Apple rolled out a massive upgrade for its iTunes music player this week called iTunes 11.
iTunes is now in its 11th iteration, and with this version comes a brand new design that places emphasis on photos and album art instead of just listing all the music in your library.
iTunes is now faster and more in touch with the web, giving users access to the store right from their library.
With iTunes 11, I can’t help but feel like I’m using an iPad app instead of a desktop app. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I just wish I could touch the new iTunes instead of point and click.
Still, the new interface takes a little getting used to.
Using the new iTunes:
Figuring out how to use the new iTunes is easy. If you’ve ever used any iTunes version before, you’ll notice that everything is lumped into the same categories that are easy to access.
You can view your library by Songs, Albums, Artists, Genres, Videos, Playlists, and Radio. Album view is the default because it beautifully displays your albums by cover.
If you use Apple’s iTunes Match service you can see exactly what songs are in the cloud versus downloaded on the system.
I really like how when you click an album it expands and gives a better picture of the album and shows all the tracks.
Next to the “Songs” button is a “In the Store” button, which opens up the store in the same window and shows you all of the artist’s songs that are available via iTunes.
Moving around the app is very quick and we never experienced any beach balls or hang ups.
When you want to purchase other content or songs from a new artist, you can get to the iTunes Store in one click from every section.
In case you don’t have a newer Mac, we’ve heard that the software runs well on old machines too.
Like: the new mini player
The new mini player is much better than the previous version. It’s a tiny window that sits on your desktop so you don’t have to look at the full iTunes program.
You can see album art and exactly what song is coming up next. Besides those additions, you can search you entire music library and even control AirPlay.
But if none of that is good enough for you, you can expand the player. It’s not the full version, but it still gives you more control over your music.
As great as iTunes 11 looks, it’s missing a streaming radio feature like Pandora or Spotify offer. That would be a great complementary feature to the already-excellent iTunes Match service.
I’m really happy with iTunes 11. For a free update, it brings lots of functionality, speed, and an easy to navigate design.
I definitely recommend updating to iTunes 11. You can get the update over at Apple’s site.