The new iTunes 11 has several improvements and new features you should know about. You can also learn how to bring back the left sidebar. Learn about the new Up Next list and how you can view your music library by song, artist, album and sort in various ways. There is also a new way to search for content in your library.
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today’s episode let’s take a look at iTunes 11.
So, iTunes 11 is one of the biggest updates we have seen to iTunes in a while. It still pretty much looks the same more or less but somethings are in new locations and there is some new functionality. One of the biggest new features is its speed. It is much faster than previous versions especially if you have a large library. Let’s go and take a look at some of the features and some of the new locations of features in iTunes.
When you first get into iTunes it kinda looks a lot different because there is no sidebar on the left. But I will show you how to put that back if you want it. You have a new bar at the top here that has a popup menu and here is where you can access all the different parts of your library. Music, Movies, TV Shows, etc. You can also see any shared iTunes collections listed here as well.
What you don’t see are other things you saw on the sidebar before like different devices. Devices are listed here. Now I have one device hooked into this Mac right now, an iPad. If I click on that I go to information about that iPad which looks similar to as it did before. Hit the Done to exit. If I have several devices, like say and iPhone and an iPad hooked in here I get a little list there when I click on it and I can jump to anyone of those.
Now as far as looking in your Music you have all sorts of options. Of course you want to select here in your Library, you want to select Music, which is what you want to look at. Then you can select different ways to list them. So here in the Albums view, if you click on an album it will give you this expanded view here to show you the songs in the album. You can roll over the song and play it and rate it, you can play and shuffled the entire album here as well and you just hit the X here to get rid of it. You can also go to the songs view, which is kind of like the track view list that you had in the previous version of iTunes and you can sort here by all sorts of different things. So you can sort by album, artist, date added, or just find the name of the song. If you click twice it will sort in the opposite order. Then you can also go by Artist here and it gives you this list on the left of all the different artists and then it will show you by album each. So you can click All Artists and then get kind of the same album view in previous iTunes where you can see each album, its cover art here and all the songs in it which is a really nice looking view.
You can also go to Genres and get something similar here just by going to Genres.
Playlists are also listed in the same way here with the playlist listed on the left including the smart play list and then the songs as you go through them on the right.
Now what is really different in iTunes is how songs are played. Previously if you have a song playing and wanted to play another song it would just replace the current song with the new one. Now there is a thing called the Up Next List. So let’s go into an album here and let’s select a song and click here and we can select Add to Up Next List. Or I can simply select the song and hit Play. Now if I look at the Up Next List you can see it has added the rest of the songs of this album as you would expect to the Up Next List as you would have wanted to continue playing the album. Let’s clear that out here and it’s just playing this one song. So I’m going to go here to another song and I’m going to Play Next. Now you can see it has added that one to the list. I can jump to another album and hit Play Next as well and you can see I’ve got this list here of songs it is going to play next. I can rearrange them, I can add to them. So for instance if I wanted to rearrange and move this song up I can remove this song from the list completely and you can see you can even hit this little clock here and see the previous played songs in the list as well.
Another thing that has changed a lot is the Mini Player. So to bring up the Mini Player you can click here and replace this window with the Mini Player or you can actually bring it up in addition to the main window. Here is the Mini Player. You can see it is much more compact. Genius playlist is still there too. If you have Genius turned on you’ve got to go and do this under Store. You can click here and it is interesting because now you’ve got Start Genius which will Create a Genius Playlist based on the song you have selected. You can Create Genius Playlist or you can actually see the suggestions here. So you see what songs it suggests before you go and create a list or start playing it.
Another new feature of iTunes 11 is integration with iCloud in that when you purchase music you can see the albums you’ve purchased but you don’t actually have on your Mac. So say one of these albums I don’t have on my Mac but I had bought in the iTunes store. I would see a little cloud symbol here on the upper right. If I were to select it and try to play it, it would actually download the album. This is only with albums you have bought from iTunes. So you may not see any of them or you may have your entire library populated with these cloud albums. You can actually turn that off. You can hit Hide Music in the Cloud.
The Search Box here has changed a little bit in how it works. So you can still search for things but the results now are in this little popup menu here. You can scroll down it and right from here in the menu you can start playing songs or adding it to the Up Next Playlist. So there is a lot you can do. If you wanted to dig down into the songs you can hit more. Also you can narrow your search down clicking here and filtering by certain things like artist or composer. If you don’t like this interface here you can turn off Search Entire Library. What happens then if you search is then you get the results and it puts them in the regular list here. For instance if I was just viewing songs and you can see that Filter by All and you can see now I’ve got everything here in the normal window instead of in this popup.
Now iTunes is really customizable. It was before and it is now. So if you don’t like some things here, you want more functionality, you can get to things by going to the View Menu. For instance you want that left sidebar back. I know I certainly do because I like to be able to get to things very quickly. You can go to the View Menu and you can Show Sidebar. You can see that the sidebar looks just as it did in iTunes 10. Everything is there. Playlists Shared, your devices, you can look at all your connected iOS devices, go to the different parts of your library. Everything is pretty much as it was before if you just turn that on. It is easy and quick for you to be able to turn that on and off.
You’ve also got some other handy options in the View Menu. You can go to View and you still have the old Column Browser. If you liked that from many versions of iTunes ago you can turn it on in iTunes 10 the same way and you can turn it on in iTunes 11. You can determine what is in the Column Browser and Command B does that very quickly.
You can also go to the Status Bar here and turn that on. You’ve got the Status Bar there at the bottom which a lot of people like as well.
So for features that are not available in iTunes 11 there is only two that I can think of. One is iTunes DJ but the Up Next feature pretty much replaces that and is integrated throughout. There is also CoverFlow. You no longer have CoverFlow view.
So that is a look at iTunes 11. I would be interested to hear what you think about it especially if you feel it is acting faster than previous version of iTunes which is one of the big new features. Leave a comment to this video at MacMost.com.
Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.