A few thoughts on iTunes 11

Apple recently released a new version of iTunes, iTunes 11. In the words of John Gruber (for Daring Fireball):
There are redesigns and there are redesigns. This one’s the real deal. It’s not a rewrite though. Clearly, in its heart, under the hood, this is still the same iTunes. It’s what you see [...] that’s all new.
It was time. The old design felt bloated and cluttered. Two general thoughts:
  • iTunes has effectively been split into three applications: the iTunes Store, the Library and iOS device management. iOS device management is only reachable from the Library and could thus be considered a sub-application, but it still exsists in a separate window. I love it. Previously, you had a kludgey integration via the sidebar, now there is a clear separation of responsibility. That opens up the possibility of having separate apps or even of a web-based iTunes Store. Knowing Apple, the latter is not likely, but it would still offer many advantages [1].
  • I like the user interface (UI) approach. It takes design ideas from the iPad (less clutter, larger UI elements). You can expect more Apple apps to follow this lead in the future. Eventually, the OS X UI will be a scaled-up version of the iPad UI, in much the same way that the iPad UI is a scaled-up version of the iPhone UI.
Notable other changes:
  • iCloud is better integrated: You can stream content you own (but not in all countries). And iTunes syncs where you are in a movie or a TV show across devices. It doesn’t look like podcasts are supported, though.
  • “Up Next” replaces the iTunes DJ: It shows you what songs will be played next and allows you to make rearrangements. You can also drop songs on it to make additions.
  • Cover Flow is gone: I never understood what its appeal was.
  • You can use a camera to redeem a gift card: That is true OCR, I’m guessing that the font helps.
  1. Why the iTunes store should be web-based