The initial release of iTunes 11 had a bug with compilation albums where, in Albums view, they would not display Various Artists, but rather the name of the artist of the first track on the album. This has been fixed; now compilations show Various Artists in Albums view.
Apple has released an update to iTunes (version 11.0.1) which fixes a number of performance issues, notably the abysmally slow searching in the initial version of the program. The update also brings back the Find Duplicates command, which was, apparently, forgotten in the initial release. If you were disappointed in searching with iTunes 11, download this update and try again. For me, the searches that took more than 30 seconds with the initial release are nearly instantaneous now.
It’s worth noting Apple’s description of the update:
This update to the new iTunes addresses an issue where new purchases in iCloud may not appear in your library if iTunes Match is turned on, makes iTunes more responsive when searching a large library, fixes a problem where the AirPlay button may not appear as expected, and adds the ability to display duplicate items within your library. This update also includes other important stability and performance improvements.
The fact that it mentions “searching a large library” shows that Apple does, indeed, care about those of us with large music collections.Posted: 12/14/2012 by kirk | Filed under: Apple & Mac OS X, iPod & iTunes Tags: iTunes | 11 Comments »
With the arrival of iTunes 11, classical music fans – and anyone with a large music library – have lamented the removal of certain features and views that help organize large amounts of music. I touched on some of these in my extensive review of iTunes 11 for Macworld, and in my discussion of iTunes 11 on the Macworld podcast. But I would like to summarize here the problems that iTunes 11 has brought specifically to classical music listeners.
First, there is no Composers view. In the iTunes window, you can view your music by Songs, Albums, Artists Genres and Playlists, but Composers has been forgotten.
Next, the Column Browser has been removed. This was a very practical way of viewing your library by drilling down from, say, Genre to Composer to Album. Previously, the Column Browser was available either on the top of a window or on the left side, allowing for two different ways of viewing music. It’s still available, but only in one view: Songs. The Songs view is sterile and hard to use, because there is no artwork displayed, and because there is no visible separation between albums.
Album List view was also removed. This allowed users to display a list of their music with album art, and the artwork delimited each album, making it easy to spot an album at a glance. Also, this list view would display whichever columns a user wanted to see, and users could sort by any column, such as Date Added, Composer, Artist, Album, etc. The new Albums view only shows track names, ratings and times, and sort options are limited.
In the iTunes Store, there is no longer a Composer column when you view an album. So if you see a recording with several works of the same name, but by different composers, there’s no way of knowing which is which, if you want to buy one or several tracks of work by a specific composer.
And in the iTunes Store, the Power Search feature was removed. You could use this to search for items by multiple criteria, including composer. If you were looking for an album with a work by a specific composer, played by a specific artist, this was a practical way to find it.
iTunes is clearly targeted at those listeners who consume songs, not those who collect classical music, or who have large libraries. But what chagrins me is that it would have been simple to keep the above features; they don’t specifically clash with the overall interface. Their removal makes iTunes much harder to use with classical music, and with large libraries. I can only hope that Apple makes some changes so those users who need these features can feel comfortable with the program.Posted: 12/7/2012 by kirk | Filed under: Apple & Mac OS X, iPod & iTunes Tags: classical music, iTunes | 31 Comments »
If you’re an iTunes user, you should read my extensive review of iTunes 11 for Macworld. I look at what’s good and what’s not, and give the lowdown and whether it’s worth upgrading.
You can also hear me talk about iTunes 11 on the Macworld podcast with Christopher Breen. We discuss “the ups and downs of iTunes 11.”Posted: 12/5/2012 by kirk | Filed under: Apple & Mac OS X, iPod & iTunes Tags: iTunes | 3 Comments »
Remember the album art pane at the bottom-left of the iTunes window, in previous versions of iTunes? Well, iTunes 11 removed that. I’ve heard from a lot of people who used that pane to add album art to their tracks.
You can still add art from the Info window: select one or more tracks, press Command-I, then paste or drag the artwork to the Artwork well, for multiple tracks, or the Artwork tab, for single tracks.
But I spotted something interesting; another way to add album artwork. If you drag a graphic to the iTunes LCD – that’s the display at the top of the window, showing which track is playing – iTunes will add the graphic to the currently playing track.
It won’t add art to multiple tracks, if you’ve selected them, and it won’t let you add multiple graphics, but if you want to change artwork for a single song, while it’s playing, it’s a quick way to do so.Posted: 12/4/2012 by kirk | Filed under: Apple & Mac OS X, iPod & iTunes Tags: iTunes | 5 Comments »
Searching iTunes 11 is abysmally slow if you have a large library (mine has 65,000 tracks). So slow that it’s astounding. I made a screencast showing how slow it is. Note that, on my Mac, the cursor changes to a beachball; I couldn’t capture the beachball on video, so you’ll have to use your imagination.
The video below is in real time. Honest. Note that at the beginning, when I say “I just typed “Shake,” that’s when I typed the letters; it takes 30 seconds for them to show up…
I’m running these searches on a late 2010 Mac mini, with a 2.7 GHz Core i7 Processor, 16 GB RAM and an SSD (which is holding the iTunes library files, not the media files).
Update: Following a suggestion from a commenter (see below), I checked in another library I have for another user account. It has about 37,000 tracks, and the same search I tried in this video – “Shake” – took about 8 seconds in that library. So there’s clearly a scaling issue. 8 seconds is still too long; anything that beachballs is too long in my opinion, but it’s something I could live with.
Update 2: The iTunes 11.0.1 update fixes the search speed problem described above.Posted: 12/4/2012 by kirk | Filed under: Apple & Mac OS X, iPod & iTunes Tags: iTunes | 27 Comments »
I’ve gotten a number of emails and tweets about the fact that iTunes 11 no longer displays album art at the bottom-left of the program’s window, and that there’s no way to easily add album art to multiple tracks. Well, this is incorrect; there has always been another way.
Select the tracks you want to add album art to: multiple tracks or an entire album. Press Command-I (or Control-I on Windows), and you’ll see the Multiple Item Information window. Drag your artwork to the Artwork well, or if you’ve copied it, click in that well and paste it. Click OK, and the artwork is applied to all the tracks.
Posted: 12/3/2012 by kirk | Filed under: Apple & Mac OS X, iPod & iTunes Tags: iTunes | 9 Comments »
One of the most useful keyboard shortcuts in iTunes, Command-L (or Control-L for Windows users) is broken, at least in the Mac version of iTunes 11. This shortcut takes you to the currently playing song. So if you’re fiddling with files in your library, and want to go back to the song you’re listening to, pressing Command-L would transport you instantly.
Except with iTunes 11, it doesn’t work correctly. If the song you’re playing is in a playlist, pressing Command-L only takes you to that playlist, but does not highlight the currently playing song. If you are in other views, it seems to work correctly.
This is somewhat annoying to those who listen to music and add or edit files in their iTunes library at the same time. One could argue that with the new Up Next feature, zapping to the current song might not be an issue, but I still find it practical to be able to do so.
Update: I found what’s going on. If you have the sidebar displayed, then Command-L only selects the playlist. If you don’t display it, then iTunes goes to the currently playing track. I’m seeing a number of similar inconsistencies with iTunes 11 according to how the interface is displayed.Posted: 12/3/2012 by kirk | Filed under: Apple & Mac OS X, iPod & iTunes Tags: iTunes | 23 Comments »