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Review: iTunes 11 adds cool features, but can be jarring to longtime users

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:30 AM

Post your comments for Review: iTunes 11 adds cool features, but can be jarring to longtime users here
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#2 User is offline   doug642 

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  Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:20 AM

Some of the improvements are good, but the new button in the top left to go to the mini-player is a pain. The green button was better. When moving podcasts to a playlist and playing them from that playlist, the podcasts do not play sequentially, and the play button in the top left doesn't work. You have to double click on the podcast to get it to play the first time.
The missing sidebar is an annoyance and the "add to" button which will bring up a sidebar is misleading.
All in all I will not upgrade any of my other computers to iTunes 11 until these items are fixed.
In a sad, note I think Apple's Quality Control is slipping.
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#3 User is offline   doug642 

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  Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:37 AM

I forgot to add that the progress bar is missing in the mini player. It was helpful to see how much longer a podcast would play.
I haven't found a download list telling the progress of downloads either.
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#4 User is offline   puckman 

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  Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:44 AM

Excellent upgrade. I'm even using playlists properly for the first time, everything is much easier than before. Nice to see the useless 'coverflow' got the boot.
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#5 User is offline   ConnorMeeblings 

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  Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:22 AM

Cover Flow might've been useless but it was nicer eye candy than the Album view. Since my previous iMac was too old to run iTunes 10, I had been using it on a WIndows laptop and that experience was horrible - no apple software on Windows has ever "just worked". iTunes works much better on my new iMac but I really don't want to upgrade to 11. The way Apple pushes it, I feel like the way PC users are pushed to get WIndows 8...
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#6 User is offline   icerabbit 

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  Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:26 AM

As a pretty well seasoned iTunes & mac user, I was shocked when I updated to v11.

I had just started a new iTunes library with higher quality rips of our own music. The library was maybe 60 albums strong when I updated to 11. All I saw was a huge jumble of "cloud albums", which I had never seen, with our albums interspersed. No sidebar. No list view. No album size adjustment slider. Tiny thumbnail in the progress area. ... Found the sidebar and status bar. Turned off the "cloud albums" and things were mostly back to normal.

These "cloud albums" must have been a few long forgotten iTunes purchases of compilation albums, which had their individual tracks listed as albums.

I do like the idea of expanding the album art and displaying the track list, the concept of up next, and that is about it. Several handy or visual features have been removed for no apparent reason. Search only showing for results at first. Searching my library I'm getting "unknown album" search results that link to additional albums in the iTunes store?! Still no option to verify the track list data & album art before converting a CD. Plenty of times it will have incorrect info and no cover or sometimes a different cover. No cover flow, which I typically use for the over size album art while the system is playing music.

And those are just some of my observations.

When we had the iMovie makeover, we gained some functionality we couldn't have gotten otherwise. No such thing with iTunes. It is a huge program without practical improvements where it needed it most, which is dealing with mobile devices. For me they should separate the whole mobile apps, backup, sync thing and return iTunes to a sleek fast music library.
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#7 User is offline   pcharles 

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  Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:45 AM

Quote

Some of the improvements are good, but the new button in the top left to go to the mini-player is a pain. The green button was better.


I agree the button could be more prominent, but the fact that the green button now does what all other MacOS applications does is a huge step forward. It was always frustrating to press the button and get the miniplayer instead of a fully expanded window.

I was surprised that I quickly warmed up to the new interface, although many of the old interfaces are still there and just as ugly. The songs view is one that jumps to mind.
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#8 User is offline   leethomson 

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  Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:51 AM

Expanded view looks nice, but is inefficient. It now requires more clicks to play an album. In v10, you'd hover over an album and click "Play Album". Now you actually have to open it first.
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#9 User is offline   leethomson 

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  Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:52 AM

I've also found that if you've changed the metadata of anything downloaded from the store (Genre, say) then those tracks will show up as requiring a download, even though they are already in your library.
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#10 User is offline   vathcj 

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  Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:08 AM

I like the new layout. But I have not been able to sync any of my devices with iTunes 11. It will do the backup and sync things such as contacts, mailboxes and photos. But when it gets to updating apps it crashes and burns. I have sent almost 10 crash reports to Apple thus far with no feedback. I have seen other forums with less than nice things to say about this version.
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#11 User is offline   Wbecster 

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  Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:39 AM

One thing about iTunes 11 I like is the fact that the encoding of CDs is much faster than the previous version. I like the fact they kept an option to view the sidebar to the left of the iTunes window through the view options in the menu bar. Creating playlists is a cinch naming your playlist and by right clicking on songs you can add them to your playlists through the contextual menu. I also noticed playing iTunes 11 through Airplay now sounds better. Some people may not notice it but it diffidently sounds better to me.
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#12 User is offline   kirkmc 

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  Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:50 AM

Quote

Expanded view looks nice, but is inefficient. It now requires more clicks to play an album. In v10, you'd hover over an album and click "Play Album". Now you actually have to open it first.


In Albums view, double-click an album to start playing it. This also expands it.
Macworld Senior Contributor - Macworld's iTunes Guy - Editor of Mac OS X Hints
Read my blog Kirkville, writings about more than just Macs. Twitter: @mcelhearn
My latest book: Take Control of iTunes 10: The FAQ
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#13 User is offline   leethomson 

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  Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:18 AM

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In Albums view, double-click an album to start playing it. This also expands it.


Double click is still one more click! But, it's not as bad as I thought, thanks.
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#14 User is offline   Berend 

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  Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:26 AM

My library consists mainly of Classical music (99.9%) which is now just over 27 GB. I nearly always browse in the Column Browser with the view set to Album List with Always Show Artwork turned on.

I find this view best suited for me.
I rip my CD's and then I want to give the album cover art or to change tags. Easy to do with Command+I in Album List view. This is now no longer possible.

I don't mind the disappearance of Cover flow; it was a nice gimmick. That's all.

The review confirms my initial impression. I don't like what Apple is doing with this new version of iTunes. Too much clicking. Useless interface gimmicks.
The additional bar with "Songs" "Albums" "Artist", etc. take up too much vertical space (annoying with small screens such as Macbook Air 11 inch).
And why the change of font to Helvetica which simply does not look all that good on a non retina screen.

I have reverted to iTunes 10,6.3 (yes) the easiest way: restore the whole system to the state just before installing iTunes 11 from a complete Time Machine backup.
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