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iApp Niceties

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In it's standard incarnation, two things are bad about iTunes. The obvious is that it has a 'brushed metal' window. The other one is only apparent to non-English users: iTunes has a smart way of sorting the bands alphabetically, ignoring leading articles in the name. For example, The White Stripes will be listed at W rather than at T in the alphabetical list. Unfortunately, Apple decided to localise that feature along with the rest of the program. Hence, Die Sterne will be properly filed at S, but The White Stripes will go back to T in the German version of the application.

As I have yet to meet a German who doesn't listen to bands with English names, this restriction seems a bit unnecessary and even unhelpful. It has been around for a while, so I guess it is a matter of 'design' rather than a bug.

Clever sorting taking into account German and English articles. The good news is: If you're not scared of using ResEdit, this problem is quite easy to fix. The STR# resource nr. 146, conveniently named 'Reordered Artist Strings' in iTunes' yourlanguage.lproj/Localized.rsrc file is open for additions, allowing you to simply add two consecutive entries containing 'The' and '%1, The'. The next time you launch iTunes, sorting of band names will take into account you own language plus 'The' for all those English bands. The bad news is: As ResEdit doesn't appear to have been ported to Carbon and cannot read data-fork based resource files, doing all this is a bit of a pain and there doesn't seem to be an easy way to automate the whole procedure for application to future versions of iTunes.

The brushed metal problem can be resolved in a similar way by replacing PICT resource 1024 in the iTunes.rsrc file. The same inconveniences as above apply.

Minimised iChat window asking for attention To finish on a high note, let me mention that I quite like the way iChat manages minimised windows. Firstly their symbol will be the symbol of the person you're chatting with and secondly, when receiving a message in a minimised window that fact will be brought to your attention by an iChat speech bubble fading in on top of that icon.

July 5, 2003, 23:43

Tagged as iTunes.

Comments

Comment by d.w.: User icon

If Die Sterne are the band I’m thinking of, the local Canadian station that I listen to sometimes (I’m right across the Detroit River from Windsor, Canada) played a couple of tracks by them that I quite enjoyed. I haven’t seen any of their records in local shops, though.

July 6, 2003, 1:55

Comment by ssp: User icon

Them being a German band who sing in German, I am not too surprised that they should be virtually unknown abroad. You can get their older CDs as imports on amazon.com apparently. [Eeek, even for imports US prices aren’t much higher than regular prices over here.] On the other hand you could try and probe the iTunes Library or afp Volume of your choice…

Their most popular song probably is Was hat Dich bloß so ruiniert, that shares the first few guitar notes with House of the Rising Sun. Attempts have been made to popularise it outside Germany - notably by myself when DJing it at Offbeat in England. Although it’s a very good and dancy song I clear the dancefloor in a matter of, say, ten seconds - which means people lasted about twice as long as for Stereo Total…

July 6, 2003, 2:35

Comment by Erik J. Barzeski: User icon

Uhm, what do you mean it “goes back to W”? If “Die Sterne” and “The White Stripes” are filed at S and W respectively, I’d say it’s doing a good job.

And just because something is brushed metal does not make it “bad.” A minimized iTunes view (the smaller kind) would look TERRIBLE as Aqua. iTunes is my favorite metal app, and one of my favorite apps, period. It’s not “wrong” just because it’s metal, and I don’t think it’s wrong at all.

July 6, 2003, 14:21

Comment by ssp: User icon

Thanks for pointing that out: It meant to read “goes back to T. Seems like I mixed up the letters. I fixed it now.

My minimised iTunes window with Aqua stripes looked just fine the last time I checked, by the way.

July 6, 2003, 14:41

Comment by ssp: User icon

Please note that the ordering in iTunes seems to work the way I suggest here in iTunes 4.2 and higher.

January 13, 2004, 23:28

Comment by Brandon: User icon

I’m having some trouble with turning iTunes aqua. Does this still work in 10.3.5? I can’t even find that file.

Thanks.

August 27, 2004, 21:03

Comment by ssp: User icon

It still works.

The file iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/iTunes.rsrc still exists in X.3.5 / iTunes 4.6.

If you don’t mind also having another change that I figured out, perhaps you’ll be interested in reading this post and its successor.

There I describe the patching thing again and also give a readymade patch with step-by-step instructions (if you have developer tools installed).

August 28, 2004, 0:35

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