iTunes 7 Blues

Pardon me while I too bemoan some of the changes in Apple’s iTunes 7.

The dock icon, previously green, is now blue—just like every other icon in my dock. Fortunately we have more than one Mac on our home network so I was able to grab the old green icon off an iTunes that hadn’t been updated yet. I’ve copy pasted the icon on to a folder and uploaded a .dmg for anyone else of like-mind.

The CoverFlow scroll arrows appear at either end of the scroll bar despite a supposedly system-wide preference to the contrary.

The two new view options don’t group compilations despite “Group compilations while browsing” being checked. I have a four disc compilation without a cover adding 60+ generic albums to my CoverFlow view. Thanks Apple (and that’s just one example).

The new view settings don’t persist across playlists (eg. CoverFlow needs to be applied to each playlist manually)

All those covers I spent an afternoon downloading into CoverFlow? There’s no easy way to import them into iTunes. At least I don’t have to search for them all over again. If you also use Wincent Colaiuta’s Synergy (and who doesn’t?), previously downloaded album art can be found in ~/Library/Application Support/Synergy/Album Covers/.

Dan Sandler highlights a few more niggles (mostly concerning interface inconsistencies that I find equally annoying) and links to other iTunes 7 commentary.

Design is more than just making things line up
Shaun Inman
September 13th, 2006 at 9:58 am
021 (Now closed)



hay, you need to select all the songs in the compilation and then press apple+i at the very bottom you need to change compilation to yes and tick the box. Should group them all.

Scott Williams
Sep 13th, 2006 6:12 am

I totally agree. Especially the tired colors and the missing shine makes me a little depressive when using it. I hope the new color scheme will not make it into the other “Leopard”-apps…

Philipp Markovics
Sep 13th, 2006 6:22 am

The overall muddiness of the color scheme REALLY bugs me. It’s not even a nice muted effect, it’s just muddy and low-contrast. That teal-like graphite color. Blech. I’m still not used to the fact that I can’t click on The big headings in the sidebar. I’ve done that like 10 times already trying to get back to my music. I used to just hit the top item in the sidebar and barely even glance at it. Argh! Some steps forward and some steps back I guess.

Jason Santa Maria
Sep 13th, 2006 6:22 am

Awwww, it’s not all completely terrible, is it? ;)

Jina Bolton
Sep 13th, 2006 6:23 am

Coverflow sorts based on which column is being sorted in the list view below. So if you are sorting by artist, coverflow will be ordered by artist and you will see the same album cover for every artist in a specific compilation. Change the sorting to “by album” and you should only see one album art cover for each album.

Mark Jardine
Sep 13th, 2006 6:32 am

Let’s not forget the fact that in addition to the “blue note”, the icon’s overall appearance looks more like that of a hokey Apple ripoff icon. They should’ve called Iconfactory or Jasper Hauser.

Have to say, I love the Coverflow intergration and the new device management interface (no more bungling through the preferences!). I also love how clicking on sort by Album multiple times allows you to sort album by artist or by year. Hooray contextual sorting!!!

Sep 13th, 2006 6:36 am

To fix the problem with compilations, enter a value into the “Album Artist” field. That should do the trick. At least it worked for my collection.

Mike Steinbaugh
Sep 13th, 2006 6:43 am

I have the “Best of Bond” compilation (all the title tracks by original artists) and every track shows Shirley Bassey (the first track on the CD) as the cover art.

It took me a while to figure out why I kept seeing that as I scrolled through my library.

Sep 13th, 2006 6:52 am

I have mixed feelings as well. I’m with Jason that the new color scheme is muddy. On first use I felt like I was either in a cheap Windows app or a Linux app with the “Smokey Blue” theme. It’s just dull…and boring…not what I expect from Apple. The UI buttons and scrollbar lack consistency with the sidebar and store, which look like a poorly done Vista copy (Cupertino, how are those photocopiers?). Kudos that they’re trying to ease out of the glass Aqua bubble. I like the top buttons (pause, play, and view), but am not quite sure why the lower bar and buttons are not in the same family. I could keep going on this, but won’t - I’m making a PDF side-by-side from 6 to 7. I complain because I care, a lot.

The new organization is wonderful! It’s something I’ve been jonesing for since iTunes inception - I’m a neat freak and it fits my taste just right.

Overall, I feel like three teams worked on it, didn’t communicate the entire time, and threw it together at the last minute.

Adam Spooner
Sep 13th, 2006 7:08 am

Functionality-wise I still think it’s a big improvement. And as far as button placement and functionality, I think it’s smarter. But man, could it use a new skin!

Jason: I’m with you on the source groupings. I understand why they got added, and it makes sense with the way things have been added to the source list over the years, but I really liked the simplicity of the old way, and I kind of hope this version doesn’t last long.

Sep 13th, 2006 7:17 am

I love the new functionality. but yes, tons of little bugs all over the place. the biggest horror are the new scroll bars. what is up with those? big ooops. how many different shades of steely blue do we really need and who decided that steely blue was the perfect neutral color, anyway?

i’m loving coverflow though. i like to see my music. it’s kind like flipping through my records. I really missed all that album art when I went from records to itunes. Now I can have it big and interactive, flipping back n forth. smartest thing they ever did, to buy coverflow.

Ed Fladung
Sep 13th, 2006 7:55 am

i think the absolute worst thing is the change of hotkey commands. i don’t think there is any reason that hotkeys should ever change, in any program.

CMD+1 and CMD+2 now adjust the video zoom size instead of opening / closing the iTunes and equalizer windows respectively. there appears to be no way to ALT+TAB your way over to iTunes, and open the window with the keyboard if it is minimized or closed now — unless there is a song playing, you can press CMD+L to hilight the current song.

i want my hotkeys back!!

Sep 13th, 2006 7:58 am

Anyone even looked at the memory usage if you use cover flow? On my PowerBook (G4 1.5Ghz, 2GB ram) when I turn coverflow on and scroll through my music (approx 3000 tracks) memory usage climbs from around 50mb to 200mb of real mem.

And I don’t like the icon reverting to blue either, there are so many blue things when I command tab now I don’t know where to click any more.

(Safari, Adium, iChat, Mail, Finder, Preview and now iTunes).

Interface is ok if a little inconsistent (e.g. different scroll bars if you click on a podcast description.) I think Apple just you iTunes as their interface playground!

Matt Turner
Sep 13th, 2006 8:19 am

Actually the best way to fix the album grouping option is to change the sorting option. Click and hold on the Album heading. It will change from Album to Album by Artist then Album by Year. Choose Album by Artist and iTunes will sort your list by artists, but albums with more than one artist will be grouped.

Ronald Heft
Sep 13th, 2006 9:48 am

People don’t like change.

angelday true
Sep 13th, 2006 12:23 pm

I’m sad that Apple removed some of my keyboard shortcuts.

But at least I can file my TV shows I rip to the TV folder on my ipod.

Sep 13th, 2006 12:44 pm

Thanks for the green icon… I was looking for one. Unfortunately I had already upgraded :.

Sep 13th, 2006 2:22 pm

Am I the only one who has noticed the “Loading iTunes Library” progress window every time I open iTunes? Granted, I have a 130+GB library, but iT6 never had any problems or required some special notification or loader…

As for the interface issues… give it a month or so and you’ll have all sorts of options to change it, no doubt.

Sep 13th, 2006 11:29 pm

In the windows version with the cover view on itunes uses over a GIG of physical memory. It seems to just load EVERY image into ram, and keep it there until the program is shut down.

Sep 15th, 2006 10:21 am

Having watched Jobs give his presentation, I was looking forward to all the new features - but seeing the issues iTunes 7 has garnered since its release, I think I shall wait until they release a more updated version…

Thanks for the icon heads up though!

Sep 15th, 2006 11:02 am

Why on earth, could apple change the scroll bars? I have a PC that i tried in such an effort to look like an OSX and i really loved those scrolling bars, and they changed them to those crappy, unhappy, cheap linux-like bars? Is this gonna happen to the whole OSX leopard? Ok i’m gonna stay with the ugly windows then. And the previous ipod nanos was much more stylish, but ok I can accept them, but no no no, not the aqua style, leave it that way its the best idea i’ve seen in the whole years of computing.

Sep 15th, 2006 11:42 am