Sep 12, 2006
Today Apple CEO Steve Jobs delivered a special announcement from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco (watch here). For Apple fans who are iTunes users and potential iPod buyers today was a pretty big day. New iPods were released/refreshed and iTunes 7 was released.
For as long as I can remember it’s been a love/hate relationship between me and the tunez. I’ve never been a fan of how unresponsive the application is as a whole. When I started with digital music Winamp was my baby and was always quick to the punch. iTunes has always felt slugish and bloatware’ish. On the flipside the playlist functions are always improving and personally I have almost 100GB of music so having flexible playlists is VERY important. Also as a OS X user there aren’t any other viable alternatives to iTunes really.Today I installed iTunes7 and have some gripes and some praise for this release.
For some time I’ve had my music on network shares and right now I have my iMac connected to the network only on wireless. In my living situation it makes it next to impossible to have a straight LAN connection to my network. As an iTunes user this is utterly frustrating. Loading songs in iTunes 7 seems to bring a longer delay when skipping and making updates to mp3 id tags brings once again a long delay.
Once getting iTunes 7 installed I noticed my machine just came to a total crawl. Then I noticed iTunes was doing something I didn’t ask it to.
Right after opening the application it started going though a good majority of my music and doing this process. I never got a prompt I can’t even find a setting to turn it off. When launching iTunes I have to cancel this every time just to make my computer function. Others have reported this process takes just a few minutes but when all my music is shared over a network iTunes seems to HATE it. Any findings on how to make this process better please send it my way ASAP.
Now on to purchased and stolen features. When browsing the iTunes overview website I noticed something I’ve seen before. Coverview was an visualization for itunes I tried out a long time ago and found no use for. Apparently Apple purchased the technology and incorporated into iTunes. To be fair during a party people may find this feature attractive. For everyday use it’s pretty much unimportant.
Also about a week ago I installed the newest Windows Media Player 11 Beta 2. From what I can see iTunes “borrowed” a few playlist options from them. The “show items in a list grouped with artwork” feature seems to be totally ripped from WMP. I can’t ever remember another media player offering this feature and when I tried WMP last week it was my favorite part about it. A comparison….
WMP 11 b2
Quite similar IMO. To be honest this is my favorite feature of iTunes 7. WMP does it better though
To close this way to long post up iTunes 7 is a mixed bag. I like the new playlist options but having my music on a shared network drive is becoming quite a burden. Before upgrading people in a similar situation as myself may want to wait. Personally I’m always on the lookout for fixes and I will post anything I find.
Update: Another reason to hate Apple. While chatting with jja I noticed that Apple must have VERY QUIETLY removed student discounts on iPods. Really…REALLY…weak…shame I’ll never buy another one for a very long time. Jerks
Update 2: Apparently reports have come though of Student Discounts on iPods still available in Brick and Mortar Apple Stores. Interesting but I bet it won’t last long.