A Very Hungry iTunes

I’m totally digging the new iTunes 7. Every release I geek out of ther changes Apple makes. I haven’t had a single bad experience upgrading to the next version. They just keep making the dang thing better. I like the new Coverflow interface, the super cool album art finder and the greatly improved iPod settings ‘panel’. But there are two things I’d like to mention that detract from such a robust program; the new UI elements, their darker than normal look and the huge memory usage. I’ve found fixes for the UI but have no fix for the memory usage. :-(
Black is the new Aqua

I don’t care for the BIG BOLD LETTERS used for the header in the Source list. It’s rather distracting. Another issue with the source list is the amount of wasted space between the different groups. But hey! It looks like someone felt the same and posted this hint on macosxhints.com. No more BIG BOLD LETTERS!

What is up with the dark and dreary black and grey UI elements? Where’s the pretty aqua blue? Oh, ok so this is a ‘new’ version of iTunes, we get it. Yeah…So, Paul Barlow to the rescue with his great little Aqua4iTunes app. It replaces that dreary black and grey with nice shiny aqua buttons! Check out his great little beta here.

So far I’ve found fixes for the big things that bother me. Now let’s talk about something I can’t fix. The amount of memory iTunes uses when invoking the Coverflow view.
Feed me Seymour!

Below is a screenshot of iTunes at idle. At this point all I’ve done is open itunes and let it sit for a moment. I’m not playing a song, downloading anything, or updating my iPod. Just idle.

iTunes on wo coverflow

iTunes is using a very comfortable 34MB of ram, no biggie. Now lets turn on Coverflow.

coverflow on

I flipped through my albums for a few seconds and the memory usage increased to 563MB of ram. That’s 1/3 of my total memory dedicated to one single applicaion. Wow. I have a modest library, with about 8GB of music. Ok, so let’s turn off Coverflow and reclaim that memory…

coverflow off

Uhhh..Ok iTunes where’s the rest of that ram? 329 MB is still being used? How do I get that back? What if I close Coverflow, wanting to free up some resources to open another program? I have to close iTunes and reopen it. Groan.

These are minor compared to the other problems I’ve been hearing about. So I’ll chalk this up to a new version glitch/bug/rushtogetitoutthedoor problem. Here’s to hoping this memory monster will one day be tamed. I’ll just be glad I’m not running this on a G4 iMac with 245 MB of ram! Ouch.

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