iTunes 11: Command-L Keyboard Shortcut is Broken

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.

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23 replies
  1. Des Dougan says:

    Something else that’s a regressive step is that the ability to easily add album art to a selection has gone.

    You were once able to open a window at the bottom of the sidebar and drop an image on to it, but no longer. As far as I can see, each track needs to have the artwork added individually…

    Thanks for interesting and thought-provoking columns.

    Des

    Reply
  2. kirk says:

    Just select an album – or all the tracks to which you want to add album art – press Command-I, and paste the art in the Artwork well, then press OK.

    Reply
  3. Des Dougan says:

    I was trying that when your email came through – thanks for the pointer.

    I had tried copying the jpg file from the Finder and pasting that – it dropped in a placeholder image rather than the content of the pasted file; however, if I opened it in Preview and copied and pasted into the well, it worked.

    Regards,

    Des

    Reply
      • Dan Frakes says:

        Huh. I tried both the contextual menu and the keyboard shortcut today, and neither worked. I’ll fiddle more tomorrow.

        Reply
        • kirk says:

          You’re not the first person to report things missing. My son showed me a screenshot yesterday of the Info window, in his Music library, which had no Next and Previous buttons at the bottom.

          Reply
          • Lee says:

            I think what you see in the Info pane is determined by the view it is called from. If you select a song in Artist view and hit cmd-i, then Previous and Next will be missing. Why? Who knows? Because if this was delayed into December, Apple would have been a laughing stock? So they released another buggy final product and skimped on the documentation.

            Reply
            • kirk says:

              No, I get the Next and Previous buttons in every view. If you don’t, that’s interesting. My son tried it in a playlist first, then didn’t see it anywhere.

            • Lee says:

              That is odd. Had you clicked on an artist, or did you have All Artists selected? I can reproduce this 100%.

              Open iTunes > Click on Artists > Select an artist > Select a track > Press CMD-I. The info pane has no Next or Previous buttons.

              The same thing works if I display a playlist as an Artist List.

              I’ve also found I can’t show or hide the column browser when the sidebar is visible – all column browser options are grayed out with the sidebar up; how about you?

  4. Ruud says:

    Hi Kirk, the CMD + L shortcut works fine with iTunes 11 under Mac OS 10.6.8 on my old white MacBook (late ’07). It brings me to the playlist and highlights the song.

    Cheers,
    Ruud.

    Reply
  5. Lionel says:

    CMD-L seems to work in fr_FR OS X 10.8.2 on MBP 2008: gets back and forth and highlights the currently playing song in either the playlist or album view, whichever the song has been double-clicked in.

    Reply
  6. Dave R says:

    The Command-L issue is one reason I reverted back to iTunes 10. I used it all the time. I wanted to like the new iTunes, but I’m an album kind of guy and 11 got rid of the “View as Album List” with the covers on the left side. 11′s list view just has a list of songs with no option to view the covers on the same screen (which makes it so much easier to differentiate the albums). I’ve got close to 5000 albums in iTunes and a long list of songs doesn’t really help me. I tried 11 for 4 days and gave up – I reverted back to iTunes 10. I’m still interested in your comments on the new iTunes, and will be eagerly awaiting your next few weeks of posts and reviews. Thanks!

    Reply
  7. e_p says:

    artwork – that doesnt work if you are adding multiple pieces of artwork to multiple songs. it only adds one. if you repeat the process with a different piece of artwork, it copies over it. so basically multiple pieces of artwork need to be added to each song individually.

    Reply
  8. Doug Adams says:

    The AppleScript command *reveal* (highlight a track or playlist) behaves exactly the same way. I suspect this whole mechanism wasn’t hooked up properly in the rush to get iTunes 11 out.

    Reply
  9. kirk says:

    Replying to Lee above…

    Interesting, I had simply selected a track when all artists was selected. So why should that change if you’ve selected a single artist. I have a feeling it’s a bug.

    For the Column Browser, it only displays in Songs view, but it doesn’t matter for me if the sidebar is visible or not.

    Reply
  10. Chris says:

    There do seem to be various inconsistencies when sidebar is enabled or disabled. Expect the sidebar to go the way of the dinosaur within a few updates; I believe it has been included only temporarily during the initial transition period. The edge to edge view is the new model. Perhaps they are not putting as much resources into developing the old sidebar mode.

    Reply
  11. Rob says:

    For now I’m getting around this by viewing in playlist mode, sidebar disables. I’ve created a smart playlist at the top that includes all my music, so its effectively the same as the old sidebar view.

    Reply
  12. Matthew G says:

    If the track changes to another album and that album is a compilation, then the Command-L functionality is broken too.

    If the other album is a “normal” album with the same artist in the artist field then Command-L works fine.

    Reply

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