iTunes 7.5's Cosmetic Changes

Monday, 2007-11-05; 14:59:00

So iTunes 7.5 came out, and according to Apple, here's what it offers:

iTunes 7.5 features the ability to activate iPhone wherever service is offered and support for Phase, a new interactive music game designed exclusively for iPod nano (third generation), iPod classic, and iPod (fifth generation). This release also includes bug fixes to improve stability and performance.

Well, I can't test the iPhone improvements, and apparently Apple has already ditched 5G iPod owners for their games, so I can't test out Phase either. (I can't even find it in the iPod games section of the iTunes Store.)

But the only other changes I can see in iTunes are purely cosmetic. There are three things that I almost immediately noticed upon launch of iTunes 7.5.

1. The inactive iTunes window appearance now matches Leopard's inactive window appearance. That is, instead of the smooth metal appearance while in the background, iTunes now supports the white metal appearance. Here's a comparison of the inactive mini-window:

iTunes 7.4 Inactive Mini Window
iTunes 7.4

iTunes 7.5 Inactive Mini Window
iTunes 7.5

The appearance of the regular window while in the background is similar.

2. The square buttons at the bottom of the iTunes window now have a faint glow about them when activated. I think it's a cool effect, and it shows where Apple is putting its engineering effort in iTunes (more on that in a second). Again, here's a comparison:

iTunes 7.4 Square Buttons
iTunes 7.4

iTunes 7.5 Square Buttons
iTunes 7.5

3. Apple has slightly tweaked the appearance of the small x, plus and minus symbols that appear inside the mini-window close, minimize, and zoom buttons. Compare:

iTunes 7.4 Mini Buttons
iTunes 7.4

iTunes 7.5 Mini Buttons
iTunes 7.5

Again, this matches the new standard appearance for any utility window:

Tiger Utility Window Buttons


Leopard Utility Window Buttons


I used Interface Builder to get these last shots, but apparently utility windows are not supposed to be minimized, so I couldn't catch the new standard mini-minimize button.

There are probably other genuine bug fix improvements, but I can't tell what they are. Why? Because, as far as I can tell, Apple still hasn't fixed any more of my iTunes bugs that I've reported. [UPDATE: ssp posted about these cosmetic changes, as well as some minor functional improvements, a tiny bit before I posted this entry. His is worth a look, as well, especially for non-U.S. iTunes users.]

This is just getting silly. iTunes still does not allow batch changing of video tags, the main window can still be partially resized underneath the Dock, iTunes still uses modal dialogs, the info window still stalls AppleScripts that query iTunes, and the stop time for tracks is still not accurately obeyed if you start at any point except the beginning of the track. These are the important ones.

What's ridiculous is that Apple has put so much time into tweaking the appearance, and some of my bugs fall under this category. The cut-off-at-top script menu icon would take two seconds to rectify. The keyboard shortcut for the Play button still remains puzzlingly located in the middle of the menu item rather than flush right. And of course, the settings from the Appearance preference pane continue to be ignored.

Would some engineer from the iTunes team please take pity on me?

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