post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Completely axes anyone not on the latest past two Mac hardware revisions. I can sync on my old POS Windows box, but not on a system that doesn't support at least OS X 10.6.8.

 

Stupid move.
 

 

No, not a stupid move. Creating optimized software isn't conducive to supporting operating systems that are several years old. Why aren't you on 10.6? Is your hardware that ancient, that it can't support it? And if not, why would you expect software to be released next month to run well on it? Seriously, you don't really have room to bitch and whine if you want to keep ancient hardware/software yet expect all the new shit to run on it. 

 

Also, this update looks great, and its pretty huge since this is the 1st major redesign of iTunes since it came out more than 10 years ago. 

post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

 

No, not a stupid move. Creating optimized software isn't conducive to supporting operating systems that are several years old. Why aren't you on 10.6? Is your hardware that ancient, that it can't support it? And if not, why would you expect software to be released next month to run well on it? Seriously, you don't really have room to bitch and whine if you want to keep ancient hardware/software yet expect all the new shit to run on it. 

 

Also, this update looks great, and its pretty huge since this is the 1st major redesign of iTunes since it came out more than 10 years ago. 

 

You're talking to a NeXT/Apple alumnus whose been working with ObjC/Cocoa for over 20 years. It's a stupid move and I'll tell you why: They didn't release any new Mac hardware today to coincide with the new embedded space. There will be a lag of existing customers upgrading because anyone with two brain cells will wait for the next revision of Mac hardware before buying this new phone.

 

Stupid move.

post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Completely axes anyone not on the latest past two Mac hardware revisions. I can sync on my old POS Windows box, but not on a system that doesn't support at least OS X 10.6.8.

 

Stupid move.
 

Um, OS X 10.6.8 runs on all Intel equipment released from January 2006 until July 2011 when Lion was released.  So, 6-7 year old Macs running Snow Leopard will be able to run iTunes.  The only people being left out or G4/G5 owners still holding on to equipment than may be 7-10 years old when the new iTunes is released.

post #9 of 35
Why should I wait for new Mac hardware before buying the new iPhonejQuery181012338247708976269_1347481713269?
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by taugust04 View Post

Um, OS X 10.6.8 runs on all Intel equipment released from January 2006 until July 2011 when Lion was released.  So, 6-7 year old Macs running Snow Leopard will be able to run iTunes.  The only people being left out or G4/G5 owners still holding on to equipment than may be 7-10 years old when the new iTunes is released.
Err exactly. Like he said it supports much older pc's than macs. A 7 year old machine isn't uncommon with people that aren't obsessed with having the latest stuff. My parents have a G5 and no reason to replace it. The issue for them though is they can't connect their iPads to it, they have to use there older windows laptops instead.
post #11 of 35

So is this change to iTunes mostly cosmetic?  Or have they reworked what's under the hood?

post #12 of 35
I cancelled my iTunes match (icloud) because I wasn't allowed to download songs over 100MB on my AT
post #13 of 35
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post
So is this change to iTunes mostly cosmetic?  Or have they reworked what's under the hood?

 

Hopefully both. 10.7 still doesn't cache thumbnails right… And iTunes itself uses more RAM than I think it should.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #14 of 35

Can't wait for this! iTunes has been in need of a refresh for years.

post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Hopefully both. 10.7 still doesn't cache thumbnails right… And iTunes itself uses more RAM than I think it should.

I hope it is too.  I personally don't have many problems with it, but I sure read a lot of complaints on AI and elsewhere.

post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post


Err exactly. Like he said it supports much older pc's than macs. A 7 year old machine isn't uncommon with people that aren't obsessed with having the latest stuff. My parents have a G5 and no reason to replace it. The issue for them though is they can't connect their iPads to it, they have to use there older windows laptops instead.

What he said was "...latest past two Mac hardware revisions."  That's simply not true, since 10.6.8 goes well past the last two hardware revisions, unless I'm misunderstanding what was stated.

 

Older PC users benefit from Windows XP OEM licenses being sold on hardware from 2001 until 2009 (after Windows 7 was released), so almost all software still being produced today still requires backwards compatibility with XP, and in turn, older Windows boxes.  PC users also benefit from the fact that there has not been a major platform shift in the entire history of the IBM Compatible PC.  Todays Intel i7 processors have direct lineage back to the 8086 released in the first IBM PC's.  Apple has switched CPU platforms several time during it's history, including the PowerPC to Intel switch that is causing the major compatibility rift we see today.

 

I would imagine that 7 years for any Mac or PC would be a very useful life and good return on investment, even if you're not interested in always having the latest and greatest, so I really don't fault Apple for supporting back to only 10.6.8 with new software releases.  It will be interesting going forward what the compatibility matrices look like now that Apple is on a yearly OS X update cycle like iOS.

post #17 of 35

Nice!  Looking forward to this.

post #18 of 35
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post
I hope it is too.  I personally don't have many problems with it, but I sure read a lot of complaints on AI and elsewhere.


I know, neither have I. But apparently it's the "worst application possible" on Windows.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

[...] apparently it's the "worst application possible" on Windows.

 

Really?  Until I switched to Mac for my wife's sake roughly five years ago I was using iTunes with XP and never had any trouble.  What are the complaints?  Have issues arisen in the several years since I switched?

post #20 of 35
In the meantime I am very hesitant about the outcome when Apples says they made things "dramatically simpler". Simpler is not always better. In Lion and Mountain Lion, making things simpler resulted in the removal of the zoom handles on the edges of the scrollbars, which were widely use for zooming in and out in Logic, Final Cut etc. Sure, the new scrollbars look slick and well designed, but this change alone has slowed down the workflow for a lot of people significantly. Apple has an unfortunate tendency these days of sacrificing important workflow features for an elegant look. This may not be a problem for new users, but is quite unfortunately for long-term Mac users.
post #21 of 35
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

Really?  Until I switched to Mac for my wife's sake roughly five years ago I was using iTunes with XP and never had any trouble.  What are the complaints?  Have issues arisen in the several years since I switched?

 

I dunno, they whine that it's bloated or slow or whatever—basically the same complaints as in OS X.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

they whine that it's bloated or slow or whatever—basically the same complaints as in OS X.

 

Valid complaints, but at the time I wasn't able to find any alternatives that were better in that regard that still provided the ease-of-use and convenience features of iTunes.  I remember pulling my hair out trying to find a media player that would let me quickly find a track in a library of thousands, then play that track and STOP rather than immediately playing another track.

 

I get the gripes about it though.  As much as you want a way to improve the handling of cover art, I want a way to just turn it OFF!

post #23 of 35
Originally Posted by v5v View Post
As much as you want a way to improve the handling of cover art, I want a way to just turn it OFF!

 

Which they provide in all versions, including current.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #24 of 35
some people are never satisfied are they, what a bunch of whiners, GROW UP
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Which they provide in all versions, including current.

 

...but how to do it is a well-guarded secret that you're not willing to share? :)

 

A Google search led to several discussions all concluding with "You can't."  One can, as I have, delete the embedded artwork from all files, hide the display window and set iTunes to not automatically embed new art, but iTunes still spends time (and a lot of it) maintaining an artwork database -- it's just full of descriptors saying "this file doesn't have any" -- and looking for artwork in every file it opens.  My iOS device is so obsessed with artwork that it makes the playback controls teeny-weeny-tiny to leave room for the coverflow display of blank music icons.

 

Obviously it's not a big deal, it's just one more operation using up time and resources, in this case on something I don't need or want.  If you know of a way to tell iTunes to ignore artwork completely and are inclined to share it with me I'd be very grateful.

post #26 of 35
Originally Posted by v5v View Post
...but how to do it is a well-guarded secret that you're not willing to share? :)

 

… Um… 

 

 

 

 

Unless I'm misunderstanding what you mean.

 


If you know of a way to tell iTunes to ignore artwork completely and are inclined to share it with me I'd be very grateful.

 

Just ignore it.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #27 of 35

Like everyone else, I welcome an improvement.  However, what is so awful about the current version of iTunes?  If you want to go through your music, you click "Music" on the sidebar.  If you want to go through your movies, you click "Movies" etc.  iTunes always seemed very straightforward, plus the search function always seemed to work well.  Not sure what all of the complaints are about it being too bloated etc.  It seems very easy to use.  If the new version is even easier, I welcome it, but it is not exactly difficult now.

post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Hopefully both. 10.7 still doesn't cache thumbnails right… And iTunes itself uses more RAM than I think it should.

I put the 'iTunes Media' folder on a HDD and the rest on SSD and now those thumbnails load lightning fast. The DB itself still is slow (renaming tracks etc) but I haven't installed 10.7 yet.
"Fibonacci: As easy as 1, 1, 2, 3..."
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post #29 of 35
not sure if anyone has mentioned or noticed this yet, but the cloud syncing is already working for watching movies or video content. i noticed it when i bought my ipad in May that when i was watching a movie on my ipad, it wirelessly synced up with the same movie on my iphone and imac.
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post


Err exactly. Like he said it supports much older pc's than macs. A 7 year old machine isn't uncommon with people that aren't obsessed with having the latest stuff. My parents have a G5 and no reason to replace it. The issue for them though is they can't connect their iPads to it, they have to use there older windows laptops instead.

This is why I bought my folks a refurbed Windows box for under $150. Mom got herself an iPad for Christmas, and it wouldn't talk to their PowerPC-era Mini. It also couldn't run modern web browsers or recent builds of Flash. Now iTunes talks to her iPad just fine, and she has it backed up for the first time in eight months.

post #31 of 35

Complaints about iTunes (Windows) that I have seen over the years boil down to three main points:

 

  • Slowness. OS X mainly uses threads, and Windows mainly uses processes. iTunes launching threads takes more overhead in Windows.
  • File management. Winamp/WMP evangelists expect every media player to be a thin frontend for Windows Explorer. They are very confused at the iTunes method of managing media in-app. I have to tell every new user: "Don't touch the files."
  • Appearance. "It looks ugly on Windows." Well, I think Aero and Fisher-Price XP look ugly. Caveat empetor.

 

I use iTunes on OS X, and it has always been speedy managing my 12,000 items and three dozen playlists. YMMV.

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post #32 of 35

I wonder when the first beta will be out on the dev site.

post #33 of 35
Originally Posted by MacVertigo View Post
I wonder when the first beta will be out on the dev site.

 

Never. It's iTunes. There's no reason for a beta.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post


Err exactly. Like he said it supports much older pc's than macs. A 7 year old machine isn't uncommon with people that aren't obsessed with having the latest stuff. My parents have a G5 and no reason to replace it. The issue for them though is they can't connect their iPads to it, they have to use there older windows laptops instead.

 

So by that logic, they have a copy of iTunes 5 or 6 or whatever, and should see no reason to replace it, not being obsessed with having the latest stuff etc...No wait, they want to run iPads on it.  Well, I suppose you can't have your cake and eat it.

post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I dunno, they whine that it's bloated or slow or whatever—basically the same complaints as in OS X.
Here's my gripes, not necessarily issues related to windows or OSX, but just iTunes in general. However I have used iTunes on a Windows PC for about 8 years now. Well, at least until they release the 13" MBP+r

  • It's really painfully slow
  • Takes forever and a day to load.
  • Loading the iTunes store is just as slow
  • Locks up frequently when syncing devices
  • Thumbnails/album art disappear when updating to lates build
  • Wifi sync has never worked consistently
  • Syncing podcasts reverts back to iTunes info and doesn't sync with most recent info
  • Task bar icon opens separate icon when opening program (windows 7 issue)
  • Renaming compilation songs to show up in artist column fails
  • Shuffle feature works well but I think it defaults to more popular songs or higher rated ones and repeats occur frequently
  • Coverflow could use some improvement. Like not showing a separate cover for each song if they are arranged by album
  • Recently played songs has never synced properly with my iPhone and/or iPod classic
  • Need ability to modify properties of multiple songs from the list and not having to go the extra step of clicking "get info". Or at least be able to select multiple songs in the list view to adjust equalizer setting.
  • Equalizer setting is independent between iTunes and the device, this should sync
  • Purchased list in the browser should show songs not in your computer as grey'd out or have the little iCloud icon next to it. The only current way to do this is by searching in th iTunes store.
  • Podcast section does not update properly. Just in general the podcast section needs a total overhaul
  • Allow us to download DVDs we already own just like CDs
  • Allow us to read iBooks from iTunes.
  • Audio books show either in the music section and/or the books section, pick one please?
  • Home videos or non-professionally produces movie files should be in a new section called "Videos" separate from the Movies section


That's all I got for now...sure I'll think of more
Edited by antkm1 - 9/17/12 at 9:16am
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