After you download and install iTunes 7, you may be a little surprised at the new user interface. It doesn’t even remotely resemble the standard Mac OS X Aqua theme set. iTunes 7 has a much flatter and darker appearance like a Windows or Java application.

The reaction to the new iTunes 7 interface is mixed at best. Most people feel iTunes 6 was prettier with its bright glossy controls gone. True. But the smoother and darker interface of iTunes 7 at least cleanly packs more features into the familiar iTunes interface. As a result, the new iTunes 7 interface makes it much easier to sort movies and TV shows from your music. Also iTunes now plays back video much better than it did before. Probably a good idea since they are selling movies now.

So why would Apple make such a drastic interface design change? Could this be a taste of things to come in Apple’s next operating system – Leopard? Has Aqua been replaced by a flat, smooth, darker appearance? If you think hard enough, you might remember that iTunes got the new improved Aqua interface before the rest of the iLife 06 apps.

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Update: iTunes 7.5

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