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Thoughts about iTunes 8.0

Installation - Still takes way too long. I won't take the time to elaborate on the specs of my computer, suffice to say that it is well capable. Installation is taking well into the seven minute mark at the point of this post, and shows no sign of stopping soon.  iTunes is a notorious resource hog in Windows, and this installations bears the subtle markings of a kindred spirit. 

And for that matter, about progress bars; why have them anymore? I cannot remember the last program that used one honestly.  This particular progress bar has emptied and filled a dozen or so times since I started installing, whether to tell me that it is computing space requirements, copying new files, removing old files, or *shudder* nothing at all; it's meaningless to the point of intolerable. Note to programmers, or Microsoft, if it is their doing: give me one progress bar that shows the entire wait progress. That'd be great!

Start up - Ooh! A new EULA. Five entire pages by the looks of it, including verbiage about something random and ill-named called "Kerbango Tuning Service". I won't read it; don't care enough to. Click Agree, move on.

Otherwise, it seems to have started up a tad faster than previous versions. I will remain cautiously optimistic about future beginnings. At this moment, iTunes is unusable to me due to the fact that it began creating artwork thumbnails, which undoubtedly is for the new browsing feature of the program. The program does seem to be taking an inordinate amount of my system resources now, as nothing else will really open up for the time. The program is also hijacking the focus of my desktop from time to time, a behavior I dislike severely.  Come to think of it, a behavior that occurs whenever syncing my iPhone. 

Inteface - Not bad. Not bad at all. I like the new grid view. I suspect I'll use this instead of coverflow from now on, which always labored unnecessarily on my machine. No other obvious cosmetic changes, which is fine. If I had my way, most of the changes would be under the hood, increasing performance ten-fold! But hah hah, I live in a naive world. There is still the subject of the new visualizations.

The "Genius Sidebar" is present on the right side of the screen, beckoning me to try out the new service that creates smarter playlists based upon the music that I already have in my library.

I'll be honest and admit that I am curious to try out this new feature, as I have been looking to reintroduce myself to my own music again, not having listened to it in months. It's amazing to me how Apple repeatedly paves the way for music loves to enjoy their catalog even more. Off to try it out, impressions after I'm done.

Side note: I am required to "opt-in" to the Genius sidebar, which stated will send information about my iTunes library to Apple. This particular disclaimer had to be read. Seems ok, so I press on.

Genius sidebar - Halted in my tracks, unfortunately. Well, not halted so much, but delayed significantly. Genius is now gathering information about my library, and by my rough calculations, will take about 10 full minutes to complete. What is so difficult about analyzing my collection of music, I wonder? And that, with much dismay, is only step one of three.

All three steps now concluded, I am prompted to select any track within my library to see related music within the Genius sidebar. I selected a few albums at first, such as Coldplay's newest "Viva la Vida", and David Gray's "White Ladder (my own personal favorite). My impressions? Underwhelmed at the moment. It's not really recommending any other music within my own library, only offering to complete various albums for money or suggesting I purchase tracks from the iTunes Music Store. That's all well and fine, and I may use that when I am a rich man and can afford music willy-nilly.

The new visualizer - Worth the price of admission, which for me was a full hour of my time. It's beautiful, with spinning spheres and dancing ribbons of light. Every now and again the floating orbs wander about, rotating causally in random orbit. The best part? Unlike other visualizers, which only partially move to the sound of the music, these graphics actually react to each and every beat and grow larger as the sounds reach crescendo. I love it. Will certainly use it.




Overall, it's an iTunes application that deserves it's 8.0 designation, because that's my rating out of 10.


I hate summer colds.  Unlike the other-yearly varieties, it takes me weeks to get over the summer cold.  In the winter, I'd be laid out flat in under 24 hours; in the summer, I feel the familiar scratch in the back of the throat for days.  It's as if the virus is casually walking down the street and waving as he passes by.  Very non-committal, yet very effective none-the-less.

Woke up this morning feeling exceptionally murky.  The illness had given up on the congestion and otherwise sneezy behavior, and had moved with bravado to my lungs.  This is the worst part.  May it depart quickly.

Otherwise, um...I can't really complain too much.  The weekend passed by without even a "hello".  It scares me how fast the weeks fly by when you have a baby around.  She turned two months old just a few days ago, thereby receiving her latest batch of shots.  I am lucky enough to have never been at an appointment such as that for either of my children, therefore understand this reports is coming second-hand. 

The wife mentioned that little SaraJane whimpers whenever you lay as much as a tender brushing against her poor thigh where the injections were.  With Sumner, you wouldn't have ever known there was a shot given.  Just proves the point that no two children are alike.  But, perhaps my mind has simply clouded over during the past four years, so that I do not remember Sumner's tendencies clearly enough. 

In five short days, I begin my leave of absence from work.  I expect to spend much of the time with the children, but I also wish to focus more effort here while I have the time.  I approach the end of the week with much anticipation. 

Pretty short post today, but the cold has taken most of my mental powers away for now.  Thanks for visiting, and be sure to visit the Moblah'g for good measure. 

Click here for pictures of SaraJane

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