Itunes quality deterioration?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by tmcdanel, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. tmcdanel macrumors newbie

    tmcdanel

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    #1
    This is a question about process.

    There has been a lot of discussion in Mac/OSX sites about how bad the new version of iTunes is, so i will not add to that list. But what strikes me is that each consecutive version is worse.

    Many people remember the early versions of iTunes as easy to use, easy to learn, intuitive... but after reaching a level of friendliness it seemed to deteriorate. Now doing simple things like filtering a list of songs that meet a description (artist, title, etc.) you get non-intuitive graphic icons that need to be manipulated by control clicks... creating playlists... I find it easier just to go to the Finder.

    I saw the same process with iMovie, becoming more intuitive, easier and easier to use, till a 12 year old could sit down and make a good video with no assistance, then after version 6 or so quality deteriorates, becoming more and more like Final Cut until it requires taking a class to use.
    My question is:

    What is the process and forces that causes generations of software to reach a peak then to get more unfriendly and less useful?

    Why isnt this caught by focus groups who try beta versions and ask "What is this?" Do good designers get promoted into other challenges and get replaced with less competent engineers who want to "make it better"? This sounds a bit like the Peterson Principle.

    As an added note, i originally posted the questions in Apple Discussions iTunes. It was deleted within hours "... because it contained non-constructive rants or complaints" but i certainly mean it as a sincere question about cultural process. I understand their concern with marketing strategies on their Forum site but i think the fact the thread was deleted explains something. I suspect that all software is subject to version pejoration but that it is far more common in large corporations which cannot have real constructive conversations with their customer base.
     
  2. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    I don't think iTunes is the only software by Apple that has suffered quality deterioration. Saying that, I think iTunes 11 isn't as bad as version 10.
     
  3. decafjava macrumors 68000

    decafjava

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    Geneva
    #3
    This. Besides, personally I think iTunes 11 is a huge improvement over previous versions, and it runs very well on my 3-year old Win 7 machine which is not supposed to happen according to many.

    That said, I have little experience with other Apple software except ios and some of the default apps like Safari.
     
  4. tmcdanel thread starter macrumors newbie

    tmcdanel

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    #4
    Why?

    Roadbloc and Decafjava, i certainly respect your opinions. But as counter evidence for my low opinion, look at this mediocre review in Macworld then read the comments to it. The large majority are very negative.

    Macworld: iTunes 11 cool but jarring

    But as Roadbloc indicated, this is not the only quality detorating software. My central question is Why? Why does software generally tend to peak, then get less user friendly over the years?
     
  5. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Out of sheer curiosity, I installed iTunes on my XP craptop to see how it performed. I was pleasantly surprised. It was smooth and responsive, only taking about 10mb of RAM. I know for a fact iTunes 10 wouldn't have run very well, especially since it had trouble running on my gaming rig (before I uninstalled it out of frustration).

    Sorry tmcdanel but I couldn't disagree with you more. iTunes 11 is the first iTunes in a long time that has impressed me. The UI is simple, it is lightweight and is surprisingly snappy on older hardware. The article you posted mostly concerns UI changes. The UI change is something the cluttered mess iTunes was, badly needed in my opinion.

    I am actually considering going back to using iTunes as my main music software now.
     

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  6. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #6
    IMO the "Flaw" in iTunes 11 is that Apple made significant UI changes. This scares people.

    Personally I find the new iTunes 11 UI to be a great improvement over iTunes 10, and the performance is certainly better. I applaud the removal of whiz-bang features that don't actually do anything (Visualizer). I also prefer the simpler presentation without the sidebar, but I can understand the opposite opinion on that point. Fortunately sidebar can be activated with a setting.

    One thing on Windows that I'm not fond of is the elimination of the menu bar (which can of course be turned on in settings). There are too many features not available elsewhere to keep that hidden.

    It's not perfect, but there's always hope for iTunes 12 :)
     
  7. tmcdanel thread starter macrumors newbie

    tmcdanel

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    #7
    FreakinEurekan, i totally agree and you are a Fearless User. It is true my problem is the opposite, i am a luddite when it comes to User Interface (UI) changes. I do not want to spend my time learning unimportant things to do what i could do without thinking in the previous version. I found creating a playlist from search results especially problematic. Adding functionality, increasing efficiency and reducing RAM footprint is great, just don't scare me when you do it. :)

    As to the sidebar, that was the biggest annoyance and i appreciate it that you cued me to look on the View menu. I am less afraid today.
     

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