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iTunes 4.1

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There are bad days for Apple devotees and there are good days. This was a good day. Which other company can make you laugh with their ads, saying things like Hell froze over and boldly announcing The best Windows app ever? And then you shrug and think – Um, happy Windows users. But digging a bit further reveals that iTunes 4.1 has a couple of new details for Mac users as well.

The best of those, is the increased choice of bands. Most notably – to be seen when looking at Apple's front page – including The White Stripes now – with more indie labels apparently coming soon. If I had an American credit card I'd have bought the new Strokes CD by now. It's been published yesterday in the U.S. and it's available at the iTunes store now. Cool.

Let me just go through the availability checklist, I went through when the iTunes music store was originally opened. The following bands that weren't available the last time round are now:

Right, that wasn't too good but we are seeing improvements and building a back catalogue is hard work – particularly when you're trying to enrich it with additional little pages for each band. On the other hand, they seem to do a good job keeping up with 'current' developments as Jet, Kings of Leon or The Darkness.

And did you see those links? Apple added drag and drop for the URLs of music store items. Everybody wanted that and we got it. Very cool. (It would be even cooler if it also worked while iTunes is in the background with the command key pressed – as you'd expect from any proper OSX application.) This may give Apple a real chance to become the internet's provider of demo song snippets for people who like referring to them.

And Apple seem to mean business. Not only do they offer a Windows version but also introduce allowances for kids and gift certificates. Very clever, I think – particularly the allowances that open a whole new range of customers who're eager to listen to music. Parents could give their kids a few songs for washing the car or mowing the lawn. The kids can browser and try out everything – legally – and buy a few things with their parents still keeping some non-paranoid degree of control. I like that idea – whether it'll really work that way in the real world may be another question.

Other remarks: iTunes looks even bluer than it used to, despite me using the system-wide Graphite theme; the store seems slightly faster; there seems to be a new option for extra error correction while ripping: to deal with 'copy protection' or a development that was made necessary by the Windows version?

Also, the German version still doesn't reorder 'The' bands as cleverly as the English version due to over-ambitious localisation. And it's still metal. I do have improved resource files for those two problems available, in case anybody's interested. I'd just rather not put them up on the web because the world is a bad place and Apple is a large, hence evil company and BSA member after all.

My verdict: The program itself is still not perfect, but getting better all the time. The strategy it displays is very promising and I hope we'll see Apple kicking some serious butt soon.

I didn't write that last sentence, did I?

October 17, 2003, 1:37

Tagged as iTunes.

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Trackback “iTunes 4.1” from freeform goodness:

It’s probably just my biases showing, but I never really found a Windows music player I really liked. They were either butt-ugly (WinAmp) or resource hogs (Sonique) or retarded (Windows Media Player) or expensive (most of the others)

October 17, 2003, 14:27

Trackback “2003/10/22 09:38” from 2lmc spool:

iTunes reaction roundup

October 22, 2003, 10:42

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