iTunes is broken. There, I’ve said it. It’s a sprawling mess of a program, trying to be too many things to too many people. It’s a horrible user experience, and for it being the hub of all entertainment going through Apple devices, it needs to be torn down and started again from scratch. So, in the spirit of “what if?”, here are some proposals…
1. iTunes doesn’t need to be the hub of everything
At the moment, iTunes is playing host to music, films, TV shows, the iTunes Store, iPhone management… Come on, that’s too much for any one program to cope with. Let’s hive iTunes off on its own to do what it’s best at – play and manage music/albums.
Introduce a new program – iVideo? – for storing and playing programmes and films. This would relieve the endless clutter of iTunes navigation.
iPhoto is already a separate program for those who care to use it.
The App Store and its overlaps with iTunes lead to a truly dreadful user experience. Searching in the App Store for an app for my iPhone – Droplet – leads to no results. To find it, I have to search for it in the iTunes Store. This is just a mess.
So this means that we can then introduce a new program – I’ve called it iHub for the sake of argument, although I see that’s already gone – https://gdgts.de/ihub/
2. iHub and managing content
iHub is, as I propose it, file management for an iPhone. Check your settings, manage preferences, files, contacts – do it within iHub. Having iPhone management as yet another tab within the bloated iTunes doesn’t make sense to me. If the mantra of web design is “Don’t make me think”, why is iPhone management so needlessly complicated?
Proposed scenario. User connects iPhone to computer. iHub launches, with options for managing music, video, apps and photos – the mainstays of using the iPhone (see diagram above). The user can choose what they want to manage. If it’s video, select the video option from iHub and the separate iVideo program launches. If it’s music, launch the now decluttered iTunes. iPhone Apps can all be managed from the Apps section.
The syncing of playlists between an iTunes library and an iPhone is needlessly complicated and frankly archaic. It’s a terrible user experience. I simply want to drag and drop content between library and device. Imagine an album or song stored in iTunes library – drag it out of the library and on to iHub music management. Voila – album/song is now on iPhone (once synced). Same holds true for video content – drag and drop.
iHub will know whether it’s an iPhone or iPad that is connected – making file management much more practical and usere friendly.
These are obviously just some thoughts as I can’t quite believe how shoddy the user experience of iTunes really is. With each release it gets more and more bloated. It really is time to take it apart and actually make iTunes and iPhone management a LOT easier for the end user.
And isn’t a good user experience what it should be all about? This is meant to be fun.