Today’s release of iTunes 11.1 includes one big, new feature – iTunes Radio – but also a small feature that many iTunes users will welcome. Now, on OS X, you can get notifications for song changes. These notifications can be banners or alerts, and song changes can also be recorded in Notification Center.
Notifications are turned on by default, but you can make changes in iTunes’ General preferences. (Choose iTunes > Preferences, then click General.)
You’ll also want to check the Notifications pane of System Preferences. Find iTunes there, then choose the type of alerts you want to see. (Choose the Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Notifications.)
Banners are small alerts that go away on their own; Alerts stay on screen until you dismiss them. Here’s what they look like, first a banner, then an alert:
As you can see, both of these display at the top-right of your screen, just below the toolbar. The Banner goes away after five seconds, and the Alert stays on your screen until you click either Close or Skip. (The two options here make no difference, but for other types of alerts they do.)
Most people will want to simply use banners, but you may want to have alerts so you have time to see what’s changed, in case you’re busy and can’t catch the banner during it’s five-second display.
If you choose Show in Notification Center, in the Notifications preferences, you’ll also be able to view a timeline of what you’ve played in iTunes. Just click the Notification Center icon (that’s the one with the three bullet points at the far right of the toolbar), and you’ll see something like this.
You can have from one to twenty recent items display in Notification Center. This is a good way to go back and check what you’ve heard, if you’ve been playing music in shuffle mode, or if you’ve been listening to iTunes Radio.
So if you’ve been using a third-party tool to display notifications, you can get rid of it now.
Check out my ebook, Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ. Buy now and you’ll get a free update very soon with full coverage of the new features in iTunes 11.1.