iTunes 7: I Take It BackSeptember 29, 2006
I was very excited about the new album art and CoverFlow views in iTunes 7, because they finally let us browse our collections visually, the way H.R. Giger and Roger Dean intended. But:
- When playing music from a connected iPod, these views are disabled. Why? I can view the album artwork on each track, so it’s clearly available. This is the main way I use iTunes now, because it’s the best way to use one library on several machines. So I might as well not have these views at all.
- That navigating to an album in the CoverFlow view doesn’t actually select the album is more and more frustrating. If you’re planning to listen to the album straight through, you shouldn’t have to hit stop at the very moment the album ends in order to avoid it going on to the next album in the library. If shuffle is turned on, navigating to an album and hitting play just gets you the first song followed by some dang thing somewhere else in your library.
- If you navigate to an album in CoverFlow view and hit play, it doesn’t play the album. Instead it just continues playing whatever you had selected before. You have to double-click the album cover.
- The CoverFlow view has no concept of focus on either the covers or the song list, so the left and right arrows never mean previous and next song; they always mean previous and next album cover.
- Album covers take a long time to move into position, and until they finish out that animation, you still have some old thing selected. So clicking an album cover and immediately hitting Return to start playing just moves you back to what you previously had selected and plays that instead.
- Cover art takes a long time to load. In CoverFlow, we got the joy of flipping through our music collections. In iTunes, we have the pain of flipping to a big line of blank albums, waiting for them to load, flipping to another line of blank albums, waiting for them to load again, and so on.
- Every single track without an artist tag or without an album tag appears as an individual blank album cover in CoverFlow.
If I can’t go to Apple for an excellent user interface in my media player, where can I go?