And, there was much rejoicing. Besides the new and more attractive icon logo, there is a lot to love in iTunes 11. In addition to a completely reworked and greatly simplified user interface that’s a lot easier to get around using keyboard shortcuts, iTunes is now much, much, much more responsive.
Apple has finally delivered the long-awaited, whole-update that is iTunes 11 (download) and the bullet points go something like this:
— Complete Redesign — Edge-to-edge design, custom layouts for each album, movie or TV show in your library, and getting personal recommendations any time you click “In the Store”
— New iTunes Store — The store has been completely redesigned and now features a clean look that makes it simpler than ever to see what’s hot and discover new favorites — fewer choices, better response
— Play purchases from iCloud — Your music, movie and TV show purchases in iCloud now appear inside your library. Sign-in (Apple ID) and double-click to play directly from iCloud or download a copy that can be synced to a device and/or otherwise played offline
— Up Next — See which songs are playing next, all from a single place. Just click the Up Next icon in the center display and they’ll instantly appear. You can even reorder, add, or skip songs whenever you like.
— New MiniPlayer — A redesigned floating window, MiniPlayer now includes album art, Up Next and search (Command + Option + 3)
— Improved search — Just type in the search field and get instant results as you type from across your entire library
— Playback syncing — iCloud now remembers your place in a movie or TV show across all of your iThings logged into the same iTunes account
— iTunes 11 security content
— Also available as iTunes 11 for Windows 64
See also: iTunes 11: Everything You Need to Know
iTunes 11 gets around
Easily my favorite feature in iTunes 11 is improved mouse-free, keyboard navigation. For example, you can quickly view all of your playlists (Command + 1), movies (+ 2), TV shows (+ 3), podcasts (+ 4), iTunes U (+ 5), Books (+ 6) and iOS apps (+ 7).
There is also a keyboard shortcut for getting to the iTunes Store, as well — Command + Shift + H.
Combine these keyboard shortcuts with the Tab and Arrow keys, and iTunes just got a lot more efficient — simply brilliant and, even though I never asked for better keyboard navigation, it’s long overdue.
And, yes, the new Mini Player (Command + Option + 3) is a great new feature if for no other reason than you see what songs (or videos) will play next. Unfortunately, internet radio stations do not list upcoming tracks.
In the revamped iTunes Store, it looks almost exactly like it does on the iPad. That said, there is less to discover right in front of your eyes, but the somewhat expurgated selection of songs, podcasts, movies, etc. are easier to peruse — a welcome change.
I am very much liking iTunes 11 — cleaner, faster and much easier to get around…
What’s your take?