Apps have been on my mind lately, none more than iTunes. iTunes is almost always working on my Macbook Pro, and I stream all my media through it to my AppleTV. I use it daily and I will more than likely be doing so long into the future. It’s great most days, but all too often, I seem to find it lacking in one area or another. I wish it was better at being a control center for my media, rather than just an archive. I’m tired of just coping and compromising with the functionality that is available. A selfish thought, sure, but one I’m sure many share.
To be clear, my issues with iTunes aren’t these. As a power user however, it’s become increasingly clear that iTunes isn’t designed with people who consome lots of media in mind. The more you do consume, the more you start to feel like you are no longer in control. That isn’t to say that there aren’t lots of ways you can control iTunes. If you’re up to it, custom playlists and Automator scripts well enable for a lot of deft maneuvering of your library. Except that solutions like those are far from intuitive or simple for most people. It’s a band-aid to a bigger injury; that iTunes is no longer really suited to being hub in your media lifestyle.
What iTunes doesn’t need is more features or customizability. What it does need is a paradigm shift. It needs to realize that simply being a repository for the media in your computer no longer makes sense in 2011.
So as an excercise, I’ve decide to imagine how iTunes could look in the future, with improvements I would personally find useful and that might be useful to others as well. I think there are two significant changes that I would make, the first being an overhaul to the UI and navigation of iTunes and the second addressing it’s online components.
And so that’s what I’ll be talking about over the course of the week. If you have ideas of your own, don’t be shy to share.