MacRumors is reporting that the iTunes 10.5 beta for Mac runs in 64-bit mode on Mac OS X Lion, and since the old Carbon APIs don't support 64-bit, it must have, at long, long last, finally been re-written as a Cocoa app. Before you get too excited, however, it still runs in 32-bit mode on older versions of OS X and doesn't particularly seem very Cocoa-like, at least at this stage. (Hey, at least the
I'd always assumed maintaining Windows compatibility was was hamstrung iTunes, forced it to do too much and stick with older API far too long. Sort of revenge for Microsoft Office on Mac. Wrapping up everything OS X does, like CoreAnimation, CoreAudio, and the other frameworks and bundling them up for Windows can't be trivial, after all.
That leads me to believe Apple probably hasn't changed iTunes 10.5 too much, and may just have found a smart way to engage 64-bit on Lion rather than gone to the trouble of moving the entire codebase over to Cocoa, and the even greater trouble of porting that agin to Windows.
Perhaps iCloud will one day take a lot of the bloat out of iTunes, but it will be a long time before everyone, on every PC, is ready to cut the cord completely, so iTunes still has to do everything it does, on Mac and PC, at least for now.
I'd love a light, fast, gorgeously animated Cocoa iTunes that fits in with the rest of the Lion apps, but I'm not going to get my hopes up for now. How about you?