An in-depth look at iTunes 11; what’s new and what’s missing

“Alongside the launch of the iPhone 5, iPod Nano, and iPod Touch, Apple promised us an October release of iTunes 11; the biggest update to their all-in-one media management tool since the inclusion of a music store in 2003. As October came and went, Apple failed to deliver on time, instead pushing the release back to ‘November,’ and on the 29th the new iTunes finally shipped,” Alex Arena writes fro Mactuts+. “With this major release comes a new interface, seamless iCloud integration, and a major design overhaul.”

What’s new/improved:
Up Next
iTunes Store
Gift Card Redemption
Mini Player
Search

What’s missing:
Cover Flow
The Sidebar [stil there, just hidden by default]
Multiple Windows
iTunes DJ
Duplicate Remover

Much more in the full article here.

Related articles:
CNET reviews iTunes 11: Complete makeover brings speed; Apple on the right path – November 30, 2012
Top 5 new features in iTunes 11: iCloud integration, new interface, Up Next, and more – November 29, 2012
Apple releases iTunes 11 – November 29, 2012

45 Comments

  1. For someone who enjoys album artwork, the reduction of it to a little image next to the title was very disappointing and the main reason I am not upgrading to 11. I think in general it was simplified too much! I liked the latest iTunes 10.

    1. The mediumish window in the sidebar is gone to display album art, yes. I’ll admit to using and liking that. Adding artwork is a bit more of a pain because, as far as I can tell, the song needs to be playing, or you need to open the Info window, to do it.

  2. iTunes DJ was not just something that “lets people at parties suggest and vote on songs.” Formerly known as Party Shuffle, it lets you shuffle, add, remove, and reorganize playlists on the fly. Use it all the time. Do we lose any of that capability with Up Next?

  3. Has anyone else even tried the mini player? It’s a big step backward in my opinion.
    No direct volume control.
    No track progress bar.
    It will not properly show the current song when playing internet radio.
    Someone missed the QA for the mini player.

    1. Direct volume control is done via the keyboard

      Track progress can be viewed by clicking the album cover and using the maxi-mini player

      You’re right about the internet radio. That’s just silly of Apple to do that.

  4. After using it for, what, 3 days? I can tell you iTunes 11 is full of bugs. FULL of bugs. Especially in TV Shows. And the new, fancy “wall to wall music” stuff is very pretty, and definitely made for Full Screen Mode. Which would be great if I could use Full Screen Mode for more than an hour without getting a kernel panic. So, useless to me at the moment. And iTunes 11 is also obviously made for someone who a) buys all their music from the iTunes Store, and/or b) uses iTunes Match. Neither of which describes me. (Stuff disappears from the iTunes Store waaaay too regularly for me, while the CD’s I buy are still there the next time I look for them. Always. Also, I have too much music for Apple to let me use iTunes Match. Which I find counter intuitive: “You guys who use iTunes the MOST, we don’t want you. You guys with the little music collections? Come on in!”) 11.0.1 can’t come quick enough.

    1. I have multiple iTunes libraries. The largest one is just short of 1TB. That library is way too big for iTunes Match, but I can understand that. It seems to me like they’ll slowly start allowing larger libraries over time. I have two libraries that are used with iTunes Match, and I really like the concept and wish I could pay extra for my main library.

      As far as kernel panics and being FULL of bugs… I haven’t experienced this…not one crash of the app itself let alone a kernel panic. I also haven’t been hearing this complaint from others.

      1. I’d love to pay more for more than 25,000 tracks! Seems like such an easy solution, even if the limit is something negotiated with the record labels.

        Sorry, the kernel panic thing is not related to iTunes 11. I should have made that more clear. It’s something in a video driver on my iMac, I’m sure, but haven’t had time for a complete wipe and rebuild. It just happens to be exacerbated by anything in Full Screen mode, which is a shame because iTunes 11 really does look great that way. But the full of bugs thing I stand by, especially in the TV Shows section. The fact that I have 140 TV Shows, most with multiple seasons, can’t help… or at least exposes a bunch of edge case scenarios where bugs tend to be.

  5. After ranting about iTunes 11 on Saturday I thought I’d give it another try this morning, just to be doubly positive I hadn’t been premature in my initial criticism. No…I was right. iTunes 11 is a complete and shocking disappointment. I have relied daily on Apple products for more than 20 years and have long admired their attention to product detail and the brilliant beauty – and usability – of the Mac’s user interface. Since iTunes’ debut in 2001, tens of millions have grown accustomed to its unique graphical and interactive vocabulary. Each iteration of the software built on what came before – a process of evolution that always made sense to those familiar with the product.

    But with the debut of iTunes 11, Apple has apparently decided to make revolutionary changes that deploy stylistic devices that are “clean” (but not clear) and look “new” (but are not useful). Progress is wonderful and there are welcome additions, but make no mistake, iTunes 11 is a style makeover that serves no purpose to those of us who are fluent in the language of versions 1 through 10.

    I’ve gone to the (not insignificant) trouble of reverting to version 10.7 and it’s here I’ll stay, but how long can I hold out? Apple will eventually issue a phone update or some other software change that will require the newest iTunes. I can only hope future updates will restore much of what has been lost. My biggest fear is that Apple isn’t listening and, worse, couldn’t care less about its users.

    1. Well said. Apple should not be making so many mistakes. When they were treated as the underdog, they tried a lot harder. Now it seems like every other major product introduction is riddled with bugs … or left to rot on the vine. Anyone want to buy a new copy of iWork ’09 ???

    2. I am really displeased that I have to de-install iTunes, that that’s the only way to regain functionality.

      VERY poor changes, all the way around, in 11:

      nothing added is useful – it’s just dumbed down and de-fanged
      everything taken away was something I used and came to rely on, especially DJ – *why* on earth was this removed??? *Why* remove “detect duplicates”???

      it boggles the mind. Apple has been on a program of punishing me for too long now. I officially give up. Next rig will have to be a Microshaft – I refuse to keep paying premium for Apple’s products. I’m tired of being *expensively* marginalized. If you’re going to force me to adopt your dumbed-down workflow, then you have to charge me far far less.

      Choose, Apple.

  6. It stutters around when compared to 10.7, By the looks of it under the hood changes seems to be at the minimum and is more of a cosmetic change with the addition of icloud syncing, which I cant figure out what it does.

    I would have thought that they will remove all legacy support for the older iOS device and start afresh, and keep the older one for download for use with older devices..

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