iTunes has been around for quite some time (if my calculations are correct it’s about 6 years). It’s been my favorite music/video organizer I’ve ever used (both Mac and PC) and the launch of the iTunes Store in 2003 quickly made it the go-to place for […]

iTunes Store

iTunes has been around for quite some time (if my calculations are correct it’s about 6 years). It’s been my favorite music/video organizer I’ve ever used (both Mac and PC) and the launch of the iTunes Store in 2003 quickly made it the go-to place for purchasing music as opposed to actual CDs.

So while I really do love the iTunes Store, there are a few features that I’m honestly quite surprised have yet to make their way in to the software. In the 4 years of the store’s existence the main “shell” of the store really has changed very little. A few of these features I believe would make the shopping experience significantly better.

Tabbed Browsing

At the heart of it all, the iTunes Store is just a browser. It could just as well be a website accessible directly from Safari. So why doesn’t Apple provide some of the core features of a modern browser? Specifically, why aren’t there tabs in the iTunes Store interface?

I rarely go to iTunes just looking to buy specific albums I have in mind. I make frequent use of the “Listeners Also Bought” section on album pages and it can get pretty complicated trying to remember what artists I saw in those sections. Ideally I could just open each of those artists up in a new tab and then go through the tabs checking each artist out. Instead I’m limited to a simple set of forward and back buttons.


Another browser-like feature request here. Sometimes I’d like to check out bands/albums/songs but don’t necessarily have the time right then to do so. It’d be great to quickly hit a “save for later” type of button where I can amass a nice collection of music to check out when I do have some time on my hands to peruse a bit more.

Customizable (or at least “smart”) Interface

I have neither an iPod that can play games nor an iPhone to use the ringtones, so why am I shown anything about iPod games or given the option to purchase or see anything in relation to ringtones? I’m fully aware that certain subtle things can have an effect on what your purchase…ie. me seeing that iPod Games ad in the store could make me go and purchase a new iPod capable of playing those games, but at the same time, I really have no desire for that to clutter up the interface. Yes yes, I’m aware that it isn’t exactly a significant amount of space, but I find the store a bit cluttered regardless. The library side of iTunes lets you disable Podcasts, Radio, etc so it seems like they should give you more control over what you see in the store as well.

What are some features you’d like to see (or have removed) from the store?

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  1. I think tabbed browsing would complicate things. Each item in the source list is like a tab, adding a second dimension of tabs would be too much. As far as favorites, you could just drag the links you want to look at later to your Desktop. I don’t know about customizability either. I can’t get to the comedy section of my local Blockbuster without first walking past the Drama section. But at least I know where the drama section is if I ever need something there.

  2. Personally, I’d love to see some Last.fm type features, as I went into detail about on my blog.

    iTunes has a huge audience already captured and software installed, integrating Last.fm features to expand on the current recommendation system would be great. Adding some community to create a real environment within the app.

  3. I would say the best thing to add is something like the new amazonmp3 site has. Listen to samples of whole album. If I could listen to all the sample tracks in one album and be able to start looking for other stuff. That would be great. And then, maybe a link on the page to make it easy to jump back to the album I’m listening too.

  4. Carlos Alberto Pinto Peixoto Bastos Santos Thursday, September 27, 2007

    Lack of tab browsing is my pet peeve about iTunes Store since minute 1 I started using it. I just can’t understand the lack of it.

  5. As you mentioned a “Save for Later” feature would be great, but here’s little tip I have used to keep track of all of the albums/songs/artists I don’t want to forget about. You can drag and Song previews from iTMS into a playlist (in my case called Wishlist) and it keeps the 30 second samples arranged like any other playlist. It’s a nice way to help keep track of potential purchases.

  6. I occasionally run through the ‘Just for You’ suggestions, but I’m always frustrated by the number of albums that I don’t have or plan to purchase soon. The whole experience would be much better if I could go to individual listings and say what I own, rather than hoping it comes up automatically.

  7. 1. iTS in a browser is a nice idea. The RealPlayer Music Store has been doing this since day one.

    2. I’d like to be able to view all of an artists’ music, not just what’s available (like the RPMS).

    3. Why does browsing to another page stop the audio preview? You guessed it, the RPMS has always offered it.

    4. Previewing an entire album with one click is an excellent idea.

    5. I wish they would use word capitalization on its audio tracks like every other person in the world.

    6. I wish they would tag individual tracks from compilations with the initial year of release, not the album’s year of release.

  8. The two things I’d really like to see are both in the “Just for You” section:

    1) the ability to say either “I’m not interested” (instead of “I don’t like it”; if I already have everything by a group, it stands to reason that I like their greatest hits; I just don’t want it).

    2) the ability to apply “I already own it” (or whatever) to individual tracks. I’m constantly getting recommendations of tracks that I already own (whether I own the entire CD or otherwise). Why can’t I stop seeing these (and seeing more that I might actually have a chance of wanting to buy)?

  9. I think Apple should consider getting involved with the Music Genome project, thereby allowing more discovery (and marketability) of lesser know artists.

    Think about the impact it could have with the iPhone/Touch wireless music store! “You’ve been listening to X a lot lately. Perhaps you’d like to sample some Y.”

  10. I had a PC before and like very mutch how “MUSICMATCH” tag your library, it has a Super tagging function that is really great, do it for it self and without errors.
    Like transfer my Nano’s music to itunes too, i know there are many programs but…

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