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Apple Should Reinvent iTunes, Here’s Why

As someone who’s been an Apple user for most of his life, it’s made me sad to watch the downfall of iTunes. I reside in the camp that up until a few years ago, maybe 2010, iTunes wasn’t half bad – although others have certainly made convincing arguments that it’s always been fairly lackluster.

It’s hard to imagine Apple making changes to the software which helped launch them into the giant they are today – but it’s high-past-time they did so.

Apple’s current design patterns and trends for UI seem to push very hard for Minimalism, Elegance, Space, & Simplicity (I call it, M.E.S.S. ironically). While these patterns are overwhelmingly apparent in newer applications, like the Mac App Store – they seem not to be apparent in the older ones.

Reddit user u/TheAppleAesthetic
Evolution of the iTunes logo

This is something I honestly expected when Apple launched Apple Music – a nice, modern, redesign to the iTunes application which would help propel their new music service forward – that wasn’t the case. That said, with some changes and new services they’ve announced right around the corner, the time seems ripe for an iTunes ground-up redesign, it’s arguably a nessecity.

Too Much Bloat

RIP: iTunes Ping

iTunes is a perfect example of fix it until it’s broken. It used to be great. I could find my music, sort it and what not. 

Reddit user /u/IcanCwhatUsay

iTunes runs incredibly slowly – especially when you have a large library. This is part-in-parcel to some of the other points I discuss below, but it’s also a symptom of the fact that iTunes has a ton of bloatware.

As I’ll dive into below, iTunes should be solely for Apple’s audio-services, almost as it is on your iPhone. Keeping the store as an integral part of iTunes is up for debate (maybe have a “Music” app and an “iTunes” app for macOS…maybe not…).

With Marzipan set to launch and make porting applications from iOS to macOS easier than ever – it’s high time Apple considered a minimalist approach to iTunes and to Music – port the existing iOS applications over to macOS.

There’s no lag, and no loading time on your iDevice for one simple reason…lack of bloat. Even with an enormous library your Music experience isn’t bogged down by a store, and your purchase experience isn’t bogged down by tracks you have. Not to mention neither iOS application has features that haven’t been utlilized by Apple for years built into them inherenly like iTunes does.


Just Audio, Please…

Tim Cook announces Apple TV+

Tying into the launch of Marzipan is Apple’s recent announcement of new TV/Movie centric services. This serves as the perfect opportunity to remove even more bloat from iTunes existing interface.

Apple should, and likely will launch a dedicated “TV/Movie” application for macOS, this will serve as an excellent time to remove those essentially duplicate features from iTunes – leaving iTunes as an audio-first application.

This allows Apple to highlight their audio service Apple Music, as well as to generally clean-up iTunes as it exists today.

Outdated UI

The “current” Apple UI

It’s ugly. Granted, this is just my opinion, but boy do I hate opening iTunes up.

I’ve always been one who enjoys a simple medium and a consistent design and, although customizable, iTunes is neither of those things. Whether it’s the fact that they choose to display [my] music differently by default on a number of pages – or the fact that they still use UI elements Apple abandoned years ago…I don’t like it.

Given the fact that there’s ample opportunity to remove features from iTunes that have been otherwise useless for some time now – maybe it’s time for Apple to redesign the app too?

Create a NEW Syncing Application: “iCloud”

A dedicated syncing application in “iCloud”

For all Apple’s supposed nuance at UI, they really dropped a turd with that one. iPhone management and “playing music” should never have been mingled.

Reddit user /u/mzieg

This one has always puzzled me and has become more confusing as Apple has begun to offer more and more services to their iDevices…Why do I sync my device from my music player?

Ultimately, if Apple chooses to cut down on bloat, and restore iTunes to its former glory as a music-first program, it might also be wise for them to remove the syncing aspect as well.

iCloud.com serves as an excellent starting point for where Apple could take this iCloud based syncing application as it already allows you to manage everything stored in iCloud outside of media.

Written by Justin Rockmore

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