iTunes 10

iTunes 9 and iTunes 10 icons

Among the many announcements that Apple made yesterday was the release of iTunes 10. My first reaction is that I don't like the icon. The main problem I have with it is that it isn't a thing.

The Mail icon is a stamp. Safari is a compass. iCal is a desk calendar. Automator is a robot.

I understand that a CD probably isn't a valid metaphor for iTunes any more, but by not representing a real object it stands out as unusual amongst Apple's other icons.

On top of that the new icon doesn't have a very good silhouette. Maybe that's not an issue — the new icon is definitely iconic. But most of Apple's icons, and most third-party icons that I like, have a distinctive outline.

Various icons in silhouette form

I don't know. I might get used to it. It's not a bad icon, I just had a bad first reaction to it.

Among the UI changes the biggest difference is that the close, minimize and zoom buttons are arranged vertically instead of horizontally.

iTunes button changes

It makes the playback area a little tidier, but it seems like a fundamental change to a common user interface element. I say "seems" because I'm not sure how much of a problem it is. The close button is still in the same place, which is the only button you care about 99% of the time.

The sidebar icons are now monochrome which looks alright.

The default view for music is the "album list view".

iTunes 10 album list view

I really like it. You could get the same effect by enabling the Artwork column in list view in iTunes 9, but it makes sense to have this as a separate view since most people never enable or disable columns.

There are some cosmetic changes. The only notable one that I haven't touched on are the buttons along the bottom that now look less like buttons.

iTunes 10 buttons now look less like buttons

That's about it for things I've noticed in the last 12 hours. Overall fairly positive.