What They’re Saying: Apple Launches iTunes 11

by Jordan Richardson on November 30, 2012

Apple has finally delivered its somewhat overdue iTunes 11 to the world and it apparently packs quite a few changes. It arrived as an update for both Mac and Windows on Thursday and, according to reports, offers a “completely redesigned” media player among some other changes.

Full disclosure: I haven’t tested or tried iTunes 11. It’s not really my cup of tea and I tend to steer clear of iTunes in general. But that doesn’t mean I can’t collate some of the news and notes about the release to determine what they’re saying. If you’ve tried iTunes 11, you’re more than welcome to sound off in the comments section below.

Onward and upward…

To have Mario Aguilar of Gizmodo tell it, iTunes 11 is “so much faster than its predecessor. So fast.” According to reports, the tiles “fly by” and that means that Apple must have almost entirely rewritten the app to deliver such speed. Aguilar says that the app “feels fresher and easier to navigate thanks to…generous use of drop-down menus.”

The comments section below the Gizmodo piece tells a bit of a different story, however, with more than a few individuals less than enamoured with iTunes 11 thus far. “I’m very unimpressed with this update,” reads one comment. “It’s an inconsistent mess.”

In another Gizmodo article, some of the actual changes – beyond those ones you can just “feel” – have been itemized.

One of the biggest changes in iTunes 11 has to do with the library. A drop-down box in the top left has replaced the left-hand bar that used to help user navigate the library, which means that users get more screen space for more information about the songs, movies and podcasts they’re checking out. There are some new filters, too, but iTunes lovers can still get back to their old ways with an adjustment in the options menu.

Also important to note is the new mini-player, which has apparently been revamped to strip out most of the controls so that they only appear if you mouse-over the mini-player pane.

Finally, iTunes 11 is decidedly more cloud-based. iTunes 11 is “more sneakily cloud-based” says Gizmodo’s assessment, describing how iCloud loads a placeholder which can be used to stream songs instantly without actually downloading it. That means the data is stored in the cloud rather than downloaded to your computer. Your mileage may vary on that front.

MacWorld has its own assessment and promises a “full review” to come, but the conclusion appears to be generally the same: “it’s awfully different.” And naturally those at the fanatical Cult of Mac are predictably sweet on 11. On the other hand, Farhad Manjoo from Slate seems less than taken in by iTunes 11, stating that “Apple’s horrible, bloated program needs to die.” He concludes by stating “Please don’t let there by an iTunes 12.”

So is it worth the download? That’s going to depend on what you want out of your iTunes in the first place. There are those users who will be put off by the new icon, for instance, and those who’ll be typically enthralled because it’s an Apple product. It does seem to push things closer to the cloud, which certainly signifies the future for the popular MP3 platform.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSSTwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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