Music on the Apple iPad: iTunes lite

Overall, Apple's iPad looks and behaves like a scaled-up version of an iPod Touch or iPhone, but there are some key differences that distinguish the iPad from its pocket-size comrades. One of these differences, surprisingly, is music playback.

iTunes on Apple iPad

Music on the iPad feels more like iTunes than the iPod or iPhone. (Credit: Apple)

Clicking on the iPod icon sitting in the virtual tray at the bottom of the iPad opens up a music browser that looks nothing like any previous generation of iPod or iPhone, but instead, works like a stripped-down version of Apple's iTunes music software.

There's the familiar iTunes grey bar running across the top, with playback controls, a volume slider, a search box and the little progress/scrubber bar. Playlists are perpetually pinned to a sidebar, along with icons for audio books, music, music videos and podcasts. Across the bottom you'll find buttons for creating genius playlists or standard playlists (the latter, oddly enough, being a new feature), along with tabs to sort your music by songs, artists, albums, genres or composers. Pressing on the cover art in the bottom left corner will expand the artwork to full screen.

But in spite of how much the iPad's music browser looks and acts like iTunes, it's really a bit of a hybrid between the iTunes interface and the capabilities of the iPod's browser. For better or worse, there are no extensive preferences to tweak, no sorting options beyond the previously mentioned tabs, no importing of audio beyond over-the-air purchases and media transferred from your computer and no smart playlists.

Also, oddly enough, there's no Cover Flow view on the iPad — which seems like a shame, given how much the device feels like a throwback to the album era. Which brings up another surprise: no iTunes LP support. Surely with all this screen real estate and processor power, Apple's media-enriched iTunes LP format would make a perfect fit for the iPad. In fact, it seems like such a no-brainer, we suspect that compatibility will be announced once the iPad goes on sale (along with some other announcements, perhaps).


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Leon Jehae posted a comment   

Tried that yesterday, nope not directly, only trough an Itunes active computer


ad posted a comment   

Can you manipulate song order within a play list with ipad? ...


Wondering posted a comment   

How can the iPad really run iTunes- you cannot connect the iPhone or iPod as it has no USB port? Wireless? No full sync would be possible given the current version of iTunes' software. Wonder if it means a big overhaul for iTunes? Maybe full bluetooth synch? Full Wifi sync?

Plus, it's speaker(s) cant be very good in terms of sound played through the glass face. Is there a earphone jack?


Jay posted a reply   

Don't forget, it syncs just like an iPhone or iPod, so its definately possible.


RIchard posted a comment   

At this stage probably not, if your iphone can't stream music across then this can't at the moment. BUt remember there is still 2-3 months before we even see this product in Australia.

One thing I would hope fr is the ability to fade one song into the next. But again, unlikely because you can't do that on the iphone either.


Skalle posted a comment   

Is it possible to stream music from the iPad to your stereo via AirTunes?


leonjehae posted a reply   

Yep, through for example an AirportExpress adapter.

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