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iTunes 11 Shows Signs Of Old-Age

iTunes is, of course, an aging program. It was created nearly 12 years ago, long before the introduction of the iPod, as a simple music player. It's grown a lot in the past 12 years, clearly, but it's definitely starting to show signs of old-age. iTunes 11 came out recently and while people have had a lot of complaints about slowness and reduced functionality, I haven't really shared the same grievances. However, I've been having one rather major problem that is really starting to tick me off.

iTunes appears to have become incredibly forgetful. I have a large music library, with almost 1900 tracks. I also use iTunes to watch TV shows and I will frequently switch back and forth between the two activities, especially now when I am on break. Because my music library is fairly large, I will often be scrolled almost halfway down (say, when listening to Marina & the Diamonds). If I then go to TV Shows, watch a gripping episode of My Little Pony[1. To be clear, this happens when watching any show or even if you switch to TV Shows and then back to Music without watching anything.], and then decide to go back to Music to continue listening to Marina, I will suddenly find myself back at the top of my music library, forcing me to scroll all the way back down to M. iTunes 10 did not have this problem.

There's a similar bug with TV show seasons. In iTunes 11, both albums and TV Shows are shown in a cute little popout that is color-coordinated with the cover art of the album/show, which is fancy but not incredibly important. With TV shows, the season that you are watching is choosable in the top right corner of the popout:

Screen Shot 2012-12-26 at 11.14.13 PM

The problem comes when you want to watch an episode in something other than Season 1. If you watch a Season 2 episode of a show, for instance, when the video finishes, you will find yourself looking at the Season 1 list of episodes, rather than Season 2, which is what you were looking at prior to watching the video. In order to watch the next video, you then have to scroll to the top of the popout, choose "Season 2" again, and then scroll back down to where you were. This is incredibly inconvenient and is once again a problem that iTunes 10 did not suffer from.

Another issue with memory can be seen with playlists. I have a playlist of Homestuck music that I like to listen to in a random order, so I turn on shuffle. In iTunes 10, when I then returned to the main Music library, shuffle would turn itself off. The shuffle status was associated with the specific playlist or lack of playlist that I was on. In iTunes 11, shuffle carries over from playlist to playlist. If you listen to a playlist with shuffle on and then go back to Music, you will hear your music played in a random order. This one isn't as frustrating as the previous two bugs, but it's still pretty annoying to have functionality change on you.

I really hope Apple fixes at least the first two bugs in the next version of iTunes. Their concept for the new version of iTunes appears to be simplification, but they've made navigating my large library more difficult to do.

Hatkirby on December 26th, 2012 at 11:26:29pm
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