In this day and age many of us use iTunes. You may use it out of choice because you find it an easy way to manage your multimedia library. Most likely you’ve got one or more iDevices which have forced you to move your collection over to it. Whatever your reason, there’s one thing many of us can agree on: iTunes is a largely drab and unattractive piece of software!
As someone who uses iTunes on a day to day basis I’d grown tired of the rather uninspiring interface and decided to do something about it. I found that there is an iTunes skinning community out there but it is mainly for the benefit of Mac users. The options for those running Windows are much more limited, but eventually I discovered some hidden gems. Here I share my discoveries so that you too can experience a beautiful iTunes!
Mac users, I don’t want to neglect you, it’s just that there are far more options out there for you. iTunes-skins.com has a great library of skins for iTunes 10 with plenty of different styles to suit everyone. You should be able to satisfy your needs there. I’ll include links at the end of this article for the Mac versions of all themes mentioned.
Now, back to my fellow Windows users! First up is my personal favourite, Silent Night. I tend to use a lot of black or dark themes in Windows, and iTunes always felt out of place. Silent Night is a smooth, slender black theme with red highlights on the shuffle and loop buttons. The matte finish gives it an elegant look which far surpasses the default theme. If you’re in the mood for a dark skin then look no further! It has been worked on by a number of people, but is currently updated by ~Davi- 1 on deviantART.
Applying the skin is straight forward. First download the latest version from the Silent Night page and extract the .rar archive. Then install the iTunes fonts followed by either the Mac (pictured above) or Windows style of the skin (the only difference is which side of the window the minimise, maximise and close buttons are located). Users running a 64-bit version of Windows should change the install path to “C:\Program Files (x86)\iTunes” (where C: is the drive on which iTunes is installed). If you happen to use the iTunes Taskbar Player there is a separate folder included with instructions and files to skin that too. And presto, you can now enjoy a more beautiful iTunes!
If you decide that Silent Night isn’t for you then it’s not a problem as a utility is included which instantly restores iTunes to its default appearance. You have nothing to lose by trying out the skin.
So, not everyone likes their themes as dark as I do. That doesn’t mean you can’t make iTunes beautiful. I recently discovered a very sleek and clean matte silver/metallic skin, enigmatically (un)named Untitled. It also features very stylish, embossed buttons and track information area. It’s hard to put into words how impressive the skin looks, so here is a picture:
This theme is again currently updated by ~Davi- 1 who is in the process of porting and updating skins which have been neglected by others or were previously only available for Mac. Download the latest version from the Untitled page and follow the same instructions as given for Silent Night. Unfortunately there isn’t a skin for the iTunes Taskbar Player in this one, but there is an alternate Stiijo Traffic Lights set of buttons for the minimize, maximize and close functions which you can install: