Tuesday, September 9, 2008

iTunes 8

iTunes 8 is something that I have less understanding of than its iPod partner.

Wireless sync is something that seems obvious to add, only because it is obvious, not because it is a good idea. It is bound to be extremely slow (Shuffles aren't getting wifi), slaughter the battery of the iPod requiring it to be, er, plugged in, add components, weight, and cost to a devicethat  sheds them as often as possible, and be prone to user error. 

More esoterically, a household of three or four people and iPods syncing will clog most consumer routers such that the internet slows. I know the iPods aren't going out over the net and taking "lanes on the highway", but lots of consumer wifi routers don't do well with more than a few simultaneous clients, and WiFi iPods are a significant addition.

iTunes 8 could get subscription plans in which a monthly fee gave one access to the iTunes library. I would definitely pay for such a thing. The Jobsian assertion that people like to own their music is less true than it was when the iTMS opened. The idea of being one's own radio station, but paying extra to take the tracks out of the booth, isn't nearly as alien to consumers as it was at the start of Apple's music project. 

Not coincidentally, Apple has also sold millions of devices that could never hold all of the music that many people have come to own, one way or another, but would do a bang-up job of tuning into the "Jukebox in the Sky." If my Mobile Me is already in the cloud, the conceptual and technical work seems to be underway. Indeed, Eddy Cue was given control of the Mobile Me division ostensibly to "get it working right." I think that was done because interoperability with the iTMS (from presentation to billing) became vital.

Better smart playlists, UI tweaks, and a revisit of the "what do we do with this?" team to the left pane could also be in order The visualizer is supposed to get some killer new options, but SnoCap is still the best, and that is like forty years old so we'll see if I care.

1 comment:

mg said...

I'm not sure if this a common complaint (they most seem to be about size and shuffle) but as someone who used legacy versions of Winamp for 10 years prior to iTunes, I can't understand why it doesn't have a throw-away playlist window. I want to drag and drop files and folders from the library window onto a separate window without having to title the damn thing and having it clutter up the program. Any recommendations?