How you'd split iTunes?

over 6 years ago from , Maker of http://podrover.com

Let's say you are tasked with the following: "split iTunes on Mac OS X in smaller apps".

How you'd split it up?


  • Riho KrollRiho Kroll, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    I feel like one of the biggest issues with iTunes is that it is also the place where you control your phone. Syncing your Phone should be a part of the core OS, and integrated deeply with it (like Watch is integrated with the iPhone, but going even further than that). Something as simple as putting a photo on your phone should be a right-click option in the OS by default (if it isn't already, I haven't used OS X in a while now), through the cable, wifi or bluetooth.

    In addition to that, you can then also make browsing for apps be web based. Browsing apps is always going to be better on a bigger screen, so if you can browse for apps and install them through a convenient web interface, you'd also solve a lot of the discovery issues that plaques the app store (how many cool, but totally undiscovered apps are out there?). I never browse for apps on my phone, simply because it's so inconvenient on a small screen.

    Apart from that, iTunes also has things in there that just don't belong in a music player (like books for example).

    Movies and TV shows can also be moved to another app (hey, what about that videos app that nobody uses on the iPhone?). It might seem a bit broken up into pieces, and all over the place (iTunes + Music Store, App Sync + App Store, Video + Video Store, Books + Book store), but not if you think of 'what I own' and 'everything' as just a simple toggle. Especially since Apple is moving toward streaming now anyway.

    So then we end up with Music, Apps, Video and Books as separate silos, which is the most straight forward way of handling it in my view.

    13 points
    • Nick LooijmansNick Looijmans, over 6 years ago

      I think you've nailed it. This is pretty much what Apple is doing on iOS, but then for OS X.

      0 points
    • Matt CastilloMatt Castillo, over 6 years ago

      That syncing sounds so perfect. Way better than the whole iTunes/AirDrop mess.

      0 points
    • Daniel ArcherDaniel Archer, over 6 years ago

      I agree to all of your points above. I'd also add, App Discovery would be more amazing on OS X if it supported Handoff, so you could browse on the Mac, and either "Send to iPhone" like Maps, or use Handoff and go right to the app on the App Store.

      I'd personally love to see a separate Video app.

      2 points
    • Jacob TaylorJacob Taylor, over 6 years ago

      Now what do you do for Windows users?

      0 points
      • Joseph KeenanJoseph Keenan, over 6 years ago

        Couldn’t you do the same thing, just without the phone+OS integration?

        0 points
      • Riho KrollRiho Kroll, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

        I would do the same. Just bite the bullet of having to develop a few Windows apps. It's better for their ecosystem as a whole. Also good for performance, since not everything is bloated into one application.

        But since we're not talking about default apps here, I would probably add a Google App launcher style container for all the apps, where you can also get search access to all the different content across all the apps.

        This could then also act as a dropzone for adding files to your phone or the iCloud.

        Google App Launcher

        0 points
    • Laurens SpangenbergLaurens Spangenberg, over 6 years ago

      Exactly this. The only thing I'd add is to have the syncing feature be integrated directly into Finder. This way, one would be being able to transfer files between mobile Apple devices straight from Finder instead of dragging and dropping to and from iTunes.

      0 points
  • Denis RojcykDenis Rojcyk, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    I've been thinking about the same topic for last couple of days. Every solution I've come up with would affect more apps than just iTunes.

    Let's look at the bigger picture here. OS X has Mac App Store, iBooks (iBooks store), iTunes (iTunes Store, iOS sync, App Store, iTunes U, Podcasts).

    It would make sense to make iTunes music only app. So basically iTunes with music only store. That would leave us with iOS sync app, App Store, iTunes U, Podcasts. iOS sync app could easily be a stand alone app. iTunes U and podcasts have a very similar type of content. So they might work together in one Podcast app but since iTunes U have PDFs and other stuff, it would probably need a separate app.

    By making iTunes U a separate app, with audio, video and pdf content, it could have its very own store, with free and paid courses, exercises and other education material.

    So now we have MAS, iTunes, Academy™, Podcasts, iSync™, iBooks and App Store. But having a separate App Store app for iOS does not make much sense. It would have to be in iSync™ (not making any sense either) or in MAS app called just app store. But that would bring a lot of confusion.

    My idea then was to make a Store app. With Mac apps, iOS apps, music, podcasts, courses and books. With bundles like "Become a mind mapper pro" course. Containing Academy™ course, with some books from iBooks, and maybe even Mac or iOS apps. With the rest of the apps designed for content consumption.

    But that would require A LOT OF code rewriting, making it almost impossible to implement from both frontend and backend side. On the other hand it might serve as a design exercise well :]

    3 points
  • Patrick SmithPatrick Smith, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    I would integrate the syncing into the Finder like others have said.

    Possibly the iTunes to iOS app file syncing could be a segment of iCloud Drive in the Finder. You then can specify if you want it synced to the cloud, or just these particular devices.

    I would merge Videos and QuickTime player into one app.

    I would have the ability the buy Mac and iOS apps in the one app 'App Store'. Buying an iOS app automatically syncs it to the devices that have opted into automatic downloads.

    iTunes with its store I would keep as an app for purchasing and organising media of any type excepts apps. It would have similar syncing like the above additions for file syncing. Just specify which devices you like to see this content on.

    Music playing would become a dedicated app focused on playback, with Apple Music integration. Optional controls like iOS’s Control Center would appear next to the Music app’s Dock icon. This would be an opt in API for any app to be able to control the now playing source like iOS.

    0 points
  • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, over 6 years ago

    the way Google Play divides it makes a lot more sense.

    • music
    • books
    • tv/movies
    • games
    • apps
    • newstand
    0 points
  • Spencer HoltawaySpencer Holtaway, over 6 years ago

    Movies & TV. Music. App Store. etc. So sick of iCloud trying to download TV shows to iTunes on my work mac whenever it feels like it.

    0 points
  • Terry OTerry O, over 6 years ago

    One store, then different apps to consume each form of media e.g. Music (iTunes), books (iBooks), podcasts (Podcasts app), video (iPlayer LOL) etc.

    Works pretty well on iOS, just need to merge all the stores (that front page would be fun!)

    0 points