Five things the next iTunes version needs to have

by Harold Martin

1. Duplicate Searching

This would be extremely helpful to those of us who have a lot of compilation and sample albums.

2. Multi-Artist Listing

I have many tracks by more than one artist. I would like a track with "Artist 1 & Artist 2" in the Artist ID3 field to show under both Artist 1 and Artist 2.

3. Playlist Folders

This would allow all related playlists (Soft Rock, Metal Rock, etc.) to be put in a single folder (Rock).

4. DJ'ing Capability

Cueing, mixing, fading. I'd love to see Apple implement this Apple style.

5. Alarm Clock

Yes, there are ways to do this now. But none of them are as easy as it would be if implemented natively.

A thought, anyone?


2004-06-17 09:53:48
remote interface

Good suggestions. I think in addition, an integrated, remote and hopefully browser-based way to search and play your music is now crucial for iTunes due to the Airport Express. WebRemote:

does an OK job, but searching your music is impossible. I'd like to see Apple take a stab at this, too.


2004-06-17 09:57:10
all good I would like MP3 streaming
Not like AirPort Express is doing it, but like some of the others. This should be built-in. I would like the ability to stream to my home stero and not have iTunes playing the same song. There are ways, I know, but should be easier if this was native.
2004-06-17 10:05:47
Like SoundJam
SoundJam remembered the last track and position in it, that's whar I miss.
2004-06-17 10:21:40
On the subject of duplicates...
I have several albums which feature a particular song. It's the same song, except for perhaps an extra half-second of silence at the end or what-have-you, but I still have to keep both copies of it around for the sake of completeness for the album.

What I'd like to be able to do is designate a song to be from multiple albums. That way, I only need one copy of, say, "Heart of Glass" by Blondie, but it will be listed as being on the albums I got it from (the original album, a best-of, and some compilations).

I realize it's a little weird to be worried about it all, but I like to be able to see all 12 tracks from an album show up when I click on it. If there's only 11, well, I've had to track down script and disk errors in the past. For the moment, I have enough disk to hold everything, so I'm not that concerned.

2004-06-17 11:00:53
On the subject of duplicates...
This is one feature I *really* want. I have a lot of songs that occur in several albums and I want to be able to play the entire album. Instead of having separate copies of the song, I'd like to have one copy assigned to multiple albums so I can play each album in its entirety (ex: "hits" and "up" by Peter Gabriel).
2004-06-17 13:49:19
all good I would like MP3 streaming
The TiVo home media option is actually excellent for this (outside of it's lack of AAC support). Granted it's more of a filesystem oriented approach than the ID3 Jukebox approach, it's still pretty slick.

2004-06-17 17:24:14
Remote party mixes
My collection lives on my G5, and when I want to play to my stereo I plug my iBook into the stereo and connect to the G5 via airport. But I can't do a party mix on the iBook using songs from the G5!
2004-06-17 18:15:22
Like…Sync Us Man
My most desired iTunes feature by far would be bi-directional syncronization of library and playlists so that I can syncronize my PowerBook to my PowerMac.

What's peculiar to me is that there doesn't seem to be any third party products that have addressed this either...or am I missing something?

2004-06-17 19:40:03
Like SoundJam
iTunes was SoundJam to begin with, but Apple took out not only that feature, but the Alarm clock also! I wonder when they will put them back in?

2004-06-17 20:48:37
Credit my track purchases towards an album
On Monday I buy track 4 and 8 of an album. $1.98 is charged to my account. Fine.

The next day I decide I should own the entire album. The price is $9.99. Shouldn't I get a credit for the $1.98 I already spent?

Give me a break Apple!

2004-06-18 03:56:27
Alarm Clock
I agree, an alarm clock would be most helpful. Hopefully they'll do this soon. Right now I use Alarm Clock Pro, set to random iTunes Library file/song, to do the job. It would seem a relatively easy feature to put into iTunes, given the previous mention of SoundJam as the original base for it.
2004-06-18 13:53:15
My two things...
Hi all,

I'd love to have two things added:

1. Swap Artist and Title button
I must have 10 or more albums where the Artist and Title are swapped. It would be great to have a button that would automatically swap these in the info screen.

2. A subsummary view of the library
Anyone familiar with FileMaker Pro knows about Subsummary reports... I'd love it if I could have a listing by Artist... then be able to click on the artist to see all of their songs.

2004-06-18 15:24:13
iTunes needs INTEGRATION -- a complete digital hub also needs ichat and sherlock
1) get some of that p2p feeling back: iTunes needs to have a command line or a pop-out sliding drawer for iChat ... so friends can discuss opinions or drag previews into chat for discussion.

2) external context - serach engine: use that embedded web brwoser in iTunes (which should also be the basis for sherlock, right?) to support an (embeded) Sherlock so that another Finder like pane can open up to render the results of (googleesque) seraches/blogs ... so that people who want to get more zine background info from the web associated with artist/song/genre etc.

... i had a houseguest this week from china who did not knwo about western musical idioms ... so i installed iTunes for him, and gave a him a sort of tour / musicology lesson (4 hours!) ... i would have loved to not have to jump out into his (windows) web browser or his IM to illustrate my explanations better ...

in case anyone cares ;-) .... my 'history' picked:

blues: nina simone; billie holiday
jazz: miles davis
rhythm&blues: cant remember :-(
rock'n'roll: elvis
swing: benny goodman
hard rock: various thrash metal
pop: cant remember ;-)
punk: sex pistols; nineinchnails, ramones
alt rock: nirvana, greenday, REM :-)
rave/trance/techno/chill: lots!

big picture is that iTunes needs as much integration as possible for all data types, states, presentations, etc (eg video/mpeg4 is urgently needed even if iPod is going to be late in supporting video; when itunes is running on a pc, it should run any content).

in other words, avoid the silly repeat state of affairs where there was a separete mac DVD player, external to the core Quicktime player ... how dumb! ... how windows!

a hub is a hub is a hub.

it is bad enough that cocoa has languised for a decade (ie no proper deep agent technology has been deployed) ....

apple should not let another franchise fall apart because it cant figure out how to pull together the bits and pieces it has not let whither on the vine.

IMHO, of course ;-)

2004-06-18 20:45:22
Two things for me
There are two features of my homebrew MP3 database/jukebox that are still missing from iTunes that keep me from fully embracing it.

You've mentioned one of them: multi-artist listing. It needs to be relational and open-ended.

The other is better support for tracks that segue into one another. At least now you can manually tell it to rip a mix CD into a single megatrack if you need to, or into a small set of tracks, but it should automatically detect this by checking whether the inter-track gaps are silent or not.

And, even more importantly, when this is done (be it manually or through auto-detection), it should put the audio into a single file so you can listen to it without a glitch between the tracks, but it should remember where the logical track boundaries occur within that file, and present it to you as individual tracks within the UI, so you can listen to pieces individually if you want, shuffle it, and so on.

2004-06-19 12:24:06
iTunes should be able to recognize external hard drives as separate devices — the way it recognizes iPods and CDs — so that it doesn’t try to assimilate everything to its single-library-at-the-CPU model.

Likewise, the Mail Library should have a more persistent preference, so that if an external drive is designated the location of the main library, when it’s not present iTunes only temporarily switches over to the CPU hard drive, rather than altering the preference and eventually requiring a manual reset to the external.

Or, someone could patiently explain to me how these features are already present, or why they’re impossible or undesirable.

2004-06-20 02:10:04
smart playlists
They still need to improve their Smart Playlists so that they will match ((this and this and this) and not (this and this and this)). Also, the Beats Per Minute field in the info is useless if you don't happen to know what the bpm for that song is and who has the time to figure it out themselves when they have several hundred or thousands of tracks? I wish it could analyze a track while it's playing and fill this in itself.

Better iPod integration would also be nice. Like another Party Shuffle under the iPod Library folder and sharing your iPod library over a rendezvous network. And though this isn't iTunes related, I would like it if the Music folder on the iPod was not hidden.

2004-06-20 20:16:04
My two things...
1. That feature is already available via an AppleScript, and much more than that to boot. I can see why Apple wouldn't see the need to spend time and effort adding a feature that would be needed only occasionally and that's already available.

2. Isn't that what the "Browse" view is for? I'm sure I'm misunderstanding you somehow, but with Browse you get a list of genres, artists, and album titles, and can click on one or more to see the tracks that correspond to your selection.

2004-06-20 20:18:05
Two things for me
If you set the "crossfade" duration to 0, you get seamless playback in iTunes. Great for live and mix albums.

It's a shame that this feature isn't in the iPod yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if it shows up in a future firmware upgrade. It seems like a thing Apple would do.

2004-07-26 08:01:19
simple multiuser configuration
iTunes should be able to make all music available to diferent user accounts on the same computer with a simple configuration.

Also the search for music option availabe now only upon first launch of application should be always available.

Duplicate control is a much needed feature both for the library and for playlists.

2004-08-26 10:07:18
itunes sync
i would like to be able to sync the playing of the itunes programs on my network so that i could be playing the same song in time on multiple computers through several sound systems through out my house.
2004-11-19 02:24:15
Like…Sync Us Man
I guess you could do this via an iPod...?
2004-11-19 02:24:27
Two things for me
Personally I find setting the crossfade to 0 still leaves a definite gap. Why is it so hard to get MP3 players to seamlessly move from one track to the next?

Also, I have heard talk about iTunes being able to rip a mix CD into a single track... But how is this done? I can't see the option in preferences...?