Great, another user interface style

by Giles Turnbull

newstyle.pngFor anyone who was hoping to see signs of greater consistency in the OS X interface, iTunes 7 only brings disappointment.

The scrollbars are flatter, dark, not at all the "lickable" Aqua that we've grown accustomed to.

Is this just a one-off for iTunes, or something we'll be seeing more of in the run-up to, and release of, Leopard?


Adam Rice
2006-09-12 13:04:02
I suspect this is where they're going with the whole OS--which I'd welcome. I like it.

It's jarring seeing the non-standard scrollbars (one thing I don't think I've seen from Apple yet), and also jarring that they didn't carry the new theme through to the preferences.

I'm also looking forward to another of John Gruber's "brushed metal" posts, perhaps this time with the unloved theme waking up in a gutter, battered broken and bleeding.

Daniel Andrews
2006-09-12 13:23:35
The only positive that can come from this is this is what the entire OS is going to look like. If this is a ... what, 5th interface style? ... we're in serious trouble.
2006-09-12 13:44:30
Personally I think the new look for iTunes is pretty slick. Not nearly as slick as that Album art browsing mode. Yikes, I think I'm in love.
Adam Turetzky
2006-09-12 14:53:11
It looks like WindowsXP and some KDE/GNOME style. It's very 2D and flat looking I think. Don't like it much at all. I think the Aqua 3D glossy lick-able interface is much more appealing.
2006-09-12 15:40:13
Or is it because the main market for iTunes is still Windows?

What gives with the Search box? It's back to how it used to be (with the drop list for Artist, Songs, etc) - which I always preferred, but it seems a bit indecisive.

I like the Back-up option being better integrated, but overall I'm not quite as keen. Not sure why yet. I've always liked Coverflow, but I've also spotted the inbetween 'List' view which is great.

Mike Nowak
2006-09-12 15:42:10
The only thing, besides the lack of consistency, that bothers me is the use of all caps for the titles. I think another typographic convention (bold or something) would look more professional.
Micael C
2006-09-12 16:23:09
I think is quite subjective. I personally love it. The subtlety of the interface let me concentrate more on my content specially when in album view.
I more thing I just got a movie and the quality is very good. Enjoing my "Good Will Hunting".
Dr Data
2006-09-12 16:28:15
I do notice something else about the scroll bars. I have mine set to double arrows on both ends and they show up in all apllications except iTunes 7. I have double arrows only on the bottom of the scroll bar.
2006-09-12 20:11:35
I like the new functionality and organization, but these fugly icons HAVE to go. iTunes is starting to look like a Windows app with tiny icons that don't match the overall styling of the OSX interface nor the app borders.

Yeah, I actually liked brushed metal, but unifor grey would be OK if I didn't have to see clashing nonsense like these content icons.

Scott Andrew
2006-09-12 23:50:13
I don't like the new interface. I hope this isn't where iLife is going. Plus on an older machine it is slow. They removed buttons, the new buttons on the bottom are UGLY.

But i do love the new views on your data. I like the album cover view in theb browser and the new album view in the song list. Too sexy.

2006-09-13 11:07:18
I don't like it at all. I'm all for Apple experimenting with refreshing new GUI designs, but this is plainly just BAD DESIGN.

Daniel Sandler addresses some of the many iTunes GUI problems here:

Interfaces are supposed to aid in the use of a program; thinks like "lickable"/"shiny" buttons for the Play/Rewind-Fast Forward commands are useful in that they help the user quickly distinguish function and status. Before, they were contrasting enough from the rest of iTunes' metal interface for you to instinctively know and use them. Now they're so similar in style to the rest of the interface that they blend in too much. iTunes will no longer let me collapse/hide things in the menu bar (effectively cancelling out any effect the new layout had for me), and since when was it standard practice to use SHOUTING as part of an interface?

The scrollbars are more subdued, which might be refreshing if they weren't so badly designed. In the aforementioned PDF, Sandler points out the scrollbars' botched anti-aliasing (fuzzy gray borders?), inconsistent lighting effect, and inconsistent use of the color blue.

There's simply so many inconsistencies with this new interface that it undoes any usefulness or refreshment it might serve.

I'm all for trying new things in Leopard (I did actually notice some of the design things tried in iTunes demonstrated in the Leopard preview), but there comes a point when things are just sloppy and bad design. iTunes is a stunning example of it to me.