iTunes has been around for 10 years and will need a few things to make it another 10 years.
Apple’s media hub iTunes started out as little more than something you used to load your iPod, making it a simple bridge. After ten years, it’s gotten more complicated with videos, audiobooks, and a music store, and, at one point, it even messed with your music collection if you didn’t buy it from Apple.
In short, iTunes has become just another online store we could care less about. Apple’s iPod bridge is now carrying too much traffic.
iTunes needs to be re-simplified. Make some other software to handle the store, videos, audiobooks, and the digital kitchen sink, and let iTunes just handle music and photos. We don’t need extra apps to handle other things just to load our iPods. Some of us bought the iPod Shuffle and don’t feel the need to have a media hub just to put a day’s worth of music on something smaller than a smartphone.
The iTunes cloud was a nice idea, a backup for the music on your computer. However, streaming music has become too much of a side quest rather than something you want. iTunes Match has a subscription fee, where other apps on your smartphone, such as Pandora and Spotify, let you listen to music for free, although extra features or elimination of advertising will still cost you. Streaming music doesn’t need to be that complicated or pricey.
Syncing iTunes with your music collection can be a headache when you have an extensive collection. Sometimes we don’t want to sync the entire batch. Sometimes we just want a small percentage of what we have available, and we don’t want to have to go and uncheck every single song we didn’t want on the iPod in the first place. And let us know when the song is no longer there instead of giving us false hope trying to play or load it.
Streaming new music free isn’t something we want to navigate a labyrinth of menus to accomplish. If it’s available, give us a notification tab and let us skip right to it.
All in all, follow the old rule and keep it simple.
What do you think iTunes needs to do to make itself worthwhile for another 10 years?