Saturday, November 24, 2007

Will the Real iTunes Please Stand Up?

In order to maintain my curmudgeonly street cred, I'm going to vent a little bit on one of the few issues that bug me about my iPhone (not feature requests, but just plain silly stuff).

In particular - it's that little new iTunes icon that's driving me crazy. For those without iPhones, this is the button you use to bring up the iTunes store, so you can purchase songs over your iPhone. Aside from the fact that it only works over wireless, and not the phone, what's really bugging me is that when I want to play music, my brain pops right over and says "Ah, your music is in iTunes", and I tend to go there by mistake.

The reason for this is that on the desktop, iTunes is both the application and the store. I tend to associate the name iTunes with the app much more strongly than the store. (Those of you who've been reading my blog since the beginning may recall that Microsoft outdoes this confusion by using the Zune name for their device, their software application, their store, and their community - it's like a 21st century version of the word Smurf).

The "music" button, happens to be labelled iPod. Of course, if you want to see your Photos (which you might be used to seeing on your iPod), you don't go to the iPod app - oh no, then you go to the Photos app. Videos? Well, it depends... if you want YouTube videos, go to that app. If you want your own videos, go back to that iPod button.


Why not have a Music button, a Photos button, and a Videos button? Drop the silly iPod button, that should just be fully integrated. Merge YouTube into the new videos section, and make your store online with the phone, and accessible from both music and videos. (I'd setting for Music being called Audio, since presumably that's still where podcasts and audiobooks sit).

I suppose that part of the reason for the current mishmash is a variety of branding/business decisions getting in the way of the user experience. YouTube wants the prime brand position of a button on the home screen, and Apple wants to reinforce their iTunes/iPod brands.


No comments: