December 14th, 2012 • 9:53 am
Apple has just released an update for iTunes 11 (iTunes 11.0.1) and I am glad to report that it appears to include improvements for two of the issues I mentioned last week.
First of all, the no longer disabled when the sidebar is visible.submenu is
And then the egregiously bad performance issue when editing tags that I mentioned last Saturday appears to have been addressed to a certain degree. iTunes still re-saves the entire “iTunes Library.xml” and “iTunes Library.itl” files each and every time you make a change to a tag, but the process has become more of a background process and does not interfere with user interactions with the software as much as it did in iTunes 11.0.0.
I still worry about the number of times that iTunes saves and re-saves such large files. It strikes me as a very inefficient way of doing things. (These files are not “packages” consisting of small, individual files that are just hidden from view. They are actual single files and a change in their modified date means that they are being entirely rewritten to disk each and every time.)
And the saving process is not fully seamless and still triggers the appearance of the Spinning Beach Ball of Death on a regular basis. It just that it does not occur each and every time you edit a tag and jump from track to track using the Track Information dialog box or in the song list. So we are basically back to the performance levels of iTunes prior to the upgrade to version 11, with possibly some small improvements in some areas (like AppleScript script execution). iTunes is still painful to use with a large library of tens of thousands of music files, but it’s not longer outrageously painful.
The quick release of this update is appreciable (and appreciated), although one does wonder how such issues did not get noticed before the release of iTunes 11.0.0. Just like I cannot help but wonder how much effort Apple’s engineers put into testing their software on machines running multiple monitors as an extended desktop, I cannot help but wonder how much effort they put into testing iTunes with large libraries.
And I really hope that they will come up with some more elegant and less resource-intensive mechanism for saving the library files soon.