Peter Kafka

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Apple Delays iTunes Refresh

Apple surprised lots of people yesterday. Here’s a smaller bit of unexpected news: The company is delaying the update of its iTunes software.

Back in September, Apple said an iTunes overhaul would be out in October. Now it’s pushing that back a month.

Here’s spokesman Tom Neumayr’s take: “The new iTunes is taking longer than expected and we wanted to take a little extra time to get it right. We look forward to releasing this new version of iTunes with its dramatically simpler and cleaner interface and seamless integration with iCloud before the end of November.”

The obvious question is whether the delay is related to the company’s management changes, including the ouster of top executive Scott Forstall. Neumayr declined to answer that one. But it’s worth pointing out that Forstall wasn’t in charge of iTunes — it falls under media boss Eddy Cue.

On the other hand, Apple’s last major software refresh led to a public apology from Tim Cook. So it’s reasonable to guess that Apple would take extra care to get this one into shape.

Here’s what the new software is supposed to include:

  • Better layout
  • Improved performance
  • Easier playlist creation
  • Full-library search
  • Improved iCloud integration
  • A completely redesigned mini-player
  • A full-window interface on your Mac or PC, a new library view and an expandable album view

No word on whether the software will require less storage and computing power on Apple’s devices, which has been a longtime user complaint.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus