Frankly, when Apple launched the Mac Store App a few years ago I was surprised that it wasn’t just a tab in iTunes. Instead, Apple made the Mac App Store a standalone app and store, just for Mac apps and updates for OS X. The next logical step has to be bold but simple. It’s time to break up iTunes.
What Price Branding?
Apple’s major problems with iTunes are two fold in nature. First, the app is huge and tries to do too much. It’s a digital media mall crawling with little stores and a few anchor tenants.
Music, movies, TV shows, iOS apps, Podcasts, internet radio, iTunes radio, playlists, album art, movie covers, media player. Do a search for ‘kitchen sink.’ Yep. You guessed it.
At least iTunes Store is not an online store for Mac apps. Apple was wise enough to know when to say ‘enough already.’ Now it’s time to do the same thing with everything else.
Second, the name iTunes is such a huge brand name that Apple cannot easily dismiss the value of the brand, and not easily replace it with stand-alone individual apps that are easier to manage.
Really, should the same app be used to view or listen to our media on the Mac, and be used as the store where we buy everything? For now, that’s what Apple thinks (for reasons #1 and #2 above).
Stores are stores. Media players are media players. Media is media (as in managing our purchases). I say, ‘Let each be true to itself.’ Apple could easily create a single standalone app as a media player, as an iOS app store, and an app that manages what we buy and use without shoving all the pieces together into a mall.
Don’t you think iTunes Radio users would benefit more from having a standalone app instead of having to rummage through the entire iTunes Mall just to listen to a few songs?
Finally, as an interim solution, I would settle for a single, simple tabs-based interface with one-click access to all the other components of the iTunes Store, including the Mac App Store.
If iTunes must remain a digital mall, at least make it a mall where navigating around and using each component is more pleasurable than the iTunes monstrosity we all love to hate today.