iTunes Tip: New “Mini Player” Window in iTunes 10

You may be familiar with the iTunes Mini Player window. When you’re playing music, and click the green button at the top-left of the iTunes window, the Mini Player window displays, offering you basic controls for your music.

iTunes 10 added another type of “mini player,” which I’ll call the “artwork player.” When listening to music in iTunes, display the music’s artwork by clicking the artwork viewer button, the fourth button from the left at the bottom of the Itunes window . Click on the artwork, and it will display in its own window. If you hover over this window, you’ll see that there are controllers visible. (These are the same type of controllers you can see when playing videos in iTunes, or in QuickTime Player.)

Now, you can minimize the main iTunes window by clicking the yellow button in the top-left corner, and use this window to control your playback.

If you’re listening to a single album, the artwork will remain the same; if you’re listening to a playlist of songs from different albums, the artwork will change as the songs change. If what you want to listen to has no artwork, you can still use this window: it will display two musical notes. You can resize the window by dragging the bottom-right corner, so you can make it very small if you want. It doesn’t, however, give you the option to have it float over other windows as the Mini Player does.

Learn more about iTunes 10 in my forthcoming Take Control of iTunes 10: The FAQ, due out in mid-September.

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6 replies
  1. Chao says:

    There is a way to have this window float – under the ‘Advanced’ tab in preferences check the “keep movie window on top of all other windows” check box.

    Voila!

    Reply
  2. Wollie says:

    This doesn’t seem to work on my PowerBook. No controls show when hovering over w cursor. Also Chao’s tip to make window float doesn’t work. I guess the OS doesn’t recognize it as a movie window without the controls engaged/linked

    Reply
    • Wollie says:

      Found fix on Macworld’s Mac OS X website…

      From riddick3point0
      “There is actually a setting that you have to select first in Preferences>Playback. Under “Play Music videos” the option that needs to be selected is “in artwork viewer” – this is how I got it to work. Initially I couldn’t it to work. Great find!”

      I had to expand the mini-player which I had open to control iTunes to full screen before it showed any controls. This is a really nice touch for iTunes since I love to look at the artwork.

      Reply
  3. Touring Mars says:

    I have noticed a weird thing when using the artwork player (which is great!)… when using the artwork player, sometimes the “Switch to mini player” option under ‘View’ is greyed out, but other times it isn’t. I prefer to have both the artwork player and the mini player on my desktop, but I can’t figure out why it works some times and not others… any ideas what is going on with that? (I’m using the PC version, by the way…)

    Reply
    • kirk says:

      It looks like it depends on which window has focus. If the artwork player window has focus (is clicked), then that choice is dimmed; if the iTunes window has focus, then it’s available.

      Reply

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