I’ve always hated Cover Flow. In the Finder, in iTunes, and in the iOS Music app. Apple removed it from iTunes, but apparently not in the Finder in OS X 10.9 (you can still see the Cover Flow icon in the Finder toolbar in the screenshot on Apple’s Mavericks page.)
Fortunately, they did remove it from the iOS Music app. Now, if you turn your iOS device to landscape mode, you see a mosaic of album covers, like this:
Albums go from left to right in alphabetical order of the album names; there’s no way you can changes this, to put them in, say, artist order (which would make a lot more sense to most people).
Note that you can pinch to zoom in or out of this mosaic: you can view from two to four albums vertically, which translates to a bit less than four albums across (two high) or just over seven across (four high).
To play an album or song, tap its cover:
You’ll see the cover at the left, above controllers, then the different tracks on the album to the right. You can start playing the album by tapping the play button, or play a specific song by tapping its name. You can tap the album art to go back to mosaic view.
While this is an improvement on Cover Flow, I still don’t find it very user friendly. If you don’t know who a song is by, but know its cover, this is probably the best way to find it, but for other uses – playing a specific album, or music by a certain artist or from a certain genre – the standard interface makes more sense. Also, I would expect that, if, in portrait view, I choose an artist or genre, I should be able to tilt my device and see only the album art for items in that selection. But this is not the case.
When you’re already listening to something, and turn your iOS device to landscape mode, you don’t see the album art for that song, unless you started playing as song or album in that way. You still see the beginning of your collection, starting from the letter A. You should see the album playback view when you turn a device, no matter how you started playing it.
As much as I hated Cover Flow, I think Apple made a mistake with the behavior here. I won’t use this much, but if it was more coherent and logical, I might.