iTunes 11 features a new MiniPlayer that has enough advanced functionality to allow you to control playback without the main iTunes window. You can also bring up a movie window that doubles as an artwork viewer. You can set both to remain on top of all other windows and apps allowing you to control your music playback while doing other things with your Mac.
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today’s episode let’s take a look at using the new MiniPlayer and Movie Window in iTunes 11.
So there is a whole new MiniPlayer window in iTunes 11. It has a lot of new functionality. It is worth taking a look at. There are several different ways to bring it up. One is to hit this little button here which is the same as going to Window and Switch to MiniPlayer. That closes the main iTunes interface and just shows you the MiniPlayer.
But you can also bring up MiniPlayer without closing iTunes, the whole big window here, which we are going to do right now just by going to Window/MiniPlayer and you can see there is a keyboard shortcut there as well.
You get this little MiniPlayer window here that you can just move around and it will show you the name of the current song and group that is playing, or in this case paused, and if you rollover it you have controls for Play and Fast Forward and such. You also have your Airplay controls. You have this very powerful button here which brings up your entire Playlist, your Up Next List. You can switch to Search right there so you can actually search for another song and start it playing without having to leave the MiniPlayer window at all. You can actually bring up extra functionality here by clicking on this button. So there is a ton of stuff you can do in this MiniPlayer window without having to use the entire iTunes window. So it is quite handy just for that.
In addition you can close it by hitting this “X” button here or you can switch back to the main iTunes window by hitting this button. That’s handy if you actually have closed the entire iTunes window to bring up the MiniPlayer. You can switch back and forth between them hitting that button there and then this button here, just to go back and forth between them. So there is a lot you can do and you can move this around.
Now in addition to the MiniPlayer window there is another window you may not know about. It is called the Movie Window. But it can also be considered an artwork window as well. You can bring it up from the MiniPlayer by clicking on the artwork here. But you can also bring it up through the main iTunes interface by clicking on the artwork there. Either one of those works. You click on it and you can see here I get this other window that shows the artwork.
Now this is very interesting because a lot of people have been complaining that in iTunes 11 you no longer have artwork at the bottom left hand corner like you could bring up with previous versions of iTunes. A lot of people like that. But you still do have this artwork window. With this artwork window you can actually put it down on the bottom left if you really want. You can move it anywhere on the screen which makes it better than that window that was there before. Not only does it show you the artwork but also has playback controls right on it. So it is kind of MiniPlayer in its own right. You can have both or just have one of the two. You have artwork in either one.
You’ve got even more power with these if you use the simple Preference. In iTunes Preferences you go to the Advanced Preferences and at the bottom you can see Keep MiniPlayer on top of all other windows or Keep movie window on top. That is the only way we know this is called Movie Window not the artwork window because of this preference here.
Once you do that the interesting thing is that not only will it stay on top of iTunes but also other Apps as well. For instance I’m just going to open a file in TextEdit and you can see that these two windows remain on top of those. So you will never loose them if you use that functionality there to keep these both on top. So it is quite handy for that and really makes this artwork window much more useful than anything we had before with just having the artwork inside of iTunes because you can put it in the bottom left hand corner of your screen if you want or anywhere on your screen and then see the artwork and control the playback from there.
So if you like using iTunes playback in your music try the MiniPlayer window and the Movie/Artwork window. One of the things to do to really get the most out of these is to try forcing yourself to use them. It is kind of like learning a foreign language by immersing yourself in that language. If you try to actually just use iTunes with the MiniPlayer window and this Movie Window and you do that for a few hours you will find that you can do most things that you want to do from Music Playback with just these two little windows. Then you will start to use them regularly.
I hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.