iTunes 10.5 Beta is 64-bit, and... Cocoa?

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The beta version of iTunes 5 released to developers last week is the first version of iTunes to run in 64-bit mode. The distinction is perhaps a bit minor for an app like iTunes, but has been the source of much discussion over the years. What's perhaps of more significance is the belief that this 64-bit support must mean that iTunes has been ported from Carbon to Cocoa, though that line seems to be rather blurred.

    The primary advantage afforded 64-bit applications is the ability to address more than 4GB of memory which can be a distinct advantage for applications which use large data sets. Adobe, for example, received some criticism in 2008 that their Photoshop products were slow to adopt 64-bit mode on the Mac. 64-bit Photoshop for Mac ultimately arrived with CS5.

    The reason for the long delay was the fact that Apple dropped support for 64-bit mode in Carbon back in 2007, requiring developers to port their existing Carbon applications to Cocoa in order to take advantage of 64-bit mode. This primarily affected older applications such as Photoshop and iTunes which had existed prior to Mac OS X and were still using Carbon, Apple's legacy API. Meanwhile, Cocoa was Apple's native API for Mac OS X and offered some additional user interface advantages. For better or worse, many users saw Cocoa applications as superior to their Carbon counterparts due to historic baggage of many of the Carbon applications.


    The latest iTunes 10.5 developer beta does run in 64-bit mode in Mac OS X Lion, but still runs in 32-bit mode in previous versions of Mac OS X. Discussions in the forum, however, point out that there is still some debate about the "Cocoa vs Carbon" status. Despite the changeup, iTunes reportedly feels very similar to the previous versions, and doesn't come with dramatic changes. So those hoping for a complete revamp will be disappointed.

    A couple of notable changes, however, include the fact that iTunes for Lion now supports Full Screen Mode and also returns the close/minimize/maximize buttons to their usual horizontal location.

    Article Link: iTunes 10.5 Beta is 64-bit, and... Cocoa?
  2. cmaier macrumors G3

    Jul 25, 2007
  3. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    typo on the first line: "iTunes 5 beta"

    I just went to activity monitor and found that my iTunes 10.5 beta is still running in 32-bit mode..... because I'm running Snow Leopard ;)
  4. jayhawk11 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2007
    I didn't realize that switching to Cocoa resulted in a palpable difference in an Application's UI :p
  5. ryanpfw macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2011
    What does it mean specifically that it has full screen mode? I'm looking for an alternate to Front Row using the Apple Remote with Lion.
  6. DaGreat01 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2009
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Full screen as in it will move to it's own space removing the dock and menu bar at the top. It won't change into a front row type thing. In fact, if I remember correctly, they completely removed front row from Lion.
  7. WiiDSmoker macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2009
    Hermitage, TN
    I got a feeling that everyone that is hoping for Itunes 64 to fix all the problems with the application; but I believe it's just that the application is a complete code nightmare. Piling crap upon crap.

    I digress...I hope it turns out to be a winner here.
  8. iindigo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    Actually, it does. If you go back to Xcode 3.2, open Interface Builder, and create a Carbon application window, the set of widgets it gives you to work with is largely different than when creating a Cocoa window. Also, the way the system draws windows is different between Cocoa and Carbon - for instance, Cocoa stretches the titlebar's gradient across the width of the titlebar while Carbon tiles it.

    And of course, features that we've taken for granted in Cocoa applications are not present in Carbon counterparts - at least without extra effort on the developer's part. These things include spell checking, grammar checking, the Command-Ctrl-D dictionary popup among several other things.

    Also, while it's not true in all cases, many carbon applications have ancient codebases with years of code fragments and bloat scattered throughout, sometimes leading to a more "clunky" experience for the user.
  9. ryanpfw macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2011
    You are remembering correctly. I was hopeful that full screen mode come somehow be tapped into by a program like Remote Buddy and allow for control from the Apple remote.
  10. BlackMangoTree macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2010
    XBMC or Plex
  11. BlackMangoTree macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2010
    What problems ? It's fast and everything works well.
  12. Warbrain macrumors 603


    Jun 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    If there's any application that completely exhibits this it's iTunes. It's been a mess of an application for a while now and moving to Cocoa can only mean good things. This explains why my experience with iTunes is much better in 10.5 than earlier versions.
  13. res1233 macrumors 65816


    Dec 8, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    You mean "it can". I'm sure they'll change the UI radically at some point, but they probably wanted to get the kinks out of what goes into simply porting the existing UI to Cocoa. Apple tends to value stability. It's like porting Mac OS X from PowerPC to Intel. It's the main reason Tiger lasted longer than the other versions of Mac OS.
  14. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    The reasoning is sound:

    1. iTunes needs a reorganization and new UI (it’s cluttered and bloated by the past; with the iOS device panes being especially cringeworthy with their nested non-sizable scrolling elements). Apple is not hesitant to change an app’s UI: look at iMovie, and iPad’s iOS 4 Music, and even the Finder over time.

    2. Rewriting the app as Cocoa would include building a UI.

    3. Why spend time/money to re-create the flawed (and quirky) old UI so precisely if you’re doing a rewrite anyway? It could be done, but it would be very odd.

    Therefore, the lack of UI change IS solid evidence for this not being a major rewrite, and this not Cocoa. So, with 64-bit being evidence that it is, we have a mystery.

    My guess: it’s still Carbon-based, even if third-party Carbon apps can’t be 64-bit. Maybe even some weird hybrid. But a new UI will come eventually.
  15. stormj, Jun 11, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011

    stormj macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2006

    Shouldn't this be trivially easy to figure out? Please explain to me if I'm wrong, but an application using Cocoa should be easy to detect by spending a few minutes in a debugger or even a hex editor, right?

    OK... iTunes 10.5 is referencing some AppKit classes if you search through it in a Hex Editor. Doesn't that mean it's at least partially Cocoa? (Other than nib files, I've never seen a reference to any NS* class in a Carbon app, and even then only NSObject -- not NSNumber, NSAutoreleasePool, NSBezierPath, etc. as you can find mucking around in iTunes 10.5)

    Anyway, other than whiners at Adobe, no one cares that Apple doesn't follow the same "rules" as outside developer, and, as such no one cares if they are making 64-bit Carbon apps.

    Update: Transitioning to Cocoa doesn't mean they would necessarily have to change a thing. I guess you can decide whether the version increment skipping 10.4 means that much.
  16. Nielsenius macrumors 6502a

    Apr 16, 2011
    I know this is only a beta, but I'm going to say this flat out: iTunes 10.5 is crap. Full screen mode is glitchy. Traffic lights don't perform properly when iTunes is behind another application (no scroll over effect). Not all of the scroll bars have that "rubber band/springy" effect. And, a host of other minor issues. Basically, it feels subpar for a native application.
  17. cmaier macrumors G3

    Jul 25, 2007
    Not only is it a beta, but it's a beta designed only for developers to test their stuff. Chill.
  18. benthewraith macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Miami, FL
    But I loved the trailers section of Front Row. :(
  19. swingerofbirch macrumors 68030

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    I think the iTunes Store needs a rewrite too (new design). And if you've checked out the new Purchases area in iTunes 10.3 in the iTunes Store, it's very clinical, database-like looking. Even worse is when you go to Account and look at your history of past purchases. The way things are organized doesn't make any sense to me. It's all a very clunky, bad web-like experience, versus having the benefit of being shrouded in software.

    The main sections of the iTunes Store are OK, but oftentimes the Buy button won't work for me if I use the hover-over feature, and I have to click on the item and then Buy (I've had this experience across a couple of Macs). I also feel like the design is a little too . . . I'm not sure, really! I know I liked the old iTunes Store design more, even though I can't remember it. It was less web-page like. It also didn't have the horizontal sliding elements which tend to trip me up when I'm scrolling.

    Also, Apple used to make some great iTunes Essentials collections that would stay on top of the most current music in various genres. They also had some great mixes with W Hotels for a while. If you go to iTunes Essentials now, it's a jumbled mess, and there's no way to sort through all the compilations well, and they don't seem to be making fresh mixes, they more do everything and the kitchen sink mixes hoping people will buy songs just because they were from the 90s, etc. They aren't like the hand-mixed selections they used to create and update on a regular basis. The most editorialized section of iTunes--which is something I look for: tastemakers—is the free songs of the week, where they introduce you to new stuff.

    Going to the iTunes Store now you're just bombarded with Billboard top 10 material.

    As far as the iTunes software I miss the old "Nuclear" looking burn button–I know it's old school. I also miss a dedicated button to turn on the visualizer.
  20. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Finder went from Carbon to Cocoa in OS X 10.6 without any major changes to the UI, just a few tweaks here and there. When they did say at WWDC 2008 is that it let them do things like play a video right on the desktop through the thumbnail without much hassle. My guess is that iTunes needs to be Cocoa-enbled in order to get a full screen view.
  21. RMo macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2007
    Iowa, USA
    These are my thoughts exactly. Apple doesn't provide a Carbon interface to 64-bit features of OS X ... but since they themselves wrote the OS, it doesn't mean they can't write one for themselves and use it in iTunes. This might also explain why it only runs like this on Lion; it's probably a lot of work to write and heavily dependent on very specific things about the underlying OS.
  22. ryanpfw macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2011
    Plex tends to screw up the tags and isn't as easy to set straight as iTunes, and anything I buy through the iTunes store won't play on either, so I'm hopeful I can use a single application.
  23. Kar98 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 20, 2007
    LOL, I had actually forgotten about the buttons. I've put them back to where they belong, into a horizontal arrangement, ages ago:

    Put this into terminal:

    defaults write full-window -1
  24. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
  25. arkmannj macrumors 65816


    Oct 1, 2003
    I'm thinking that it will become an App store purchase...

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