Thursday, September 14, 2006

iTunes 7, Graphically

The entire world probably knows iTunes was updated to version 7 a few days ago, and a lot of people have made discussions over the new- and much overhauled- appearance. It's very, er, different from most Aqua apps, mainly because it has no Aqua elements at all. And while I'm "mostly satisfied" (best way to describe it; taken from a Customer Satisfaction Form at IHOP) with the new design, let me run through it thoroughly:

  1. Main Window

  2. The actual window of iTunes hasn't changed too much, save for the thinner bottom bar. It still retains the unified look, which seems to be the way Apple is headed over Brushed Metal. I've always liked this, so I'm glad they didn't change it.

  3. Scrollbars

  4. I'm having mixed feelings about the scrollbars, just as many people are. If there's any proof that Apple is heading away from Aqua, that could likely be it, and I like the gradient instead. However, the color does not change whether you're on Blue or Graphite (as was prompted to me by a friend). Apple needs to make two versions of this gradient scrollbar- one blue, one graphite- like the standard Aqua scroll bars.

  5. Buttons

  6. One thing I really hate about the buttons is that they aren't consistent on the top and bottom: the top ones- like the play, scan forward/backward and view buttons have a cool little gradient, like it was in version 6, while the bottom, solid-color ones look like shit. These need to be changed. Seriously, Apple: do it before I post replacements.

  7. Icon

  8. I'm very split on the new icon. Being the freak I am, I'm probably one of the few people who actually wishes the icon retained its old style. I'm okay with it being blue (even though it was blue in Version 2), but I don't understand why Apple would put a drop shadow under the icon's polish/shine. It doesn't make any sense.

  9. Column Headers

  10. Look at your headers for Song, Artist, Album, etc. In the old version of iTunes, they were a silvery-white, and now they're an *almost* solid gray. Quite simply, I don't like it; it's just too boring.

  11. Movies/TV Shows

  12. Why does the Movies section have a black background, but the TV Shows section has a white background? Is one happier than the other?

  13. Podcasts

  14. The only real change here is the new Graphite-esque bottom bar, which is okay, but like I said before, it should change based on whether or not you're using Blue or Graphite appearances.

  15. That... glass... thing....

  16. Click on any item in the sidebar. See how it switches to white text with black backdrop? Well, if you ask me, it looks like shit right out of Aero with that glassy appearance. Bring back the gradient Apple, and change the color so it actually fits in the color scheme.

Keep in mind, of course, that these are only my opinions, which in the long run will be ignored. Apple will probably stick with the design for a while and disregard my annoying OCD-like behavior for graphic perfection requests, but it still gives me an excuse to talk about iTunes from a designer's perspective, which is all I need to continue posting.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Fakery Analysis: Apple iMac

As most of you know, yesterday saw the release of three new iMacs. This has caused all sorts of technology news sites to buzz, but I have other beliefs about this.

But what are these beliefs, you ask? Well, after taking a look at Apple's iMac page, I have reason to believe that this site- as well as the new iMacs- are completely fake. Here's why:

  1. A look at the front iMac page would reveal that the 24-inch iMac's top-right corner is not cut correctly.

  2. Apple would NEVER use such a cheap gradient for the page.

  3. Where's the drop shadow, like almost every other Apple web page?

  4. The rounded edges on the footer of the main page are more of a gray, not light blue, like the rest of the page.

  5. The "64-bit" icon in the Intel Core 2 Duo section is lacking a drop shadow and wet floor effect.

  6. The picture of an iMac in the "Tech Specs" page is lacking a wet floor effect.

  7. The wet floor effect on the iMacs at the bottom of "Design" is WAY too strong.

  8. Pixel number 1,590 on this page is actually a slightly different shade of blue than the rest of the page. Any half-brained moron knows that Apple puts a off-shade blue pixel on 1,596.

That's a whole 8 things I found! It MUST be fake! 8!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 I mean, Apple couldn't do wrong, right? They are, after all, perfect, and would never make such careless mistakes. You may be able to fool the rest of the world, Apple, but you CAN'T fool me. Guess you'll have to aim for something better during your alleged special event on the 12th- which I'm also sure is fake.

NOTE: This post was merely a comedic way to point out the problems I found on this page. Don't take it seriously, or I- and the rest of the world- will laugh at you. And yes, I know it's been slow around here lately- eventually, I will post something relevant.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

My Firefox Theme

As anyone who subscribes to this blog knows, I haven't really updated it with new Leopard screenshots, mainly because the real Leopard kicked in and took care of that for me (and crushed some of my more extravagant hopes for new features). However, after downloading and installing the Firefox Beta 2 and discovering how badly the Visual "Refresh" was- and my dissatisfaction with any and pretty much all Mac-like themes- I am going to start work on a Firefox theme of my own.

However, let me just state two things off the bat: first, I don't know jack s**t about creating Firefox themes. Secondly, I'm not positive on the exact design (which doesn't surprise me, especially since this idea of mine has only been in the works for a couple of days).

But since this post would be kind of pointless without posting some kind of idea, I have created a mockup of what I want it to look like. Here it is, in wonderful JPG form:

(You can also e-mail me if you want the PSD).

Essentially, the point of this project is to create a Mac theme that is eye-pleasing and subtle on the OS X candy, the latter of which I think many Mac-like themes fail to do. I don't know when I'll finish it (or start it, for that matter), but I definitely want to see it come to life, so stay tuned and give me your feedback on what you'd like in the theme.