Music Lovers Suffer the Death of iTunes (As We Knew it)

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Is this a better iTunes? It seems not. This upgrade is painful.

They made searching for the next song to play really hard to do in many ways sure to make iTunes useless for DJ’ing. iTunes since version 1.0 you could start with the massive library view or other views you may have set aside as a smart playlist or a mac folder contents playlist, then use the search field to narrow down what you could see. You ought to see what that search field has become now. It’s a monster from armageddon hell that makes you detour through a results page having nothing to do with the playlist you were on. In fact, you can’t tell where you are unless you use the contextual menu to see what playlists the track appears in. So frustrating, since you were just using the playlist you wanted to use.

In later versions they introduced an album artwork flipper that was a big hit. Now it’s gone (!). How could they take THAT away?

What happened to large album artwork view!? (Now you have to open up info, click on the artwork tab, drag and drop an artwork file copy to the desktop, and open the artwork in another program to view it large.)

Large album artwork view in iTunes 11 was displaying with player controls. That was nice. They took that away by 11.3.

They took away the ability edit artwork contents right in the playlist using drag and drop. Now you always have to go through the info panel. Playlists now only show currently playing artwork, and never any secondary artwork you may have added, though it is still there in the mp3 file.

OH! And I hate this a lot: random and repeat options have been moved to the very top of the program – from out of playlists. Those settings are now UNIVERSAL, AFFECTING ALL PLAYLISTS, even TV shows and movies, at once. I always had music playlists on random and TV or video playlists set to play in order displayed. Now when I kick back to watch my NBC News podcast, followed by Rachel Maddow, the damn thing skips off to an episode of The Simpsons after the news, because I was listening to music earlier in random play. Unbelievable.

You can’t add artwork to multiple tracks. CORRECTION: sorry, yes you can – using the info panel with multiple tracks selected.

You used to be able view multiple artworks for any track, and add all the artwork you wanted to. You could have the front sleeve, the back sleeve, the inner sleeves, throw in screenshots. The artwork was embedded into the mp3 file by iTunes. It was a killer feature for anyone with the mind of an archivist. And again, right in iTunes, while playing something else, peruse in any size of view, all the artwork to a different track that you had added.

If you start playing something in a smart playlist using a particular method, probably a double click instead of the play button above, the next item will not play – it only plays the item you double clicked and goes back to standby. Previously, the action of double click would start the queue from that item. I guess now you are expected to first create a separate playlist then use the play arrow up top in order for the playlist to act as a queue.

Things I like in iTunes 11.
All the new room for playlists in the playlists sidebar. THANK YOU FOR FINALLY DOING THAT!
You can add a selected track or tracks to another playlist using the contextual menu. That may have always been there, but I never noticed it.

Things I don’t like but have gotten used to, sort of.
Podcasts is no longer a playlist, but now a panel all its own. Actually, I’d kind of like the option to put anything in that drop down menu above the playlists section back into the playlists column, and vice versa. There’s another group of panels listed below the playback info display. Getting caught up in those is very disorienting. I eventually find my way back, but it’s disconcerting.

More on this story from the good folks at BitCandy.

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