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iTunes 11: A new look and feel for Apple’s media player

The iTunes 11 interface.

The iTunes 11 interface.

  • by PETER SIMPSON
 

APPLE unveiled the latest version of its iTunes software yesterday - but what are the big changes?

Navigation

The trusty old sidebar for navigating through your music, films and podcasts is no more, with album covers and graphics taking up the left-over space. In its place is a drop-down menu in the corner of the app which allows you to navigate between your content. Don’t worry though, you can get back your old sidebar if you want to.

There’s also some new ways to quickly scan through all your stuff. Expanded View combines the image-heavy interface of the main menu with all the song titles and other details you need to find the track you want, while Artist View gets rid of everything except the artist or band you’re searching for at the time.

Playback

The Up Next feature allows you to build an on-the-fly playlist as you listen to your library, a feature more than familiar to Spotify users, and the MiniPlayer has been redesigned to sit on your desktop looking sleeker and less obtrustive than ever. All the buttons are hidden until you need them, and the bare minimum of info is shown at any one time.

Cross-platform connectivity

The design overhauls on iPhone, iPad and on PC and Mac all use the same design elements and style, so the experience of using iTunes should be more or less the same no matter what device you’re on. Another neat trick is iTunes’ newfound ability to keep its place across your different devices. Start watching a film on your iPad, and the app will save your place so you can pick up where you left off when you get to your home laptop.

Other changes

• iTunes gift cards can be redeemed using your camera, rather than typing the 16-digit code.

• It’s fast, and much faster than previous iterations (but obviously that depends on how old your PC is).

• There’s a new icon for the app, so don’t be surprised if your desktop looks ever so slightly different.

 

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