New Elements of iTunes 10

Here are several aesthetic changes and new functionality in the latest version of iTunes application.

The first thing you will notice with this latest version of iTunes is that the icons on the left panel has all lost their 3D/colour effects. Many critics have complain that the change is ugly, this may be true, but I think the new design places the focus back on to the content: music tracks, videos, apps and the iTunes Store.

The problem seem to be the inconsistent applications of these 3D effects. Some controls have gain the latest Apple aluminum hardware look but others has the Aperture styling. These inconsistencies make the application feel unfinished, and continues the theory that iTunes is Apple’s platform for experimenting with OS X UI designs.

One such OS X experiment is the controls of the window; which most refer to as the “traffic light” controls. For some reason Apple had rotated the set of controls 90° without any functional benefit except when the window is minimized. Hack to show users how to return these “traffic light” controls back to the pre-iTunes 10 design, or return the colours to the icons in the left side bar have already appeared as a result.

One nice change is in the Apps tab for the attached iOS device. In the new design user no longer have to guess at which apps are designed for the iPad and which cannot be run on the iPhone or iPod Touch. The same three categories that are in the Apps section of the left side bar are available here. These category heading automatically changes as you scroll the list up and down to reflect the category that the visible list of apps belong to.

Another useful change is with the tracks displayed in the iTunes Store, for any tracks you have purchased, the system will change the “$XX.XX Buy” button to “Purchased” for any tracks you have already purchase. So you can avoid purchasing the same track multiple times. This does not mean that you loose access to the list of options normally associated with a track: “Like”, “Post”, “Gift This Song”, “Add to Wish List”, “Copy Link”, “Other Versions”, “Share On Facebook” and “Share On Twitter”. All you have to do is click on the label “Purchased” to review this menu of options.

For all who has an iTunes Store account in either: US, Canada, UK, France, Germany or Australia, you will also enjoy the new “social network for music”, Ping.

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