What’s New in iTunes 12 | iLounge Article


What’s New in iTunes 12

iTunes 11, released in November 2012, made a number of major changes to Apple’s Mac and PC media player/store application. Apple significantly streamlined the graphical interface from previous editions, redesigned the MiniPlayer, and created tighter integration between iCloud and the iTunes Store.


Other than a new red dock icon—replacing the blue one first introduced in iTunes 10—that went without mention during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the event came and went without any mention of an update to iTunes. Then, on July 21, 2014, along with the fourth beta release of the upcoming OS X Yosemite, a beta version of iTunes 12 popped up in the Mac App Store for developers.

Without any advance signaling from Apple, the changes in iTunes 12 came as a surprise. While the app’s core remains pretty much the same as before, iTunes 12’s top control bar has been completely redesigned, now matching the look of iOS 7 and iOS 8 even more closely. Today, we take a look an initial look at what’s new. Because this is pre-release software, and only the first release at that, there are bound to be changes over time before the final version ships. But for now, here’s what you can generally expect when iTunes 12 becomes available this fall.

A New Look


Although the jump isn’t as dramatic as iTunes 11 was in relation to iTunes 10, it’s obvious from the first time iTunes 12 launches that Apple’s graphical design team has been making changes, especially at the top of the iTunes window.

Almost all of the controls are still present, and in the same position as they have been in the past. Starting on the left, there are tracking and play buttons—Genius Shuffle has been removed here, although not from the app altogether—followed by the volume slider and AirPlay controls. In the middle you have the Now Playing window, displaying the same information as before. New in iTunes 12 is a constant link to your iTunes account, denoted with a small silhouette and your first name to the right. Clicking here gives you access to Wish List, Redeem, and Account Info, as well as the ability to sign in or out. As in iTunes 11, the download icon in iTunes 12 appears on the right only when a download is in progress.


While that’s all still there, the design is now much flatter. Instead of gradients and textures, there are just a few shades of gray: one for the background, another for the buttons, and a third for the search bar. The shapes are simpler, too. For example, instead of the Now Playing window looking as if it’s set into the bar, with rounded corners, it’s now simply divided from the rest of the controls by straight lines with no depth. These design tweaks mirror changes introduced in iOS 7.

The other big point worth noting is that the old “legacy” iTunes user interface is entirely gone with this version. Perhaps as a concession to long-time iTunes users, iTunes 11 bridged the gap by allowing users to turn the old sidebar back on, but with iTunes 12, that’s gone and the new interface is the only game in town. It’s probably not surprising considering that iTunes 11 was clearly headed in that direction, but this is definitely something that will take some getting used to for many legacy iTunes users.

A New Way to Access Your Content


In iTunes 11, different content categories are reached from a drop-down “Library” menu underneath the play controls. To switch from Music to Podcasts, for example, you’d click here and then select the proper listing. iTunes 12 changes that. Icons representing the different categories are now lined up in a row, right next to an icon that allows you to switch between the library on your Mac or PC and any computers you have set up through Home Sharing. Now you can save a click by just hitting the correct icon, rather than having to activate the drop down menu first. Users can choose which icons are displayed, so the icons that you frequently access can be readily available, and the others are hidden behind a “...” icon until you need them.

In the center, there are still ways to switch the view of the content below, but the options have been changed. Music, for example, now only displays four options to select: My Music, Playlists, Radio, and iTunes Store. Despite the type of content you choose, iTunes Store will be an option at the far right of the list, taking you to the corresponding section. The iTunes Store is now effectively more “integrated” into the app, and no longer appears as a standalone entity. It’s kind of an interesting design change that brings the iTunes Store further into the content areas, rather than leaving it as a separate place within the app. The actual store itself looks unchanged, at least for now; Apple may modify the Store later. Further to the right—all the way over—some categories offer extended sorting options via a drop down menu. In the case of Music, for example, you can switch between Albums by Artist, Song List, and more.

A New “Get Info” Screen


Get Info window in iTunes 11
Get Info window in iTunes 12

One of the features of iTunes that’s seen the fewest changes over the years is the Get Info screen; this is the first time in iTunes’ history that it’s been totally redesigned. Right-click any piece of media, and it’ll appear as one of the options. It’s now broken down into the following tabs: Details, Artwork, Lyrics, Options, Sorting, and File. Most of the same information is displayed, but it’s been heavily rearranged.



Somewhat confusingly, the list of iTunes-connected devices has become just one more icon—typically the shape of an iPhone or iPad—in the collection below the playback controls. Once you click on that icon, you’ll either be given a list of connected devices to select from, or taken straight to the new Device layout. There, you’ll see the former top-of-window tabs (Summary, Info, Apps, Music, Movies, and so on) arranged as a column of labeled icons. Clicking on any of the categories will display a content view very similar to what’s been in prior versions of iTunes for years.


In the place of what used to be the category tabs are two new ones: “Settings” and “On My Device.” Clicking On My Device switches the left column to Music, Movies, and TV Shows, with the remainder of the window showing list-style views of each as you select them. Font and icon differences between these tabs suggest that Apple may still be tweaking the iTunes 12 UI.

Wrapping It Up

The redesign in iTunes 11 was already pretty polarizing when it first arrived, but many iTunes users were at least able to tweak it to match the feel of iTunes 10. By borrowing from last year’s controversial iOS 7 redesign, and discarding some old and familiar user interface paradigms, version 12 may be the most polarizing release in iTunes history. We’ll be keeping an eye on changes as the beta progresses.

« What’s New In Apple TV 7.0

iLounge Picks: Five Great Summer Party Speakers »

Related Stories



iTunes 11 was released Nov 2012, not 2013 as stated in the article.

Posted by Andrew Barry on July 24, 2014 at 10:05 AM (CDT)


1. “Album is a compilation of songs by various artists”.  Now perhaps people will use that properly!
2. The “Add Field” button is interesting.

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on July 26, 2014 at 5:58 PM (CDT)


Can one still burn to CD and or DVD?
And where is the “Add File/Folder to Library Option,” as well as the Import Compression options?

Posted by Ron C. on July 27, 2014 at 3:14 PM (CDT)


Can’t add a year to a file that wasn’t added from the iTunes Store, it seems. I have a video file (.mp4) that I copied into iTunes. Accessing the new Get Info screen, I can edit the title, sorting, etc., but there is no way to add the movie’s release date. Haven’t checked for audio files yet.

They just made organizing your media with iTunes a bit more difficult than it already was. Seems another reason to find another option.

Posted by MJ on July 27, 2014 at 4:34 PM (CDT)


Why can’t there be just an iTunes Store. There you find what you want to download, podcasts, albums, movies, etc. Then, once the download completes a smart sort of invisible app picks up the new arrival, files it to your own folders, which have a smashing media list view. Once launched another smart app handles each MP3, MP4, podcast download with a simple minimalist interface to play.

iTunes now is a gargantuan and it makes no sense as it ttys to be all things to all users. That’s not necessary, nor is it simple, nor efficient, nor FUN!

Posted by Tom G on July 31, 2014 at 8:28 PM (CDT)


I don’t bother upgrading to new versions of iTunes any more because I’m tired of doing it, I DON’T WANT MAJOR CHANGES.
Thank you.

Posted by Steve on August 4, 2014 at 6:58 AM (CDT)


I like the way it looks.

One minor nit - the Account Name in the control bar displays my legal name instead of my nickname - it shows William instead of Will.

I really appreciate that the album covers now no longer have fuzzy /cloudy edges. That was an insult to the cover art designers.

TV Shows should still be changed in name to Series, since many series, such as web series, are not television shows except in an abstract sense.

Posted by Will on October 17, 2014 at 9:34 AM (CDT)


wow best

Posted by getahun on October 18, 2014 at 4:46 AM (CDT)


@ #4 - There’s an app called MetaX that, while not necessarily the best or prettiest thing out there, can edit every field iTunes can/will display (even theatrical ratings) and will also embed poster art into the video file’s metadata. It’s free.

#5 - While I agree that having a separate app for iTMS/App Store (with integration for Mac App Store) would be great, I like the fact that iTunes does it all. It’s a media server for the Apple TVs that I own, it’s how I play back movies, TV, music, podcasts, and everything else on my Mac both locally and in the cloud, and it helps me manage my massive collection of music and movies (at least 400GiB of music, and 3x that in movies).

@ Nick Guy - the sidebar is still there, kinda; it’s buried in the “Playlists” option. However, iDevices don’t show up over there anymore. Being that I’m a long-time iTunes user (version 2 on a PowerMac 8500), I actually like the changes made. I’ll be giving it a shot on my Windows 7 box soon, hoping Apple cleaned up the code base.

Posted by Bill on October 19, 2014 at 5:04 AM (CDT)


Can anyone please tell me how to get back the fields of Grouping and Episode ID in iTunes??? I can’t get to these metadata fields anymore and I just added new TV series content to my media library. Its annoying because my smart playlist goes by grouping and sort by Episode ID.

Posted by Kyle Wong on October 19, 2014 at 10:40 PM (CDT)


I’ve been using iTunes since it was introduced and I’ve never had much difficulty adjusting to the new versions. I have to say that this version is the best yet; I just can’t stop playing with it.

I love the new ‘Recently Added’ field in the Album and Artist windows. I often had trouble remembering the latest CDs I had downloaded, so, despite wanting to find an album, I often used the songs window just so that I could use the ‘Date Added’ column.

Maybe this was a feature that needed to be selected which I overlooked in previous versions, as I’m surprised it wasn’t mentioned in the article.

A couple of niggles I still have: When I search for an artist in Album view I’d like to be able to filter the result to just see albums by that artist, excluding other people’s albums and compilations they may be on, and albums by artists who have covered their songs, just like you can in Artist view.

And it still annoys me that the Search field doesn’t retain my search when I move between My Music and the Store.

But these are minor issues I can live with; overall IMO iTunes 12 is a job well done.

Posted by Stephen on October 20, 2014 at 5:14 AM (CDT)


I hate the way it looks when i click to album; it’s too ugly in comparison to the last versions. I wish I hadn’t updated!

Posted by Celia on October 21, 2014 at 9:50 AM (CDT)


Worst. App. Update. Ever.
Having to click on the movies button (or music etc.) THEN click on the store button to get that file type to show up in the store is completely worthless.

But the worst part of this app: taking away the side bar so you can’t see all your file types at once! I think the Apple designers did this just to make themselves feel busy. Seriously, worst app update in the history of Apple. Shame on you all for this monstrosity being released on the world.

Posted by cj on October 21, 2014 at 1:05 PM (CDT)


Getting album art is much less convenient in 12.  Can’t seem to copy and paste from the web directly into info anymore.  Have to download the image then add it from your computer. 

Also wish the pop-out player would allow for much larger sizing, if not whole screen.  Why not ?

Posted by Anon on October 21, 2014 at 4:30 PM (CDT)


Can not find airplay icon anymore on itunes 12!!!

Posted by Myri on October 22, 2014 at 3:12 AM (CDT)


now my books and Music show in the same place,anyone found a way to hide books

Posted by DOC on October 22, 2014 at 9:05 AM (CDT)


is there a way to edit the description field in the get info menu i use this to manage my large (135.000 track) library creating smart playlist from the the information i have adding in this field (description) that appears to be missing in iTunes 12 failing this is there a 3rd party app that will let me edit this field?

Posted by tony wilkinson on October 22, 2014 at 1:36 PM (CDT)


#17 TW - is it any use to edit Description Field directly, instead of going through Get Info ?  You can edit it directly, albeit only one tune at a time it seems.

Posted by Anon on October 23, 2014 at 1:02 PM (CDT)


I have tried repeatedly to get a response from Apple support (with no luck) about why they took away the “view all” feature from the Wish List.  Had a lot of items saved there but now cannot view anything beyond the latest selections.  What’s the point of having a wish list if you cannot see all the items saved to it?!?

Posted by John Byrne on October 23, 2014 at 8:45 PM (CDT)


Am I missing something or is the small controller window gone?

Posted by Ted Wilder on October 25, 2014 at 10:34 AM (CDT)


If you are referring to the mini player, then just click the artwork on the left of the now playing window.

I don’t have access to my iMac at the moment, so can’t give exact details, but I know that this can then be reduced further, removing, the artwork, by clicking something within the mini-player.

Posted by Stephen on October 25, 2014 at 4:20 PM (CDT)


I’ve asked why they removed the cover view window as now its nearly impossible to see quickly if a file has a picture or not. Before you just chose the file and it showed up in the cover view window. Now you have to open the file, goto the cover view and check manually.
I’m really thinking of deleting iTunes 11 and downgrade to iTunes 10 as thats the last of the good iTunes.

Posted by NakedFaerie on November 2, 2014 at 9:39 PM (CST)


Serum Drug Screen Oxycodone Oxycontin To Roxycodone . Oxycodone Cough Medicine How Do I Get Oxycodone Prescribed Goes Oxycodone Cause Constipation Can Oxycodone Raise Blood Pressure Fainting Oxycodone And Ibuprofen oxycodone hci acetaminophen . Mallinckrodt Oxycodone Tablets Oxycodone Breathing Problems Nausea Vomiting Oxycodone Gabapentin buy oxycodone online without prescription. Oxycodone And Curvature Of The Spine Interactions Convert Oxycodone To Morphine Medicine Oxycodone Effects On The Body Novo Pms Oxycodone .

Posted by MusakDola on November 22, 2014 at 3:51 AM (CST)


How Much Is A Prescription Of Hydrocodone Sex On Hydrocodone Take Vicodin Buy Prescription Hydrocodone Without Tramadol Online order hydrocodone online no rx. Hydrocodone Phenyl Dexbrom Syrup Hydrocodone Dosage Weight Hydrocodone 377 Info Taking Oxycodone And Hydrocodone Forever . Trankimazin Hydrocodone Ledger Overdose Oxycodone Hydrocodone . Take Hydrocodone And Oxycodone 2gether Hydrocodone 75 750 Vicodin Xanax Alcoholic With Hydrocodone Hydrocodone Vs Lorazepam Ativan Mixed With Hydrocodone Hydrocodone For Migraine Treatment

Posted by HalliRcob on December 25, 2014 at 6:08 PM (CST)


Tramadol Zydot Clothes Tramadol Ranbaxy Tramadol Hcl Acetaminophen order tramadol cod. How Long Hates It Take Tramadol To Kick In Tramadol And Sertraline Serotonin Syndrome Tramadol Sedative Inexpensive List Prescription Tramadol . And Tinnitus Tramadol Hydrochloride Cheap Tramadol Online Prescriptions Cetirizine Zyrtec Ultram . 50mg What Is It Tramadol Ultram Night Sweats Ibuprofen Tramadol Tramadol Falling Sand Ultram Maximum Dose Tramadol Mirtazapine Tramadol 5 Ht How Long Does Tramadol Stay In My Body

Posted by AnePat on December 27, 2014 at 8:12 PM (CST)

If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods/iPhones/iPad or accessories, or if you sell or market iPod/iPhone/iPad products or services, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter


Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter


iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2014 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy