The conception bit looks cool but the execution is really poor. A few points:
"Chrome accent unnecessary" You can't just claim things as unnecessary. There are probably very good reasons as to why there is a volume slider there. What if your hardware buttons aren't working? If you're referring to the actual chrome texture—well that's subjective. It's part of the look and feel of the app and there is nothing wrong with it.
"Orange highlights don't match blue with blue pallet in Cover Flow" Again—you're taking this far too seriously. There is nowhere that says you can only use one color. Nowhere. The orange works well on the main screen because it has good contrast with the generally dark UI. Which means it'll always be visible no matter what's in the background.
Album art not centered Look, this is just pure designer pleasing nonsense. I'm sure nobody who buys an iPhone checks to see if the album art is centered. There's nothing wrong with focusing on minor details, because they do make the overall product better, but you have to make sure you're spending time on the right things.
Small touch targets This just seems like speculation, or something that happens to you. If there was actually an issue with a large enough user-base, it wouldn't take Apple a long time to release a fix. This is a non issue.
Bottom nav takes up useful space This isn't an issue at all. Most iOS apps are generally within the same height range for the tabbar. It's just your opinion that it takes up too much space. There is nothing wrong with that, unless you're forcing people to agree with your opinion.
It still feels like the same Music app When you have a product that is used by millions of people around the world, you have to be cautious with every feature decision you make. Look at the botched state of Windows 8. Great—they pioneered 'Flat Design' but at the expense of alienating their users. A lot of them. I'm sure every single designed at Apple wants to redesign the Music app but you can't do an overnight design mid-release cycle and expect everything to be okay. Everything has a cost.
Your Prototype: 1. Almost nobody uses the landscape feature in Music. It's cool to look at and show off, but it's essentially unusable. You're whole concept is based on the idea that people use albums to play music. Sometimes that's true, but mostly people will look at the song list and jump to a specific song. 9 times out of 10.
In a perfect world where everyone bought music, everyone would have album art and everything would look pretty. That's just not the case. People download music even if they buy music regularly. Downloaded music usually has no embedded album art and generally shitty meta-data.
The progress bar in your design is too thin to be usable.
Using a hamburger icon for a) unnecessary b) a cop-out c) looks the same as the move indicator (in the up next popover). The way the tab-bar is laid out in the current Music app is perfect. You have the main sections, and a more tab where you can customize your tab-bar. Everybody has different preferences. For some people, Playlists are more important than Albums, and they can easily change it.
Apart from a few buttons, you're using flat colors in the app. Not only does this look pretty ugly, it also does not match the rest of the design language in iOS.
Your design doesn't account for iTunes Match / iCloud.
The Play/Next/Prev buttons are way too big. I think at the risk of creating a touch target too small, you've created one too large, which would likely have the same negative effect (You'll touch something you don't want to).
On the whole 'Flat Design' thing Stop following trends. Everything you're doing now is going to be outdated very very soon. It's only a matter of time. Flat design, apart from being a made up term, is terribly unrealistic in any practical application. It only works for whitespace heavy, type heavy, simple websites. Trying to cram 'Flat design' into a user interface is a recipe for disaster.
An excellent response. I'm replying to put my weight behind point 8.
You lost me at Hamburger Basement.
This might be the first "concept" that doesn't botch the iOS design, even though you had to throw in the f word. I'm a fan of the re-design, the additions to the Music app, and the gestural navigation (wish there was more). The only thing that bothers me is that the menu navigation feels like a ripoff of Facebook's iOS menu.
Despite being a decently well-made concept, and trust me most of them aren't, the author lost all credibility when they wrote "flat" in big, 200px type.
Also, they failed to recognize that many people, especially those illegally downloading music, probably do not have album art for every single album. Therefore, the proposed album grid devoid of contextual information like album title or artist falls flat. That's the level of detail that takes an idea from being merely passable to great.
While I agree that having no padding between album art is a bad idea. The default interface for the current version of iTunes is primarily cover art. There is of couse different ways to view the data (as really any music app ought to) but it relies heavily on cover art.
I'm not saying a grid of album art is bad—those are actually great. I'm saying that stripping out the album title and artist name is removing critical information to the user, which is what the designer of the concept did.
Although I commend this kid's effort, almost all of his arguments are straw man.
I thought this was really excellent and well considered concept.
Particularly liked the 'Timeline' idea, I'd certainly use that feature instead of Cover Flow if I had the choice.