What happened to the iTunes 10 window controls?

iTunes has a long history of violating the Apple Human Interface Guidelines. In past releases, iTunes designers have removed the title bar and borrowed the brushed aluminum look from Apple hardware.

iTunes 10, released yesterday, carries on the tradition of divergence. This time, the designers have toyed with the window controls. As you can see below, the close, minimize and zoom buttons have shifted from their conventional horizontal arrangement to a vertical arrangement.


I can imagine stylistic and practical explanations for doing this. The new layout has a better visual feel to it, and it uses the space more efficiently. Still, it’s quite a bold departure from such a fundamental aspect of the Aqua interface standard. (The new volume control also violates the standards, but not quite so shockingly.)

Are we glimpsing a brave new world of window controls? What do you think?

Noah Guyot

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