iTunes concept (Brye Kobayashi 008, MacBook Pro)

What is iTunes nowadays? Is it a jukebox application for Mac and Windows PCs, as it was conceived as such more than a decade ago? Is it the storefront software found on your iOS devices. A device management solution, perhaps?

Could it simply be a media player with a built-in music store? A video store, you say? Sure! A podcast store? That, too! A books store?

It’s all of these things combined, and then some more.

This is precisely why folks have grown increasingly frustrated by iTunes. And herein lies the problem with iTunes, as we know it today: whatever the app is these days, there’s no escaping the fact it’s become hopelessly bloated, counterintuitive and just way too cluttered.

That’s why UK-based designer Brye Kobayashi set out to lay out his vision for a total iTunes revamp, taking inspiration from iOS 7 while borrowing certain concepts from Apple’s stock Music app for the iPhone and iPad. It’s pure minimalism, looks gorgeous and I want it now!

Th product of this brainstorming is a clean experience that get rids of all the clutter to let you focus on the task at hand and encourage content discovery.

iTunes concept (Brye Kobayashi 005, headline)

Brye started off by identifying issues with the current iTunes, which in his mind mostly involve cluttered design that populates the interface with a bunch of quick links taking valuable space.

iTunes concept (Brye Kobayashi 006, Issues)

Small typeface, multiple scrolling lists and the confusing drop-down menu to switch libraries (which debuted in iTunes 11) are not helping either. Taking it all in, this is what he thinks device management in a revamped iTunes should look like.

iTunes concept (Brye Kobayashi 002, Device Management)

This is your Library.

iTunes concept (Brye Kobayashi 003, Library)

I also love the minimalist design of the Music view.

iTunes concept (Brye Kobayashi 004, Song View)

No matter how you look at it, iTunes is a mess.

The interface is just confusing and that’s saying a lot given Apple’s famous attention to detail and expertise in building sophisticated user interfaces. There are countless quick links and iTunes Store links, all vying for my attention so I eventually end up listening to my music using iTunes’s mini player because I hate interacting with the app unless absolutely necessary.

More images are available on Brye’s blog, including a nice iTunes Store overhaul.

So how do you like this concept?

And what’s your opinion about the current state of iTunes? Have countless updates and years of development backfired and should Apple simply redo the software from the ground up, as rumored?

  • Ara Rezaee

    iTunes is not about Tunes anymore, they should separate all those extra stuff like they did with iBooks

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Couldn’t agree more. We alread have iBooks new we need iTunes to only be a music store, a music app for music and a Videos app for TV Shows and Movies and an iPhone Management Utility of some sort. Why have everything in one app when it can be seperated into several smaller apps…

      • NaSty

        I completely understand what you mean but that would mean opening up each app to sync different stuff which can be a pain. Imagine opening iTunes to sync some new music you have, then an App Store to sync 1 or 2 apps, then you remember you’re going on a long journey and you’d like to read a book, so you open yet another app to sync 1 book.

      • Shaun Defense

        Gonna have to have some type of separate sync app that would pull from all these other apps. But I would like to just see iTunes for purchases and device management, and a sleek media player to view all your content.

      • Ara Rezaee

        You don’t need to open iBooks app in mac in order to sync books, iTunes does everything even though books are not in it anymore

    • Marcus Winchester

      Exactly. They need to split it down into Radio/Internet/Podcast/Music/Movies apps, yes more apps is annoying but if they can’t get this right, perhaps make a straight up iTunes homepage inside the application that links into the separate store areas

  • Tom

    Make it available as a theme please!

    • Impossible to do..

      • Jeffrey

        everything is possible:P

    • That will be a win win for all, but that’s against Apple’s policy; pretend like customers are sheeps who pay us to make decisions for them…

      • Incomparison to which major player? Can Windows Media player be themed so extremely as this mockup? No, then…

      • Yes it can (http://bit ly/1qZizEr), consider googling it (http://bit ly/1k9vjUh) instead of ignoramusly making claims.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Technically iTunes can be themed. I say technically since it requires a lot of work on the users behalf and only someone with the right amount of technical knowledge would be able to pull it off…

        The only reason iTunes (and iOS) can’t be themed though is because Apple likes to control the entire user experience. If you disagree with this then so be it (for the record I do too) but surely you can see where they’re coming from and why they do the things they do?

  • Matt

    There is minimalist and then there is plain lazy.

    • Alborz

      and this is the first.

  • Eli Montoya

    Its different, its new! Of course we like it!!! It’s just never going to actually happen..

  • Jeffrey

    My buddy Ian, AKA Jonathan on iDB made a freaking awesome beautiful OS XI concept. We both sent iDB mails and tweets about it but they refuse to even reply which is pretty sad because it’s a really awesome which deserves an iDB post. Even if they didn’t like it or didn’t have the time for it, they could have replied but they refuse to do that too. I have sent iDB an email via the contact page about a jailbreak tweak in the past but I think that they don’t even look at their mailboxes… I still hope iDB will make a post about this amazing concept. Here’s a link to the concept: http://postimg org/gallery/1er4119a/ (add a dot in the link). REMEMBER: ALL CREDITS GO TO IAN (Jonathan on iDB)!

    • itasara

      I tried the link even with the dot.. didn’t really bring me to your concept-just a list of places that didn’t make sense to me.

      • Jeffrey

        hmmmmm weird, are you sure you did it right? it works for me….

    • Kieran.Lillis

      They look really good!

      • Jeffrey

        i know! bet Ian would thank you;)

      • Jonathan

        Done. =P

      • Jeffrey

        hahah:P

      • Jonathan

        Thanks. 😀

    • Robin Keanu Keim

      I’m sorry, this concept probably took a lot of time to create but it looks terrible!
      I hope OS X is never going to look like this… :/

      • Jeffrey

        oh lol, well i guess it’s taste, i didn’t make it myself but i love it:)

      • Robin Keanu Keim

        Of course everybody has a different taste but for me this just looks to much like iOS 7! Not that there is something wrong with iOS 7, I absolutely love it but for the Mac that would be a far too drastic redesign… I like the Menu bar and Siri on the Mac would be just awesome but the Icons, the notifications and the calendar app… Its way to much transparency… there is like no texture at all :/

      • Matt

        I swear if they make square icons on the Mac.
        I’m either switching to windows
        Or not updating because iOS 7 still looks boring with its square icons and no tweak on cydia can make it look better.
        So I simply told myself if I’m not satisfied with iOS 8 and iPhone 6, then Sony Xperia Z2/3 here I come. (because I hate the way that the concepts based off rumors look like)

      • Jeffrey

        hahah well im very curious about WWDC when os 10.10/XI will be announced, i personally think it WILL be a drastic redesign just like ios 7… but well see, nobody’s sure yet

    • Hi. I do get all emails that are being sent to iDB, and I chose not to reply unless more information is needed, or simply to thank the person if we decide to use some of the information that was sent to us. We receive dozens of emails a day, and I can tell you that it would take a lot of time to simply reply with a canned response. That’s the way I handle emails, and that’s what allows me to focus on more important tasks during the day.

      I had a look at the concept you sent. It looks great, but I think it is unrealistic. The app icons for example are not consistent with the icons you see in iOS 7. I believe that when Apple overhauls OSX, some of the icons will be similar to what you get on iOS.

      Again, it’s a great concept, but I’m not sure it has enough. Of course, this is more of a personal preference than a hard fact, and many people might disagree with me.

      • Jeffrey

        Ah alright, then I understand. I thought iDB emails were just being ignored, maybe you guys should find a solution to this so that people who send emails won’t get disappointed etc. Ofcourse I understand if you don’t like the concept and I don’t expect youguys to make a post about it, I just found you should considerate it. But now I know you did consider it, I respect your choice not to create a post about it. Do you want me to delete/edit my previous comment?

        Thanks for the comment!

      • You don’t have to delete your comment.

      • Jonathan

        Hi Sebastien.

        This isn’t a hate comment or stuff like that. But, just so you know, I’m totally fine with the fact you’d rather not post it. I didn’t make it for attention, just for enjoyment. I respect your decision, and I’m glad you like (most) of the concept.

        Have a nice day. =)

  • itasara

    Yes Yes Yes, I-tunes needs to be fixed and revamped. Esspecially since the last system or so I have been having problems finding my songs organizing my songs, saving my songs, etc. I would like to be able to save and use itunes on other devices. I’m always worried when something goes awry on my older computer that even with my backups I’ll lose all my music. One more thing, I had to change my password some time ago and itunes will not merge both passwords and both email addresses I used. This too is something I have to constantly remember whenever I upgrade. I it would be so much easier to merge both email and passwords together. I like the example you showed here–easy to read, neater, more organized and less clutter.

    • John

      FYI, iTunes.
      Not I-tunes or itunes.
      If you’re going to talk about a product, try and learn how to spell it correctly.

      You can save your iTunes and use it on other devices, it’s called iTunes Match.

      You didn’t just create two iTunes accounts, you created two Apple IDs. This links in WITH iTunes but is not strictly for iTunes.
      You should learn the difference.

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    I don’t care about it’s design. A new design would be nice but they seriously need to do some work under the hood. iTunes is seriously slow and I don’t mean slow as in slow I mean slow as in it crashes and lags every five seconds and is at times unusable…

    • jp2002

      Under the hood its a total mess.

  • Andres

    GAGA <3

  • Keith Neal

    Looks amazing!

  • therealjjohnson

    Yes.

  • itasara

    don’t worry about the link. I tried another one you had in your discription and it came out fine. I know this isn’t the exact same comment for the discussion but it is related.. the trend to get away from cd’s and dvd’s (perhaps) I think is sprited by Apple and I really too have objections to that. I sing and I use cd’s for learning new music and practicing at home or in my car. When my superdrive died I bought an external one and that of course is the trend and it worked but my computer didn’t recognize it so the only way I could get a song into itunes was to drag the song onto my desktop and then load it from itunes.. I don’t want to buy a new computer yet and the newones don’t have cd drives in them. I do object to that. Call me “old” and “old fashioned” if you want, but it is very inconvenient not to have it. So I had a replacment drive added to my computer and other stuff and plan to keep it going as long as possible.. Not all the music I listen to can be downloaded from the app store or most other places… so I need that internal drive. That is my rant for the day!! I maybe wrong but with the new mavericks system, I’m not sure when itunes is really uploading or not.

  • Chun-Li aka ThunderThighs

    Just design it then it’s not hard to theme iTunes.

  • 空白

    You’re hired.

  • @sexyhamthing

    thats the wrong design language for a desktop… the whole windows 8 fiasco?

  • Biscuit

    Mmm minimalism. I hope they overhaul it. And I hope Mac OS is changed too.

  • Donovan

    I actually like it. But I dont like the way music is sorted, as mine is by date added instead of alphabetical.

  • Donovan

    [this comment was deleted]
    My phone is tripping, sorry for the spam

  • mav3rick

    Bloated software useful only to manage, backup / restore devices.

    • Ex mea sententia

      It’s super bloated and doesn’t run very well in windows.

  • Umut Bilgiç

    I just want to be able to drag&drop content becouse to me, the file management system is so bad with itunes. The store? Not bad imo

  • nice

  • Your Mother

    who cares what it looks like, its slow as hell so Id rather they did something to speed it up and fix those “this iPad failed to sync” errors.