There is no denying that historically iTunes is the app that we love to hate. Anybody with an iOS device (or even many who don’t) has experienced the frustration of trying to find your favorite music or organize playlists within the clunky iTunes interface. Fortunately Apple heard our pleas and along with the marvelous hardware upgrades launched today we are also able to look forward to an updated version of iTunes!
The player has been redesigned. The store has been fully renovated. Integration with iCloud has been accomplished. If Apple is telling us the truth (and the demo they gave at the event today would suggest they are): “the new iTunes looks easy, because it is easy.”
Simplified views within iTunes now make it very easy to surf around between your different types of content, if you are looking for an album you can click on music. Prefer to watch a television program or movie? Read a book? New views mean more organization and control which is something we can all appreciate (especially as our collections of digital media grow).
Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference which is true of the revamped MiniPlayer. Want to know which song is going to play next? Click to see and select something different (or get an instant recommendation) if that isn’t what you were hoping to hear –all without leaving to go back to your library!
Changes to the store are also pretty significant, not the least of which is a consistent look, feel and feature-set no matter whether you are entering from your Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Newly added preview history means that if you test drive a song or movie you can easily get back to it again later, so if you find something while out and about on your iPhone that you would rather watch at home on the big screen you can load it up without any jot notes to help your memory.
Better yet, integration with iCloud means you can access all of your content on all of your devices (even remembering where you left off); start a movie, TV show, podcast or even iTunes lesson on your iPad at lunch and pick it up again that night on your Mac.
The bad news of course is that we have to wait until October to realize all of these great new features, but it gives us time to play with our new iPhones and iOS 6 before making a change to our iTunes as well.
While you revel in these updated features, consider the possibility that this is an intermediate step toward the Apple-branded television revolution we have also hoped for… stay tuned!