MacMost Now 795: A Look At iTunes 11

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.

Video Transcript
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

Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 66 Responses to “MacMost Now 795: A Look At iTunes 11”

    12/3/12 @ 11:35 am

    Thanks for the video Gary.
    Is there a way of restoring the black background in the grid/icon view?

      12/3/12 @ 11:49 am

      No, I don’t think so. You’ll need to get used to the new look.

      12/6/12 @ 6:37 pm

      There isn’t, which quite frankly is a downgrade, not an upgrade. It makes it harder to manage your music. I do not like the new version of iTunes.

        Robert Bowrosen
        1/1/13 @ 10:48 pm

        Paul you are exactly right! This is a downgrade. Matter of fact I just go on iTunes now to put my music on my iPod or just to charge my iPod. I do not buy anything on iTunes anymore. I went back to buying CD’s and loading them on to iTunes so I can load them on to my iPod. With all the advances and updates going on in the internet. I’m back to reading real books and listening to music on CD’s and watching DVD’s. Thanks to all the “Geeks” for driving me back to the “Old School” ways.

        1/29/13 @ 9:43 am

        Gary, thanks for the tips on how to sort artist’s songs by popularity in the Itunes Store. That was really helpful. I would have have left Itunes for some other vendor before I could have figured that method out.

    David Andrews Sr
    12/3/12 @ 2:52 pm

    Where did the find duplicate feature go?

      12/3/12 @ 3:35 pm

      I don’t think that is there anymore. You’ll just have to sort by title and delete them yourself. Probably for the best as an automatic function can never know which one you want to delete anyway.

        12/5/12 @ 7:18 am

        FYI — Apple has said that the find duplicates function will return shortly in a minor update.

    12/3/12 @ 3:18 pm

    Usually the videos are informative and helpful. The one on itunes 11 I guess showed me how differently we all use the software. Because thousands of people on the mac forums, including me, are wailing about the deal-breaker of the lost feature of seeing a preview of the artwork in the lower left, without having to play a song. And Gary apparently didn’t even notice that. In the end, for me, I’ll probably live with it because Apple makes reverting such a pain. But that is the feature I liked best and will miss it, and really nothing was added that makes it any better or more useful for me.

      12/3/12 @ 3:37 pm

      As a software engineer I know that any time you make a change you will get complaints. I’ve fixed bugs (BUGS!) in games and then have complaints that the bug is missing.

    12/3/12 @ 4:43 pm

    Great video thanks.
    Any idea in how to sort search results from the ITunes Store. It seems all sort options are gone.

      12/3/12 @ 4:54 pm

      Definitely still there. Just turn off “Search Entire Library” like I show you in the video. So a search. Make sure you are viewing as “songs.” and you can sort by any column you want.

        12/7/12 @ 5:03 pm

        Mario was asking about the iTunes Store search results (Songs view), not the library. This capability has apparently been removed.

        1/28/13 @ 4:49 pm

        I used to go to Itunes 11 Store and search for an artist (ie Coltrane), then select all songs, then sort by popularity to see what was popular for this artist. Itunes 11 Store will not let u sort by popularity any more. This was a excellent way to find new music.

        Any way to see what was popular for an artist that you are unfamiliar with?

    12/4/12 @ 12:40 am

    It takes up to 24 hours for new songs to show up in iTunes 11, no matter whether they’re bought from the Store, uploaded from MP3 files, or added via CD. The connection to the iCloud runs on for hours. Maybe it’s something to do with being overseas. (Japan)

      12/4/12 @ 7:26 am

      Or, maybe just because this new feature just launched.

    12/4/12 @ 2:00 pm

    Hate iTunes 11, I did used the cover-flow all the time, now I see thousands of text lines and not seeing my art work, what apple should have done was retain cover flow and keep the visual album art work to dispaly nice a big, people are far more comfortable with visual input and not text input , I upgraded, bined it and restored from TM my old 10.7 version, Regards

      12/4/12 @ 4:28 pm

      How did you restore iTunes I tried just the app but it said the Library was wrong.
      Once I got the app and the library restored I got an error I assume from other settings in Library or somewhere???
      A brief tutorial on how to restore from a time machine back up would be appreciated.
      My lovely set up of Mac Mini in a cupboard running iTunes, library in 3T external drive using alias for iTunes folder and apple tvs all over the house is now turned into capital pain thanks to this upgrade that makes navigating your library harder than before

        12/4/12 @ 4:32 pm

        I’d like to try to help, but I’ll need to know exactly what the error messages say. If you run iTunes right now, what error messages do you get, exactly?

          12/6/12 @ 4:02 pm

          Hello and thanks for your kind offer.
          It was a number starting with a minus sign and a google search revealed nothing.
          I went back to iTunes 11 again and guess I have to live with it

    12/4/12 @ 4:23 pm

    Can you post a video on what folders to restore in time machine to get back iTunes 10?

    – The column browser up the top rather than the left hand side is a total waste of real estate leaving large unused blank area on the right hand side of the list below.
    – A real deal breaker is you cannot click on items and drag them across to your desktop and get a copy of the file the way you still can in iPhoto. Now I have to right click and select show in finder to find the file if I want to put it on a USB thumb drive etc. Most annoying if it was say a range of movies which are in separate folders requiring multiple right clicks for show in finder.
    Through an unsuccessful restore of iTunes 10 (generated error) and restoring back I discovered it retags all my TV shows (tagged with meta x) to a new category called “Home Videos” requiring me to find them in Movies and Cmd I and change them back to TV shows.
    Many other things missing I only upgraded because I heard they actually have coloured icons back in the sidebar but I panicked about that until I discovered it was just off by default.

      12/4/12 @ 4:36 pm

      Rather that trying to stick yourself with an aging piece of software, maybe address each “problem.”
      The column browser in iTunes 11 is no different than the column browser in iTunes 10. But I think you are confusing it with something else? Switch to Artists view and you get a column on the left. Watch my video and I show this.
      You certainly can drag and drop from iTunes to the Finder. I just did it. Perhaps try it again.
      There aren’t many other things missing. Watch the video. If you have a specific question about something missing, ask. I’d be happy to help.

        12/6/12 @ 4:10 pm

        OK I am following your advice and keeping with it.
        Firstly my main focus is movies and tv shows but in any case the column browser is very different. I cannot have a genre, show, multi-column list view all side by side. Now the genre, shows columns are above the list view. Kind of like the old versus the new view if that makes sense. This forces far more scrolling through the show category because the vertical real estate is divided between the column browser overall box and the list box below it. I have made this look more aesthetic by narrowing the whole itunes window to half a screen in width now that removes some of the white space in the bottom list box right hand side.
        Clicking on artists in music creates a side column but takes away the list style view.
        Dragging and dropping has decided to work the following day, previously I had an image of that row appearing only but now it turns to a little file symbol with the plus sign – phew :-)
        Also I hated the search previews but just discovered hitting enter creates the results list below as before, a small extra step only.

    12/4/12 @ 5:20 pm

    In Podcasts; Categories was replaced by Lists, hence you no longer can display Postcast Icons across the screen which I believe was a much more efficient way to select which Podcast to check of updates, etc. I hate the new List vs Catagories view; it’s very tedious to use. I know you can see categories in the list view but it’s not the same view I mean.
    I appreciate all your efforts to provide help in your Podcasts.
    Many thx Mal

    12/4/12 @ 6:16 pm

    very helpful- thank you. but i have two major issues hoping you know something about it. one- when in the iTunes store, and looking at new songs released, there used to be an i in the corner to play the quick listen to the song to see if I like it. now you have to open it and change complete screens to that ONE song, and i have to back screen to get back to all the new songs listed. this is repeated for every attempt to listen… what am i missing to avoid constant screen changing?
    second- i buy a new song on my iMac iTunes, i have the cloud on, the song disappears- not in library, Not in purchased list… where did it go?? ironically, it shows up in the library of my other computer i didn’t buy it on but still not in that computers purchased song list. what’s going on with this??

      12/4/12 @ 6:35 pm

      I’m not sure what you mean by your first question. On the front page of “Music” in the store I see mostly albums. But on the right side I see songs — like “Top Songs.” There is a preview button next to each one of these. I guess for the rest you need to dig down into the album. Can’t remember how it was before, sorry.
      Not sure why you aren’t seeing your songs in your library. Maybe wait a few minutes?

    12/5/12 @ 4:35 pm

    Hi Gary. I have a quick question in regard to TV shows. In iTunes 11, when I browse my TV shows all of the seasons are now listed under the show title. This is fine but the cover art doesn’t work as I would expect it to. The cover art shows the first season only. When I switch the view from season 1, to a different season, the cover art doesn’t reflect this. It stays on the season 1 cover art. Do you know if it is meant to do this, or is there a setting somewhere that will allow the cover art to reflect the season I am viewing?

      12/5/12 @ 4:48 pm

      I would assume the cover art just shows the art for the first season. No reason to think it should reflect which season or episode you are on.

    12/6/12 @ 10:03 am

    Best overview of iTunes 11 I’ve seen so far but still not enough to get me to upgrade. Not worth losing cover flow and artwork in lower left corner. We all have our unique favourite features and that’s mine.
    Also, some of the quirky behaviours (i.e., wait times) when adding new songs is troubling.

    12/6/12 @ 10:05 am

    Thanks for the video! Just like to comment that I like the iTunes 11, but the first thing that called my attention, and right away I thought it was a flaw, was the vanished cover flow, and then the cover art that was at the bottom left. It was easy to paste covers over there. Now you need more menus and clicks to do so. Also, what I think is worst of all is there is no window opening…you can’t compare two lists at the same time, like an album in your library and a CD album. Hope that could come back…Maybe Apple doesn’t like Windows!!!

    Ray Alston
    12/6/12 @ 11:25 am

    Hi Gary, thank you for this — I have learned some useful facts. However, I often like to put “private” (i.e. CDs and other music not purchased through iTunes) stuff onto iTunes and whereas in the past this was very easy, it now seems necessary to drag new “songs” directly into a playlist. The general “music” is no longer an option for that kind of operation.

      12/6/12 @ 11:43 am

      Not sure what you mean. I can drag mp3 files into iTunes — into the Music list or the Library on the left sidebar. This seems to be the same as before.

        Ray Alston
        12/6/12 @ 2:03 pm

        Sorry… I was not clear. With the former version I could just “open” a file and it would automatically open with iTunes in the music list. Now it is only possible by dragging it into a playlist.

          12/6/12 @ 5:00 pm

          You can drag it into Music as well. That’s how I have always done it.

    12/6/12 @ 2:17 pm

    Miss the Cover Flow feature – was so easy to go to the album I wanted – had I known before I upgraded – I wouldn’t have

    12/6/12 @ 2:19 pm

    Thanks for this video. What about refreshing podcasts….i.e. downloading the most recent episodes? I see a little circular arrow at the bottom left of the podcast window but it doesn’t seem to do the trick. Doesn’t seem to be a help topic. Also not sure how to check to make sure no subscriptions have been suspended (you know — when you get behind in your podcast-listening and iTunes suspends the subscription until you renew it…)….

      12/6/12 @ 5:03 pm

      The circle arrow seems to work for me. I clicked it and I see new episodes downloading. Also I can see what you are looking for in List view (Switch between Unplayed, Podcasts and List at the top).

    12/6/12 @ 4:42 pm

    I think if you like iTunes as a player then the new iTunes 11 is better.
    If you use iTunes as a media manager in a server in a cupboard (eg mac mini hidden away) and access media through iDevices and Apple TV’s etc then iTunes 10 is better having more detailed views everywhere, previews below the sidebar, cover flow and so on.
    I never ever use iTunes as a player and lament the demise of front row for that reason.

    12/6/12 @ 9:04 pm

    So rad to see that you like The Donnas. Punk Rock!

    12/6/12 @ 10:16 pm

    I see that either double-clicking on an album or clicking on the “play” symbol when the album is open and showing its contents is supposed to play the entire album. Double-clicking the album icon does nothing, clicking on it opens it but the play button is only playing the first track. Right-clicking on the album title in the list has on the menu “Play (album name)” but again it only plays the first track. And adding it to “play next” does nothing.

    I have to select all the tracks and add them to “up next”. What’s the secret to playing the whole album without having to do that?

      12/6/12 @ 10:41 pm

      When I double-click on the album or click the play button for the album, it adds the whole album to the Up Next list.

        12/7/12 @ 11:53 am

        Maybe I have a bad download? All my software is up to date and obviously iTunes works correctly for you (and probably everyone else) as in your video but mine doesn’t.
        MAYBE related is the fact that at some sites my videos play and others don’t. Sigh.

          12/7/12 @ 12:02 pm

          I think you just need to play around with the Up Next list a bit and experiment. For some people it takes some getting used to. For instance, “Play Next” should appear to “do nothing” because it simply adds the song to the Up Next list. Try it and take a look at that list.

    12/7/12 @ 2:36 am

    Hi Gary. I miss the radio in itunes 11. Although I ticked in itunes preferences the radio field, it does not appear in my sidebar. Instead I find a new playlist called internet songs which features one internet radio station only. What happened to the radio?

      12/7/12 @ 7:50 am

      Radio is still there, but I don’t see it in the sidebar either. It does appear when I turn the sidebar off, at the top of the screen. Then all the same streams are still there.

        12/7/12 @ 8:13 am


    Jack W.
    12/7/12 @ 4:39 pm

    Gary, Is there an easy way to download mp3 music files to a thumb drive? I was burning a playlist to a CD, then dragging them to my thumb drive. Then I began dragging the entire playlist directly to my thumb drive. By my car music system (Ford Escape, 2010) often calls the files “Bad Media” and skips over them. Any suggestions? The car stereo does play mp3 files, just not all of them.

    Brian Sparks
    12/8/12 @ 9:17 am

    Thanks for the tips on version 11 Gary, very informative as usual. Unfortunately I had already downloaded the update before I watched it and almost had a panic attack when I couldn’t locate my sidebar but within 5 or 10 minutes I was up and running and creating playlists as I did with version 10. I must say not having the cover flow does not bother me but I would like to be able to complete the album artwork as several of my albums do not have them, any tips?

      12/8/12 @ 9:58 am

      You can customize the album artwork just as before: select a song, Command+I for info, click on Artwork.

    12/8/12 @ 1:49 pm

    Gary, just a quick note to say thank you. I’ve learned more from your videos than from anyplace else. I always look forward to your weekly update. Again, thank you for sharing all your knowledge. You make owning Apple products even more enjoyable.

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    12/8/12 @ 2:08 pm

    Some updates appeared,and then i clicked on details. It was 3 things one of them was iTunes 11. Then it went ahead to install them,but then it said error 301 something like that. When i opened iTunes again it was the new version 11. This is where i draw the line.I could not get the artwork,and said contact the iTunes store.I have always did what you mentioned up above just toss the album into the window,and that was that you saw the album load in. I tried doing this,but it did not work. I only want to listen to my music when i am busy in photoshop. Like quite a few people above are not keen on it. This time i am switching back to the previous version. Their is a saying if it works don`t fix it(Upgrade)

    12/8/12 @ 6:45 pm

    Hi Gary i want to know how am i able to search songs in my iPod classic through itunes 11. I am not able to do it as before.

      12/8/12 @ 7:39 pm

      Unfortunately, I don’t have an iPod classic to try it. I assume you select it in the left sidebar — the the iPod’s Music library and not the iPod itself. Then search. But you’ll have to try it. That’s how I figure these things out, I just try things.

    12/9/12 @ 11:06 am

    I like to listen to podcasts at work and I’ve noticed of late that the ‘Recently Added’ list is no longer populated. Did I accidently turn this off, or is it no longer functional. Thanks for your videos!

    12/11/12 @ 8:32 pm

    My shuffle function will not shuffle even when definitely turned on.One song ata time is tedious. Any ideas?

    12/13/12 @ 11:28 pm

    I think this is a great video. My thoughts on iTunes 11 are somewhere between, “Wow this is great!” to “This is terrible”. I realize that there’s a huge gap between those two extremes. I like the cleanness of it; I don’t like that it seems to take away some of my ability to customize and organize.

    12/30/12 @ 11:11 pm

    Shuffle order no longer displays in main window, but only in “up next”. I used to shuffle a playlist by grouping, then “Copy To Play Order” before syncing to my iPhone/iPad. This allowed me to have a playlist shuffled by grouping on my device, even though the Music app will only shuffle by song. It’s particularly helpful for classical music (eg. in a symphony, the 4 movements should stay together). Do you know a way to do this in iTunes 11?

      12/31/12 @ 8:48 am

      I see the Shuffle button in the main window right at the top when viewing a playlist. I’ve never used a “Copy to Play Order” function though, so I can’t speak to that.

    Robert Bowrosen
    1/1/13 @ 10:39 pm

    iTunes11 in a word SUCKS! How come with any update, it’s always worse? Why is that always the case? There is not one thing I like about iTunes11. Is there a way to go back to iTunes 10, without losing what you already have on iTunes.

    2/3/13 @ 1:43 pm

    Hello … i know this migh be a silly question, but i’m can’t understand why itunes11 is erasing songs from my hD folder and copying it into the itunes folder!!!!
    can you help me and teach me how can i stop this … where can i disable it ..
    … i wanted to open songs on itunes but from my HD songs …
    thanks from Portugal

      2/3/13 @ 4:20 pm

      Look in your iTunes Preferences. There are options there to copy the files to your iTunes Media Folder.

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    2/28/13 @ 3:35 pm

    I have done a complete U turn, after watching your video i found out how you put the art work in. That to me was important. Funny enough I found the new iTunes no bother at all. I watched your video about a half a dozen times till I sussed it out.
    Thanks a lot for the video Gary.

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