On November 29th, Apple released the new version of iTunes. Previously iTunes releases were always basically the same thing, with new features added. (such as upgrades just to support the latest iOS devices). But this is something completely different. Other than the name the new version is like no other iTunes release that you have ever seen. Back when iTunes 1.0 was released in 2001, navigation and layout stayed the same (roughly) until now. The days where iTunes looks like an old school webpage are over. The new version is very iOS’ish. (once again a word I’ve created and still hoping it would catch on). When you launch iTunes in Album view, you will see the artwork for all of your music,(*hint* prior to upgrading I would suggest using an application like Tune Up to make sure that you have all of your cover art in order) clicking on a specific album cover expands to show all the songs that you have for that specific album. Selecting a song, then “right click” on it will allow you to create a Genius playlist.
Speaking of playlists, the new way of creating playlists is pretty cool. First you create the name for the playlist, then switch to your music, then it is a drag and drop. I know it doesn’t sound like much but it is pretty cool.
One of the new features is “Up Next”. So let’s say you are listening to your playlist, and suddenly you have need to listen to Free bird. It used to be that you would have to either wait until the current song was over or if you are impatient (like me) you would just double click on Free bird and when it was done go back to your playlist. Up Next allows you to queue up songs without stopping your playlist. Another cool feature is that once you add the song to up next, you can drag them up and down and reorder your up next playlist.
iTunes 11 gives you multiple views to sort and explore your library. You can sort by Song, Album, Artist, Genre, Videos, Playlist and Radio. You can use this to “stumble” around your library to find music you forgot you had, are experience it in a new way.
Apple also used this opportunity to completely redo the iTunes store. Which is cool in itself. with rotating artwork of featured bands. (To be honest my description leaves much to be desired, I suggest you head right out and download iTunes 11 to see what I am talking about. A picture is worth a thousand words and what not.)
By far this is the best version of iTunes I have ever used. In fact, I’ll take it a step further, this is the best music player on a computer that I have ever used.
Have you installed iTunes 11? Let us know what you think in the comments.