consistency matters

There is an inconsistency in two things that I use frequently, and it trips me up all the time.

In OS X Mavericks (and previous versions1), when using the Finder, there’s one keyboard shortcut that I use all the time.  If you have a long list of folders and files, you can go to the parent folder and type the first letter of the file that you want.  It will jump to the first file that starts with that letter.  I have lots of folders with lots of files in them, and I use this all the time so that I don’t have to scroll.2  For example, if you have a folder with a lot of files in it, and you want to jump to “nadyne.txt”, you can select the parent folder (say, Documents) and then type an N.  You’ll be taken to the first item in the list with an N, and have much less scrolling to do.

However, in iTunes 11, if you want to jump to the first item in the list that begins with an N, the focus has to be on the list itself.  For example, if you want to jump to “Neko Case” in your artist listing, you have to have focus there, and then click N.  To be consistent with the Finder, you would need to have focus on the parent object of “Music”.

I don’t really care which behavior is the winning behavior, I just wish that the two were consistent.  I trip over this all the time, and it drives me utterly batty.  (And yes, I’ve submitted the Radar: 15750167.)

  1. I can’t say how far back.  Muscle memory says that it’s far back indeed. I can’t remember when it didn’t work this way on OS X.
  2. I use this even more frequently now that the arrow buttons have disappeared from scrollbars, but that’s another post for another time.

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