Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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iTunesabilia

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Contrary to what I wrote the other day, it's actually feasible to share your whole music library without exposing your new and secret compilation playlists: You can generate a smart playlist with a trivial condition (say, bit-rate > 1) and only share that playlist.

John Gruber has a nice comparison of iTunes' and Safari's interface details. He makes a good point about the over-use of click-through behaviour these days and even points out that iTunes uses it in exactly the same place – you just have to love that care for details. By looking at the side-by-side comparison with Safari's buttons in John's text, I thing I managed to nail down what I don't like about the iTunes buttons: They have this – imho too strong - shiny light effect on them. It doesn't go along to well with the overall flat look of the buttons. Perhaps it would look better if the effect were spread over all three of the control buttons in iTunes, as is done in Safari for the button groups (I know they touch each other there...).

I think the cut-off for live-window resize is the G4 processor. We don't see it on iBooks but I do see it on my non-Quartz Extreme Powerbook. Also the particularly stupid textured windows of iTunes are just computationally expensive to resize (as you have to re-scale and re-apply the light-effect for every new size), so I don't think Quartz Extreme will be able to do all of that. Update: John also figured that out and found a way to re-prettify the controls' text labels.

While at the topic of iTunes, I find that everybody is very apologetic about Apple's introduction of DRM and family values. Possibly they couldn't sell music without it and it seems reasonably tame for the time being. But, make no mistake, it remains creepy DRM. How long will we have to wait for the first stories of people losing "their" music because of some silly software failure. This reminds me of Apple losing my hard drive a year ago for example.

One more thing: A bit of UI I like in iTunes can be seen in the screenshot: Screenshot of iTunes Info window with a picture dragged into it. When dragging an image into its Information window for multiple files there is only one little rectangle, the Cover field where it could go. It may be hard to aim at this field and as it is clear from the context anyway where the image should go, iTunes accepts an image drag as soon as the mouse enters the window, correctly highlighting the Cover field only. Probably a couple of extra lines of code, but lines of code well spent.

May 3, 2003, 15:11

Tagged as iTunes.

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