I didn’t read the fine print on the Mavericks update and now I’ve got iTunes 12.
I’ve hated iTunes for a long time. Lots of people hate iTunes. It’s a craptastrophe that serves as Apple’s Swiss Army knife (if Swiss Army knives were made out of cow excrement.) Apple made big promises about iTunes 11, but it was the kind of application that should only be opened to demo a new version of iTunes on a stage. You know, when you don’t have to actually use it. The kind of demo where you don’t show the sidebar and crunch, clip, and crop everything in the UI. Or show those modal dialogs. Or show those modal dialogs when different parts of the UI disagree about what you do and do not own from the iTunes Store.
Ah, the iTunes Store! The best part. Clearly. The part Apple pours their heart and soul in to because it is a crucial component to their media dominance! Well that could best be described as “rough” looking in the last iteration.
What the shit is this?
Scrolling down the page with the two-fingered scrolling gesture triggers the carousel to move sideways. SIDEWAYS. Scrolling up also makes it go SIDEWAYS. That’s not how scrolling should work! There is some sanity here when you scroll sideways that it does, indeed, scroll sideways. 2 out of 4 directions isn’t bad, right? 50 percent of the time, it works every time.
Underneath the main carousel is a section of “Albums and EPs” that has a two-button toggle to switch the content of the frame from “New Releases” to “Recent Releases”. The distinction being made between “New” and “Recent” is lost on me (New-ish? New minus one?) More troubling are the conflicting visual metaphors. There’s a borderless frame of sideways scrolling content without any indication it scrolls, other than the clipped off album art on one side of the frame. The frame is two rows high, and offers no vertical scrolling. When the toggle is triggered, everything in the frame is changed. Toggling back and forth does not remember your scrolling position inside of the frame, it resets every time. On the right, is a vertical list of hair-thin text containing common links. Nothing about the links stands out, and they aren’t even underlined to indicate they are links until you hover over them. There is nothing visually distinctive about it other than elements flow vertically. Good, I didn’t want to quickly use any of that at a glance anyway! I like a challenge! Bring it on you crazy lunatics!!!!
Instead of repeating another double-row, toggling, sideways scrolling frame, we get a 4 row, tiny-album art frame. And then rectangle album stuff that’s one row. On the right side, we get a whole section devoted to “RADIO QUICK LINKS” (I have no idea what is going on with the capitalization in the right side list.) The radio contains only two links. If I had the money, I would conduct a survey to find out if anyone even noticed there were “RADIO QUICK LINKS” on the page, and also to find out if anyone even bothered to click them.
What follows is a series of alternating frames of album art, toggling frames, multi-rows, single-rows, text under the albums, text on the side of the albums, quick links to buy only some things, more round rects, and then we get the teeniest-tiniest text in the whole world at the bottom of the store. PHEW!
Remember! This is a store! A store where you are supposed to shop for, and buy (digitally license) things! This too-whitespacey, too-thin, borderless, toggling mess shouldn’t be here. This is the glossy index of a monthly magazine. To attempt to arrange it as such does everyone a disservice.
Let’s just have completely different ways to display my music in every single mode! Some have a sidebar, some don’t. Some have big icons, some have little icons. Some are in a list, some are in a grid.
The worst part is that when you pick anything, it selects a different album, artist, or track. It selects something for you, based on … some internal logic I have not divined.
Enjoy some Taylor Swift, or some Star Trek film scores, or some classic Star Trek, or WHATEVER, DON’T JUDGE ME!