Something that has long set Apple apart from its competitors, and is one of the reasons for its success, is that it refuses to release a product that's less-than-perfect. Of course, recent launches and issues brought forth by those may lead us to question if that's still the case, but more often than not, the company is truly meticiulous when it comes to the design of many of its products, both hardware and software.
But... there can be exceptions. For about as long as iTunes has existed, it's been considered a bloated mess by many - and we're not talking only the Windows port here. The problem isn't even so much the fact that it installs multiple background services and usually finds a way to pack in additional software, such as QuickTime (and at one point, Safari for Windows). No, the problem has been that the program as a whole runs sluggish, and really isn't much of a joy to use. You may have an über-fast PC, but iTunes is one piece of software that could make you think otherwise.
Given all this, it was of great interest to many when Apple talked briefly about the upcoming version of iTunes during its iPhone 5 launch event (read our review of the phone here). It was touted as being the most major update to ever hit the software, and the promise was that we'd see it before the end of October. Given the date of this news post, and the fact that the latest iTunes is still not here, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the almighty Apple missed a deadline.
But it's for good reason, as Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr puts it:
"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."
Although I've used iTunes extensively in the past, I pretty much try to avoid it at all costs now. But with Tom's comments above, I have to say I'm rather excited to see what the final software is going to look like. In addition to aesthetics and design improvements, the latest iTunes will have faster performance, a full-library search, improved iCloud integration, a redesigned mini-player and a new full-window interface for both the PC and Mac.