Is iTunes the most neglected program on the Mac? [Updated]
I like most people no doubt, have a select few essential apps that launch on startup with my Mac. Recently, these have included the Mac Twitter app, Spotify, iMessage and the fabulous Reeder for Mac which is unquestionably the greatest Google Reader client ever invented by man and upon which, in combination with its i-device counterparts, I have become entirely reliant.
That just leaves the big three. Namely Mail, Calendar and iTunes.
My need for Mail and Calendar should be fairly obvious to everyone but whilst sat at my laptop the other day, I found myself questioning whether I actually need iTunes open and if, in fact, I need it at all. I have no music on either my iPhone or iPad (Spotify playlists take up the vast proportion of my iPhone's storage and I only have a 16GB iPad so if I need music then I stream it), Photostream is doing it's thing and any apps that I buy, calendar entries that I make or emails that I send are back at home on my Mac long before I am thanks to iCloud which, although still not perfect by any means, is now well on it's way to being indispensable since the release of Mountain Lion.
Back in the good ol' days of the mid naughties, iTunes was an essential tool, the hub for music and by extension, life. I would plug my iPod in nightly, update my playlists, source missing artwork of the internet and continue with my gloriously pointless endeavour to give every song a star rating (yes, I really am that cool). I have a fairly substantial music collection, I won't go into details but let's just say that it wouldn't even nearly fit on my old 80GB iPod classic. I'm even starting to question why I bother keeping it all though as pretty much everything in my library is also on Spotify and yes, I know that there are exceptions (Metallica, I'm looking at you) but I can cope.
So, where does that leave iTunes?
Languishing, it seems. Years of feature creep, myriad generations of i-device, OS changes, the advent of iCloud and the Ping debacle have left it a bloated, illogical and occasionally downright unfathomable mess which is - for a company that strives for simple to the point of invisible - unacceptable. I put it to you, dear reader, that the software that made apple the company that it is today, the very fulcrum to it's success has been abandoned.
Here's the thing though, it really shouldn't be. iTunes could be great again but the next version can't be evolutionary, it must be revolutionary. It must be stripped down, simplified, in the cloud and above all modern.
I was trying to avoid this post turning into "list the things you want from iTunes" , but I suppose essentially that's what I'm after. Personally, I think Apple should use their mountains of cash to buy Spotify (or similar music streaming service) although I doubt it will happen and please God let them resist the temptation to skeuomorph-icize the hell out of it because that would just be horrible.
What do you think?
Update: If today's discovery is to be believed then we are most likely going to be getting a new version of iTunes after all. It remains to be seen whether Apple have similar desires for the future of the program as those who have commented. Here's hoping the answer is yes!