Let’s Talk About That Icon
It’s pretty damned terrible. It’s so bad that I don’t even care that the software runs faster than before (and it does). The improved responsiveness has taken a backseat to shame. Ping? HOST UNREACHABLE. It’s an embarrassment to use or to be seen using. Here are two pieces of shitty MS clipart that my wife found in Office 2007 in less than 45 seconds:
Oh, and here’s a serious question: why are the window controls vertical? Chewbacca lives on Endor! It does not make sense! Stylistically and conceptually the whole thing feels clumsy and a bit like an attempt to get “in your face.”
Almost every damned widget is A) yet again custom to iTunes, not the OS; B) different than it was before. They’re almost all universally ugly. Things that should be buttons are just sort of decal looking sections of the screen and a lot of stuff has tremendously crappy bezels for no real reason.
Is There Anything They Did Right?
The speaker management window is a tremendous improvement?
I think I like this hybrid cover art view they’re pushing for column based browsing.
You Like Third Party Library Servers?
Too bad. iTunes 10 has munged with the DAAP protocol (which, admittedly, is Apple’s protocol, so it’s their right) and broken 3rd party DAAP servers. So, your Drobo, your Synology DiskStation, your Netgear ReadyNAS, and those Western Digital disks that support streaming music? They’re all basically going to need firmware updates when the someone figures out what to patch or change in MT-DAAP (or Firefly, if you prefer) to make it work again; you can make a pretty safe bet that Apple won’t rev the protocol back to help fix this problem.
I have to believe that someone, somewhere is laboring away on music library management software that isn’t encumbered by goofy widgets and ridiculous business decisions. It’s probably not coming from the Linux camp (see: Rhythmbox, Banshee, Amarok, Clementine, & Guayadeque for an idea of where they’re reinventing the wheel). Songbird is wrapped in XUL interface hell (never mind technical backend “iffiness”). I think iTunes has been the dominant player in this space (at least in OS X) for so long that no one even bothers trying anymore.