Nearly 2 months ago when Eddie Cue first showcased iTunes 11 to the public, it was clear that Apple is working hard to redefine their standard music player. The new iTunes is completely redesigned with lots of interesting new features that will serious put competitors like Windows Media Player and Real Player at least a light year behind. I was very excited and waited eagerly for the launch of iTunes 11 which has finally happened today. After downloading and playing around with the fresh looking player it is time I share some of my thoughts.
The first thing that you will notice is the brand new header design which looks a lot more refined than the previous version. All you songs are categorized into albums, genre, artists and the usual stuff. The thing which is not so usual is the new artist popup feature. When you click on any album iTunes 11 will slide open a popup area displaying all the songs and a large sized cover photo of the album art. What makes it so special is that the entire background of the expanded view is synchronized with a color similar to the tone and theme of the album art. Seriously! Only Apple knows how the hell they did such intelligent programming. I tested different pictures and every time the theme color for the expanded view was deadly accurate. The play area also features a brand new tab called UP NEXT showing all the upcoming songs and then there is another timestamp icon to see previously played songs.
iTunes 11 Mini Player
Another major improvement is the all new mini player for iTunes 11. Go to the Option Menu in the Top Right section and select “Switch to Mini Player”. The mini player is a great little tool that provides almost all options to change a track, see recently played songs and even comes with its own music search bar. Click on the album or the artist to big forth a bunch of options that lets you jump to the respective pages within iTunes. When you hover your cursor over the mini player you will be presented with music control options. There is a very tiny icon on the right side that lets you revert back to the original full screen version.
Better iCloud Support
ITunes 11 also supports better iCloud integration that enables you start a movie or a video exactly from the position you last left it open on other iOS devices. In order to make sure that this feature is working properly, please ensure that you are signed in with your Apple ID while watching the videos. iCloud also syncs song purchases across all devices.The new version presents a dedicated button to access the iTunes Store. The store comes with the same design that was recently updated for iOS 6. Artists can now share pictures in their information section along with a gorgeous new design of their album page.
Overall, I feel that iTunes 11 totally redefined the digital jukebox industry that seems to be saturated for a couple of years now. The new design, layout and other enhancements really encourages you to dive back into traditional music playing on your computer again.