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If you’ve downloaded the new iTunes 7 and – despite the bizarre visual inconsistencies – are rather liking the nifty new bits like the CoverFlow browser view, you might like to take a look at CoverFlow itself. It appears that the iTunes implementation is based on the freeware/donationware I’ve been raving about all year, except that inexplicably the author was still releasing updates as late as last weekend.

You can snag the latest (and presumably last) stand-alone CoverFlow build from MacUpdate. There are significant advantages to this over the built-in version; get it while you can.

My guess, incidentally, is that the iTunes implementation is entirely independent of del Strother’s, and they’ve simply done the decent thing rather than screwing him mightily. He, meanwhile, was racing to finish as much as he could before the concept and name became officially Apple’s, and he had to stop work (in exchange for $$$, or at least a Mac Pro, one hopes). The standalone version is much more dynamic and fluid, with a year’s-worth of clever little touches that makes it feel much more like rifling through a CD collection. It also seems cleverer about texture loading.

Just a theory.