The codepoet has got right what I wanted to say about the iTunes 7 interface:

I do like how it looks as a finished product, but it doesn’t make me feel like I’m using a Mac at all. It looks like the new iTunes Store does, right down to the scroll bars and buttons.

The only reason for this that I can put forth is that they needed one unified interface for both Mac, Windows, and the iTS and we thus have this new concept. It’s interesting, and it’s not entirely unusable, but it’s kind of annoying to have this iconic Mac application turned into a bastion of wishy-washy cross-platform interface design, from a place of pure principle.

So, they tried to make something both Mac OS X-like and Windows XP-like, and at the same time abstract it out into a distinct iTS look. Which in turn was probably inspired by Dashboard widgets. If so, they’ve pulled it off quite well. At least in the main window; preferences and popup menus use the native UI, I suppose because users might get (more) confused.

On the other hand, this means that the new UI should not be used as a guide or inspiration for other applications. Or websites for that matter; I imagine Apple’s lawyers will be very zealous in their defense of the iTS theme/platform’s look & feel.

I just realized iTunes is slowly morphing out of being just another application; instead it’s becoming an emulator running the iTunes/Store platform. Inside a window, just like Virtual PC or Parallels. Interesting. (This paragraph actually surprised me while I watched myself typing it out icon_wink.gif.) I wonder if other hybrid desktop/web multiplatform apps will follow this course… not that I can think of any right now, hm.