I downloaded iTunes 7 the other day and played around with it. It was an evolutionary step versus revolutionary, but it had one thing I really liked, a grouping of media.
I like the general layout, with direct links to my music, my recorded TV, movies, and podcasts. Now I can quickly get to any of the meta-groups of media quickly and intuitively.
I also updated my recently bought 5G iPod (30GB) to the latest firmware (1.2) and I noticed a striking difference in interfaces:
Instead of similar grouping as iTunes, it has options like Music, Photos, Videos, with submenus underneath. While it’s “logical”, this inconsistency is ripe for confusion. Take podcasts for example. They are under both Music (as Podcasts) and Videos (as Video Podcasts). Even more confusing, if you can select a video podcast under Music and it will play, but without the video, but you can’t select an audio-only podcast while under the Video Podcasts. Yes, you can “customize” your main menu, but you can’t add Movies or TV Shows to the main interface, only videos. And if you add Podcasts, you get the previously mentioned “audio only” version of the video podcasts and there’s no “Video Podcast” option for the main menu.
When I’m in iTunes, I can quickly see all of my TV shows. I can even create a playlist that has all of my videos (movie, TV, and Video Podcast). I would think that a more consistent interface would be:
Music Movies TV Shows Podcast (Audio and Video) Photos Playlists Extras Settings
It seems to me that Apple would want to have consistency between iTunes and the iPod, but it’s almost like there is no overseeing authority to do just that.