The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

iTunes 11 is a worthy modern music player

iTunes 11 is the latest and possibly greatest update the iTunes media player has seen for a while. Touted as being faster and sleeker than its predecessors, the update ultimately lived up to Apple’s promise of a refreshed media player for the modern age. In particular, the UI has undergone a total overhaul to match the look and feel found on the iOS music players. The update was released late in November, a full month after Apple announced that they would require more time to polish the system.

  • I’ve been using iTunes since 2005, and preferred the older organisation of music. To re-enable the old interface, Windows users can hit “ctrl-/” and “ctrl-s” to restore the status bar and side bar, respectively. I imagine that these images are high resolution enough to give people a rough idea of my personal music tastes, and admittedly, I believe myself to have some of the most diverse music around.

  • Those using the new interface will find their devices listed off to the right. Some basic statistics, such as battery life and relative storage remaining, are listed, as well. Plugging in iOS devices no longer cause my machine issues with pop-ups and so forth. There’s still the small matter of my cover art not synchronising properly when I covert music to the ACC format for playback: this is something I hope Apple will address in their next update.

  • The “up next” feature is a fun one: it takes away the mystery behind shuffle and lets the user know exactly what songs are next. The new iTunes totally embraces the notion of album art, something I decided to embrace ever since picking up an iPod touch.

  • When an album is opened, if it has album art, the general colours present on the art are extrapolated into the album’s UI for song listings, giving it more character. This is infinitely cooler than cover flow. iTunes haters will probably either change their cards or else refuse to use it: this system works very nicely and is only missing a small range of functions, such as music streaming services.

  • Now that’s a clean way of presenting apps. iTunes 11 is awesome, and while it took a little getting used to, it still does its job of playing music well enough, while performing far better than it used to. My verdict: “you already have a copy and got to listen to me say the same thing that practically everyone else is saying“.

The wait was ultimately worth it: the new iTunes is considerably more visual than any of its predecessors, modernised to match current paradigms in though. More importantly, non-essential functions (especially “ping) have been stripped out, and the new iTunes loads faster than before. Devices are less conspicuous but are still present to allow for modifications to be made. Despite its newfound powers, all the new features mean that the new iTunes will take some getting used to. Once this learning curve is overcome, the new iTunes will act as a proper media general purpose media player for the current age, and for old-timers like myself, who prefer the old look, Apple has allowed that option to be made, too. As a side note, it seems like WordPress has taken a leaf from Apple’s button design: the editor feels slightly more streamlined than the list time I used it to create my infamous “Mob-On!” article

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