iTunes 7 rocks. It rolls. It does so much it even juliennes, whatever that really means.
Your heart will flutter with movies, music, TV shows, and performance problems that might just break your heart.
iTunes 7 is a major facelift for the world’s most popular media manager, Mac and Windows. With change comes progress. And pain.
The Progress of Pleasure
iTunes 7’s overall look and feel has been more than tweaked. So much is going on in iTunes that major changes were overdue.
Digital media comes in many flavors; music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, audiobooks, streaming radio stations.
iTunes has become a media manager, the place you go to manage all the above. No wonder the previous version had trouble keeping up.
The new version has a reorganized left column, now called the Source list. That’s the Library, the Store, Playlists, Devices, and so on.
It’s logical, familiar, straightforward, and has some new features, such as showing you the download that’s taking place. Why?
Because downloading movies is not an instant gratification thing. Well, to a certain extent, anyway. You can start watching movies while they download, but you might finish the movie before the download is complete.
Wait a minute. That could upset the space time continuum as we know it. Let’s just say the Source list shows stuff as it’s happening.
Of course, more stuff in the Source list means more stuff.
That means more stuff is not as visible as the less stuff was visible in previous iTunes versions.
The color scheme has changed a bit, too. There’s more gray than Aqua, buttons have a more squarish look, and they’ve been moved around.
My favorite set of changes are CoverFlow and what amounts to tabs. There’s so much going on that tabs is a natural evolution, and Apple treated iTunes with respect.
Tabs are not everywhere, but they’re a welcome surprise when you find the. iTunes 7 is a busy, busy medial mall, so you’ll have to look.
Also pleasant is CoverFlow, that colorful artwork view, which Playlist Magazine calls a lazy-Susan view. Susan may not agree, but it’s a delight to scroll through songs, music, movies, TV shows.
If anything, CoverFlow, with enough artwork, makes your media library look skinny and malnourished—as if you haven’t visited the iTunes Store and need to buy more stuff.
This is where the iTunes 7 Gotcha Class of 2006 gets you.
Apple gives you more artwork for each song on your iTunes 7 setup—provided the songs were purchased on the iTunes Store.
Otherwise, it’s a painfully manual process to find artwork, clear artwork from existing music tracks, and have iTunes find more for you.
I suspect we’ll see still more Get iTunes Artwork utilities show up to fill Apple’s gaps.
Another great feature that’s getting raves and rapped is gapless playback. It gets raves because, well, it’s about freakin’ time. No gaps between songs.
That’s usually how the artist may have created the album, previous versions of iTunes added space, or gaps, iTunes 7, when it works, makes the music gapless.
I say, when it works, because high on the list of problems with iTunes 7 is gapless playback. That leaves the pleasure behind, and gets us to pain.
The Palace of Pain
While previous versions of iTunes had problems here and there, stability and dependability for the past 18 months lulled Mac and Windows users into a false sense of security.
False? Yes. We’ve been awakened by iTunes 7. Not just eye candy, and cool new features, but some hot problems that send users running for Excedrin.
Problems? Crashing, slow performance, distorted music, and problems with third-party plugins.
The Mac360 staff, so far, has encountered no major issues, so problems may be widespread, but they’re not everywhere.
One of the biggest complaints is that Apple seems to be ignoring all the bugs and haven’t released an update. Yet.
How long has iTunes 7 been on the streets?
It takes awhile to track, then target, then release a fix to problems in a majorly complex piece of software.
Be patient, grasshoppers of the music world.
Some Mac and Windows users are so fed up with the problems in iTunes that they’ve resorted to finding a copy of iTunes 6.x, and deleting iTunes 7.
I see a few problems with that escape route. Apple is already rumored to be setting up a release to iTunes 7 to quash most of the major issue bugs.
Mac pundit and writer David Pogue lists bugs and the process of fixing and reporting in his blog. Your mileage may vary.
There’s plenty of talk that Apple released iTunes 7 way too early, and it wasn’t ready for prime time. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has never been shy about releasing pre-release software if the market requirements deemed it an opportunity.
So it is with iTunes 7.
If you’re experiencing problems, it may be best to let the growling dog lie, bide your time for a few hours, days, or weeks when Apple brings out a rushed update to fix the rushed upgrade you’ve already got running on your Mac or PC.
Apple Insider says an update is coming soon, so it must be true. They haven’t been sued for divulging Apple secrets.
It’s certainly no secret that iTunes 7 bring immeasurable pleasure for some, and regrettable pain for others.
How about you? Have you installed iTunes 7? Mac or Windows? What’s the verdict?