Q: I was reading your brief story regarding the new iTunes download, so what the heck is “Composers View” in the new iTunes and where do I find it.
A: The new Composers View feature in iTunes 11.0.2 is actually somewhat more minor than it sounds. What the update basically offers is the ability to see a list of music grouped by Composer, presented in the same way as the Artist listing was introduced in iTunes 11.
The key point is that iTunes 11.0.2 actually hides the new “Composers” view by default, so it won’t actually appear until you go into your iTunes Preferences and specifically enable it. The option for this can be found on the General page, as a new checkbox setting labelled “Show Composers.”
Once enabled, a new “Composers” heading appears in the top selection bar between “Artists” and “Genres” providing access to the new view. The layout of the Composers view is essentially identical to the Artists view; a list of Composers is displayed on the left-hand side of the screen, and selecting an individual composer entry will display a list of tracks by that composer, grouped by album.
This feature is of course only as useful as the metadata you have in your actual tracks, so if you don’t have any Composer information filled in, you probably won’t get much out of it. Tracks purchased from the iTunes Store often include this information, but you’re less likely to find it on tracks you’ve acquired from other sources.
Also note that the Composer and Groupings fields have been accessible in the iTunes Column Browser for a few years now, although these two are hidden by default and must be enabled from the View, Column Browser menu.
In iTunes 11, the Column Browser is available only when viewing the “Songs” listing, but can be another useful way to browse your music by Composer—particularly useful for those with large libraries of classical music.