iTunes 11: Everything New Can Look Old Again

After a month’s delay, Apple finally released iTunes 11 last week. Macworld and Ars Technica are among those sites who have weighed in with reviews and Macworld has even rounded up some cool tips and tricks for using iTunes 11, as has iLounge.

If you’re an iTunes user, you’ve probably been playing around with the program since Apple released it into the wild on November 29th. While the new interface is a fresh look, some people may find it another piece of confusing disorientation in a season that has already brought the less-than-universally-beloved Windows 8 and Apple Maps.

iTunes 11 has moved some stuff around, ditched some features (buh-bye, iTunes DJ) as most major program updates tend to do, so you may need to take some time to explore.  But if you absolutely HATE HATE HATE the new visual look, you can mostly retrofit iTunes 11 to look a lot like old-school iTunes, back when it had the vertical pane of info on the left side and even a bit of color on those little icons.

Let’s visit the View menu, shall we?

  • To restore that vertical side panel that listed all the stuff in your library, choose View > Show Sidebar.
  • To add back the line at the bottom that tells you how much stuff you have in your iTunes library, choose View > Show Status Bar.
  • If you really liked that multi-pane column browser in Song list view that showed the Album, Artist, Genre, Grouping and Composer lists, click the Songs button and choose View > Column Browser > Show Column Browser and pick what you want to see in your iTunes window.

Later, if you decide you want to try out the new iTunes 11 look after you’ve had some time to think about it, you can always revisit the View menu and reverse course.

No matter what you make your iTunes 11 window look like, though, the Up Next feature is still pretty handy if you want to queue up a lot of tracks fast (and seems to be a replacement for the aforementioned iTunes DJ). Soon enough, many people will get used to iTunes 11 in its default form and just get on with the music —and expect a few who will complain how great it was when iTunes 12 arrives.

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