I’ve never learned how to expertly play an instrument but I can say with confidence that I am a very avid music listener. I enjoy many kinds ranging from alternative rock to death metal, from hip hop to rap, but most especially I enjoy the classics. In the older days, avid music listeners would collect records and in more recent years tapes and cd’s. Today, much of music is distributed digitally. Websites such as yahoo, myspace, and pandora allow you to check music out streaming through the internet. Other more mainstream services, such as iTunes and Window’s Media Center allow you to download music and save it directly on the hard drive of your PC’s (or Mac). My personal favorite music application is Apple’s iTunes, though they allow for much more than just music.
The quickness, organization, accuracy, and simplicity of iTunes provide an avid music listener with the digital shelfs for their extensive musical library while also acting as a lightning fast librarian. The side bar on the left is the starting point for anyone using iTunes. The topmost section allows you to choose which media library to access. The next section down allows you to easily browse to the iTunes distribution store or view a list of purchased items from the iTunes store. The next section down allows you to view and even listen to music from people using the same network who have allowed sharing and have iTunes running. If you plug in your iPod, the next section would be the section that allows you to access your iPod and the final section at the bottom provides you with ’smart’ playlists and allow you to create your own playlists.
Each section is clearly seperated from one anther by the different categorie’s names in all- caps and bold font. The individual folders within each category are clearly defined by a simple name and even have small icons to help illustrate the function or content of the folder. The side bar allows the user to, with one click, easily navigate through their entire library of music, movies, TV Shows, browse for more to buy, listen to your neighbors, and create awesome playlists along with utilizing the ’smart playlists’ provided in the application. The amount that can get done via the sidebar is unbelieveable considering only how small and not very distracting the sidebar is. Simple design, clear diction, and high functionality make the iTunes sidebar and iTunes itself the media application of choice for the modern day avid music listener, whether you have an iPod or not!