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How to fix the iTunes Store

Macworld Staff | May 2, 2013
The iTunes Store has, in many ways, been a pillar of success for Apple. But that doesn't mean it can't be improved upon: Here are a dozen ways we think it could become even better.

Divide and conquer

iTunes started as a relatively simple audio player. But over the past decade, it's been asked to also handle movies, TV shows, other videos, podcasts, ebooks, PDFs, ringtones, and various other bits of iPod and iOS data. But at least these features are coherent parts of an app for managing and syncing media--the iTunes Store feels like something completely different that's been bolted on. Sure, the Store lets you buy and download many of those types of media and data, but it's not the only place to get that stuff. And integrating the Store into iTunes makes iTunes bigger and, it seems to me, slower and more confusing to use. Just as Apple has done on iOS, I'd like to see the iTunes Store pulled out of iTunes and turned into an independent app.--Dan Frakes

Simple samples

Apple did the right thing by adding the ability to browse and make purchases from the iBookstore via your computer. And while an iOS device may be the ideal way to enjoy iBooks, it would be really nice to at least be able to read ebook samples on your computer. Most (perhaps all) books on the iBookstore provide samples to help you decide if you're interested in buying them, which is often more helpful than the short book description in the iTunes details. But if you're browsing the iBookstore, having to send a sample to your iOS device, switch to it, launch iBooks, and then read it is irritating. Instead, just make samples unprotected PDFs (after all, they're really just marketing materials; that way we can view them on our computers. And, hey, it might even boost overall book sales.--Jonathan Seff


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