A month following their original announcement, Apple was able to finally roll out their newest edition of iTunes. It features many new aspects that seek to create an ease of use for customers, and remain competitive amongst a myriad of media clients that are available for the general public. Apple hopes that with their newest update, it will inspire users to continue purchasing Apple hardware and elevate the level of sharing through iCloud services.
Some of the newest features include a completely redesigned app, a new store, the ability to play purchases from iCloud, “Up Next” (a way for users to glance at upcoming songs in a playlist), new mini player, improved search functions, playback syncing, and a redesigned desktop icon. The redesigned functionality allows users to better organize their music, make playlists, and grab recommended songs and albums from the store. The new iTunes features a much more aesthetically pleasing look that has done away with the old sidebars and now has an “edge-to-edge” design. The store is further integrated into your own library as users can view their history and previously previewed media. Additionally, with the redesign, the iCloud integration service no longer feels like a “tacked-on” product.
Now, all Apple has to do is further increase their competitive advantage. Some of their biggest competitors, Rhapsody, Spotify, and Grooveshark, all offer features that can make them more accessible for users. Spotify seems to be the top competitor for Apple due to its easy-to-use software that allow users to quickly transport and share information. The largest draw for Apple’s apps and products
is that they are already integrated with their hardware. Thus, one’s MacBook or iPhone is preloaded with the appropriate software, and upon turning on the device one is ready to access their multimedia. On the other hand, Spotify requires a few extra steps, but it still has Apple in its hand with the overall popularity it has gained within the software sharing programs for their mobile and desktop apps. Apple is hoping to change this path with a better design that emphasizes images and artwork over a spreadsheet diagram.
What’s the next step for Apple’s media player? Will they be able to compete with Spotify’s optimized media sharing programs?