Columnist Charles Haddad, who covers the Mac platform for
, gives a big thumbs-up to Apple’s new iTunes. He
writes, “the new digital-music player, part of a plan to make the Mac an entertainment hub, is easier to use than its many competitors.”
iTunes is Apple’s “jukebox” application that was released at the recent Macworld Expo in San Francisco. The MP3 encoding, playback and jukebox software also records CDs and generates visual representations of the music being played.
Haddad writes that iTunes software trumps popular rivals such as MusicMatch Jukebox and SoundJam. One of the reasons, he opines, is that iTunes was written by SoundJam developer Jeff Robbin, whom Apple hired away from Casady & Greene, where he developed SoundJam. Robbin reworked his original program into something even better, said the columnist.
“What makes iTunes so much better? After all, it does the same thing as its rivals, copying songs off CDs, transferring music to MP3 players, and playing streaming music off the Internet,” Haddad writes. “Where iTunes excels is in look and ease of use. Its brushed metal motif, identical to sister programs Sherlock and QuickTime, is elegant and simple to navigate. And iTunes is by far the easiest software-music player to use.”
He added that applications such as iTunes represent Apple at its best.
“When it’s in a groove, the company has a gift for sniffing out geeky new technology that can win mass appeal,” Haddad writes. “Then Apple packages it in a way that even my 60-year-old computer-phobic mother-in-law could love and use. And that’s exactly what the company has done with iTunes. Apple’s iTunes also illustrates a hard truth about personal technology: You don’t have to be first to end up leading the pack. A Johnny-come-lately to digital music, Apple now will indeed take the lead on the Mac platform, propelled by the power of its name. Users who have yet to experiment with digital-music players are going to be more likely to try one out from Apple than from anyone else.”
Lots of folks apparently agree with the columnist. In its first week of release,
iTunes was downloaded
over 275,000 times.