02 October 2010

iTunes and iOS

I don’t know how many times this happens. I want to listen to music on my iPhone or iPad. Listening to music means iTunes. (That’s what iTunes began life as: A music player.) On the iPhone and iPod, however, iTunes means merely the iTunes store. There’s a separate iPod app for playing music.

(Incidentally, this happen more on the iPad for some reason. Perhaps because the iPhone is physically closer to an iPod while the iPad is physically closer to a Mac.)

“Watch video” on my Mac means iTunes. On my iPhone it means iPod. On my iPad it means the Video app.

Returning to the iTunes store: On my Mac, I get a single iTunes store. On iOS, the App store gets segregated.

On iOS I also get the iBooks store, but only within the iBooks app. Although it does seem to be a branch of the iTunes store under the covers. The iBooks store is unavailable on my Mac. It is very nice to be able to shop from within the iBooks app. But then, it would also be nice to be able to shop for music from within the iPod app. It would be nice to shop for videos from within...the iPod app on the iPhone and the Video app on the iPad.

(Of course, Amazon can’t figure out how to let you buy Kindle books from either the Kindle app or the Amazon app. Very odd and annoying.)

The iTunes store, App store, and iBooks store on the iPad are each slightly different. And I’m not talking about differences that make sense based on their different wares. They are also some of the worst user experiences of any apps on the iPad.

This all seems very poorly thought out, which is usually something Apple excels at.

On the other hand, Apple today is also a company that constantly improves. It’s funny how I forget all the gripes I had about earlier Apple products now that they’ve been fixed.


Matthew James Stanham said...

I just yesterday deleted all Apple content off my PC; it was such a space hog. I like ITunes, especially for Podcasts, but it was driving me mad in terms of organisation. Damn thing made an entire copy of my music library!

Robert Fisher said...

For what it’s worth, iTunes on Mac has an option not to copy music when adding it to the library. I don’t know how well it works since I’ve long been happy letting iTunes manage my music. I’m not sure about the Windows version, since I haven’t used it in a few years—and even then not much.

And I have a number of issues with the iTunes’ user experience for podcasts. ^_^