iTunes 11 is here! With a complete redesign of both the iTunes player and the iTunes store, we wanted to point out some great new features that you can use to optimize your listening and shopping experience.
First, let’s start with the player itself. You will notice when you first open iTunes 11 that there is no longer a sidebar, which has been replaced with either more browsing space on an album level or has been turned into a browse by artist/genre area. Now — if you weren’t quite ready to give up that sidebar, DO NOT FRET! You can still access it by clicking on the “View” drop-down and selecting “Show Sidebar.”
A few more big changes you will notice with the player are focused around the album view. Apple’s new album artwork layout offers a great way to quickly browse through your albums while still being able to enjoy all of your colorful album artwork. When clicking on any album, an ‘expanded view’ will appear. Not only does this expanded view show you the tracks of that specific album, but if you click the ‘In the Store’ button on the upper-right corner it will also show you Top Songs, Top Albums, and Recommended Songs [from other artists], all of which you can purchase right from your music library. How’s that for some intuitive up-sell!
Gone are the days of the unknown queue when using iTunes ‘Up Next’ feature. This functionality allows you to access a full list of upcoming and previously played tracks by clicking this button in the Now Playing window. You can also click the arrow button next to any track and either place the track at the front of your queue by selecting ‘Play Next,’ or simply add it to your queue by selecting ‘Add to Up Next.’
Check out the new design of the Mini Player by clicking the button on the upper-right of your player. You will notice that the player is much sleeker in design, only displaying the track name, artist name, and album artwork. Hover your mouse for Play/Pause, Forward, Back, and Volume Control. And notice that you can now also access ‘Up Next’ and search your library right from the Mini Player.
There have also been some big changes to the iTunes Store. Toggle from your iTunes Library to the store by clicking the ‘iTunes Store’ button on the upper-right of your player. This will take you to a fresh new redesign with bigger showcases, sliding bricks and all around bigger album artwork.
One functionality that iTunes has added to the store is each artist now has a dedicated page. This will contain a Collection page, which showcases all of that artist’s Albums, Songs, Music Videos and Movies along with other artists that listeners have bought. The Artist Info section allows you to browse through the artist’s biography, influencers, followers and contemporaries. Some artists also have a Gallery option, which allow you to view a variety of high-resolution photos from their career.
All of these features make for a robust new store and player. I am sure there is more in store for iTunes in 2013. What do you surmise is coming?
Check out the Apple website for a demo video and more information on these new features.