People have been calling for Apple to radically redo iTunes for a while now, and Apple yesterday released iTunes 11, one of the biggest redesigns in the ubiquitous software's history. Ping—Apple's attempt at adding social networking to its media center—is gone. There's much more integration with Apple's iCloud. And the overall look is much cleaner. But is it enough to win the praise of the technorati elite? So far, so good, writes John Paczkowski in All Things D, declaring that, after an initial pass, "iTunes 11 looks like a pretty slick remodel of software that had been generally overburdened with unnecessary complexity."
It's that unnecessary complexity, in part, that has Farhad Manjoo writing choice lines like this—"each new upgrade brings more suckage into your computer—for Slate. He calls iTunes 11 a "bloated, horrible program" that's only getting slower and packed with more useless features. For Manjoo, the future is in cloud-based music services like Spotify, and the future is now. Software like iTunes, designed to hold your owned media on a single device, is becoming ancient history. And by just incrementally changing each version of iTunes, the whole package only gets more arcane and awkward, a facelift that hides the "rot" underneath. "The only way for Apple to fix it would be to throw it out and start all over again." Click for Manjoo's full column. (Read more iTunes stories.)