Apple’s new-look iTunes software has won mixed reactions from Macworld UK readers - they love it or hate it.
A recent online poll asked: “What’s up with iTunes 5”. The results are split. A total of 2,582 readers voted in the poll, with 40 per cent (1,045 voters) saying they “love the new features”, while 37 per cent (944 voters) decrying the release, asking: “Call than an upgrade?”
Aesthetics are the focus of a substantial minority of voters, 442 (17 per cent) of which declared: “Hell, it’s ugly”. Just 6 per cent (151 voters) don’t use iTunes software.
Features win small praise
On announcing the software, Apple mentioned its new-found ability to nest playlists in separate folders.
One reader called this feature, “unnecessary” in an upgrade he saw as: “The least significant upgrade of any application I can remember in a long time”.
Others love this feature. For example, one reader chimed in: “The folders are a good extra feature for me. I organise the CD's I've burned into a set of playlists that are grouped together; it tidies things up.”
“I think the Parental Controls are good,” said an iTunes 5 fan. “The tags for refining searches are neat. Not had a chance to play with folders yet. I like the fact that the preferences pane has also been tidied up,” they added.
iTunes new look sees small praise
The new look attracted both praise and criticism: “I wish all the iLife applications had this clean new look, it so modern and professional looking now,” one reader wrote.
But some readers are concerned that Apple’s one-size fits all model may place the company at a disadvantage against its increasingly feral competition.
“If you look at the competition, and predominantly Windows users, who seem to thrive on modifying the look of these things with customized skins, I wonder if it's a step in the right direction for iTunes when most of its users are on Windows,” the reader fretted.
“I don't think an interface change will put anyone off using such a good application, and lets face it, what are they going to use instead ?” the reader asked.
’We need more features’, readers cry
“Aesthetically it is a little cleaner. But what about some proper upgrade features such as an automatic beats per minute calculator, automatic artwork grabbing, a faster interface, user-definable windows, or improved search,” suggested another reader.
The perception that iTunes isn’t so feature-rich was clear: “There is very little to shout about”, another reader wrote, admitting that they like the new-look interface.
“I was desperately hoping for true gapless playback (not crossfade). Apparently some Windows apps can do it so why not iTunes?” another said.
One reader slammed Apple’s seeming focus on attracting cash: “The update seems to be more about us buying stuff than giving us extra features,” they cried.
It just works?
Initial problems in iTunes 5.0 were supposedly repaired in iTunes 5.0.1, which shipped recently. The fix seems to maintain some flaws.
“I've just updated to iTunes 5.01 and Outlook Contacts syncing still doesn't work!” declared a disappointed iTunes for Windows user.
“5.0.1 still wont let me transfer purchased music to my iPod,” another complained.