New iTunes 11

This is a discussion on New iTunes 11 within the iTunes forums, part of the Apple Services category; iTunes 11 has finally arrived, nearly a month after it was originally promised because of the need to "get it right" according to Apple. The ...

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    Roundup of Changes in iTunes 11: 'Expanded View', No Cover Flow, 'Up Next' and More



    iTunes 11 has finally arrived, nearly a month after it was originally promised because of the need to "get it right" according to Apple. The app promises a redesigned store, simplified layout, and more.

    Aside from the tentpole changes, there are a number of other things -- both promising and confusing -- that have changed in iTunes 11. Here's a selection:

    - The default iTunes 11 view removes the sidebar that has been a staple of iTunes since it was first released. The Mac Observer tells us how to get it back. Head to the View menu and select Show Sidebar.

    - iPods have come in a wide variety of capacities in their time, but one notable capacity has never graced the device. There has never been a 128GB iPod, though as Sonny Dickson points out, iTunes appears to be ready for such an eventuality. A 128GB iOS device has been consistently rumored over the years, but has yet to make an appearance.

    - Users can now redeem store-purchased iTunes Gift Cards by using the camera built into most recent Macs (or Windows machines) to scan the redemption code. This should make redeeming cards quicker and reduce user frustration.

    - It has a new icon, as seen above.

    - The red/yellow/green buttons at the top left of the window again perform in the standard OS X manner. Previously, the green button would send the iTunes into its special MiniPlayer window. Now, a special icon in the top right corner, next to the full screen button, toggles minimization.




    - John Gruber at Daring Fireball notes the new 'Expanded View' mode:

    I think my favorite new design element is what Apple is calling “Expanded View”. In a graphical list of albums or movies or shows, you click one and it opens in a subview right there under the album/movie/show. Instead of going to a new view, you stay where you are. No way to get confused about where you are, more of a sense of direct manipulation. I think this is a brilliant design for everyone, particularly typical users. And there’s a neat trick: the colors for the song listing are chosen algorithmically based on the album or poster art. Very clever, very fun. It’s a digital approximation of going through real-world albums or DVD jewel boxes and opening them in place — with the custom color palettes, the listings feel like the “inside” of the albums.

    - Gruber also noticed that the 'Up Next' menu displays differently on retina and standard displays. "On regular displays, the Up Next icon is a bullet list. But on retina displays, it’s a numbered list with minuscule numerals."

    - iTunes DJ, formerly called Party Shuffle, is gone. It's been replaced by the clever 'Up Next'.

    - Cover Flow, a major feature when it was introduced, is gone. It's been replaced by the 'Expanded View' mentioned above.

    - There seems to be a bug with the AirPlay button. The button, which has been moved from the bottom right to the top left of the main window is missing for some users. Some have reported restoring the button by going to the MiniWindow and activating AirPlay there and it will then appear in the main window. Not all users are affected by the issue, however.

    - Many users are reporting label issues within the iTunes and App Stores. As the stores are basically glorified web pages, these issues will likely be fixed server side while Apple gets the bugs shaken out.

    11-29-12

    www.macrumors.com

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  3. #12
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    Dev Explains How He Made The Awesome New Gift Card Redeemer In iTunes 11


    One of the coolest new features in iTunes 11 is the ability to take a picture of an iTunes gift card on a Mac and have it instantly redeemed in the store. It’s a heck of a lot quicker than manually typing in a 16-character string.

    One of the developers who helped work with Apple on iTunes 11 has explained the incredible efforts behind creating this new feature.

    Geppy Parziale runs iNVASIVECODE, an iOS/OS X development company. He worked closely on the new Code Redeemer in iTunes 11 with Apple, and he has shared his experience in a blog post:

    The last 12 months have been really exciting and intense for me. This project represented a wonderful opportunity for me to learn and touch new things and really push the limits of technologies and devices. Many people and teams were involved in this project. You cannot imagine the quality and quantity of engineering, design, development, integration, testing, manufacturing, marketing, management and coordination behind just this single feature. This is Apple.

    According to Parziale, “a very sophisticated set of image processing and computer vision algorithms extracts the 16-digit code from the iTunes Card and converts it into a string in few milliseconds.” Several key Apple frameworks are used to make the process fluid and reliable. Like Parziale says, it’s a classic example of Apple’s commitment to excellence.

    Parziale also notes that the feature is optimized for the visually impaired thanks to VoiceOver in OS X. “VoiceOver helps positioning the card in front of the camera and the very fast image processing algorithm generates very quickly the result,” according to Parziale. “The user experience is amazing.”

    11-30-12

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    The Ultimate List Of iTunes 11 Tips, Tricks And Changes [Roundup]



    iTunes 11 is a huge upgrade from its predecessor, and it has received lots of positive feedback since it became available for download on Thursday, November 29th.

    Apple has baked iCloud into the core of iTunes, and the app’s interface has been decluttered and enhanced with new features like the MiniPlayer. We’ve been combing through the innards of iTunes 11 to find all of the little changes and additions. Here’s our updating list of iTunes 11 tips and tricks:



    Apple has hidden the left sidebar of old in iTunes 11. Now you are supposed to navigate through different sections of your library with the drop down menu on the top left. The iTunes Store and connected devices can be accessed any time from the top right. If you want the static sidebar back, use the Option + Command + S shortcut or the “Show Sidebar” option under the View menu.

    You can quickly jump between different sections of your library with CMD + 1-7 shortcuts. The order goes as follows: Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, iTunes U, Books, Apps.



    The Command + / keyboard shortcut will toggle the iTunes status bar, a small text line at the bottom of the main window that displays how many items are showing and their total file size. This option can also be toggled under the “View” menu.








    12-1-12

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    Make New Playlists & Add Songs To Existing Playlists Easily with iTunes 11



    If you upgraded to iTunes 11 you know the default view removed the sidebar with its playlist view. Sure it’s easy to show again, but if you’d rather keep with the new simplified user interface, don’t miss this simple trick to make a new playlist or add songs to a playlist, without using the standard sidebar ever again.

    Click and hold on any song to reveal a temporary sidebar on the right
    Drag the song into that floating sidebar to create a new playlist, or drag the song to an existing playlist to add it

    These playlists can be found and edited further by clicking the “Playlists” tab as usual, and can be added to at any point by just clicking and holding anything else in the iTunes library. With this new feature, you can keep the iTunes interface simplified as the default setting suggests, and it actually starts to make more sense since the action of creating and editing playlists is hidden unless it’s needed.

    You can see this in action with the video embedded below, which demonstrates a playlist being created and then songs being added to that playlist, all without showing the primary sidebar:




    12-3-12

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    The Ultimate List Of iTunes 11 Tips, Tricks And Changes [Roundup]


    iTunes 11 is a huge upgrade from its predecessor, and it has received lots of positive feedback since it became available for download on Thursday, November 29th.

    Apple has baked iCloud into the core of iTunes, and the app’s interface has been decluttered and enhanced with new features like the MiniPlayer. We’ve been combing through the innards of iTunes 11 to find all of the little changes and additions. Here’s our updating list of iTunes 11 tips and tricks:

    Tips and tricks
    HERE
    .


    12-3-12

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    iTunes Music Store Launches in 56 New Countries, Movies Arrive in Four



    Earlier today, we noted that the iTunes Music Store had gone live in Russia and Turkey, but now that changes have propagated throughout iTunes and we've had time to collect reports, it now appears that Apple is selling music through the iTunes Store in 56 new countries. The additions nearly double the number of countries in which the iTunes Music Store operates.

    The new countries include:

    - Europe: Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine

    - Africa, the Middle East and India: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, India, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Zimbabwe

    - Asia Pacific: Fiji, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Micronesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

    - Latin America and the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago

    Beyond music, four of the new countries have also seen Apple roll out access to movies: India, Indonesia, Russia, and Turkey.

    12-3-12

    www.macrumors.com

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    Review: iTunes 11 adds cool features, but can be jarring to longtime users



    iTunes 11, whose delayed release fueled much speculation about last-minute changes following an internal reorganization at Apple, sports the most radical alterations to the program’s interface since its inception. Previous upgrades to iTunes were incremental, adding features and tweaking the interface, but iTunes 11 puts a whole new face on the software. In addition, iTunes 11 seems to be designed more for playing music than for organizing it—a slightly anachronistic approach, given the prevalence of portable devices.

    The most obvious change is the reintroduction of color to the program. In my review "First look: iTunes 10," written in September 2010, I lamented the absence of color, saying, “iTunes 10 has a somewhat Soviet utilitarian look which, to my eyes, makes it less interesting to work with.” Well, color is back, both in the sidebar and in the Library pop-up menu at the top left of the iTunes window. In addition, when you display playlists, their text will be larger and bolder, and the background of the Playlists column will be lighter, providing much better contrast. The program also uses a Helvetica font with reduced spacing between letters, enabling iTunes to display longer texts in short spaces (such as in the Playlists column).





    Viewing your music

    The new options to view music by Genres or by Artists display sidebars showing icons for genres or for artists, with icons from your album art. (Videos, Books, and other types of content offer similar options.) You can sort items in these views as you like: Press Command-J to display a tiny View Options window, where you can sort by Title, Artist, Year, or Rating, for example, when in Genres view.

    Apple removed some views from iTunes, but it increased the number of view options. In each view mode—Songs, Albums, Artists, or Genres—you have sort options, but if you click Playlists, and then select a playlist, the View button near the top right of the iTunes window gives you even more options. Although I regret the loss of Album List view, I’m quite happy with some of the new options.

    In Albums view—the new default view—everything is an album; that is, whether the actual content is a single song, a few songs from an album, or an entire album, a single graphic represents it. The only way to determine how many tracks are collected there is to click the graphic. This design choice is surprising, as younger music fans tend to focus on individual songs rather than on albums.

    When you're in Albums view, you can click a graphic to see what’s behind it. The expanded view shows the tracks in several columns (if there are enough tracks), with the album artwork to the right. The background and text take on colors from the album art. (To turn off the expanded view’s colors and album art display in the General preferences, uncheck Use custom colors for open albums, movies, etc.)




    The limited information shown in Albums view can make it harder to choose what you want to play. Imagine that you have an album containing several songs you like, but you can’t remember which ones. If you haven’t rated them, there’s no way to identify your favorites. In previous versions of iTunes, you could see information such as play counts and last-played dates, but in iTunes 11 you can't. So if you don’t remember the song you liked so much on a particular Radiohead album, say, you won’t be able to find it quickly. You can get the information in Songs view, but that view is sterile and uninviting, with no album art and no clear separation between albums.

    Also in Albums view, iTunes groups compilation albums at the bottom of the list. This leads to two problems. First, nothing tells you that the compilations are compilations; as there are no letters to give you milestones in the album list—such as A, B, or C, for artists’ names—you don’t known where the compilations section starts (and it’s hard to tell where a particular artist is at a glance). Second, the artist listed below the title of a compilation is the artist of the first track of the album; identifying the performer as “Various Artists” would have been more helpful.

    You can’t change the size of the icons in Albums view, most likely because of the new track display in the expanded view. The fixed icon size limits the way you view your content, and the very wide display of tracks is neither very practical nor economical, at least on a large display. On my 27-inch Cinema Display, 15 albums string across the screen in Albums view, and as many as four columns for track names in expanded view, which looks odd to me; when I make the window smaller, as on a laptop, the two or three columns that display are much more readable. Another drawback: The small icons truncate titles that are longer than about 20 characters.




    Other elements of iTunes 11 suggest that it was designed for small displays. If you don’t show the sidebar, the buttons for accessing different features are very far apart. On the left, a pop-up menu lets you choose which library to view. But to access your devices—iPhones, iPods, and iPads—or to go to the iTunes Store, you have to move your mouse all the way to the other side of the screen. Clicking the button to activate the Mini Player involves the same long-distance mouse travel, though there’s a keyboard shortcut for that: Command-Option-3.

    By default, the entire iTunes window displays your content in what was previously called Grid View. The sidebar is hidden, though you can display it by pressing Command-Option-S or by choosing View > Show Sidebar. List View, which you can access it by clicking List in the header bar, is still available for content other than Music; but Cover Flow and Album List views are gone. In the Music library, this is called Songs view.

    Classical music fans are out of luck with iTunes 11. The only way to view your music by Composer is to use the hard-to-navigate Songs view. Neither the Artists nor the Genres view provides a Composers column; and the Column Browser, which could simplify matters, is available only in Songs view.

    Playlists

    You can view playlists in a new way. Click Playlists in the header (the sidebar must be hidden for this option to be available), and you'll see a sidebar that displays only playlists. A pop-up menu above the list offers access to your different libraries—Music, Movies, TV Shows, and so on. Another pop-up menu, this one at the right side of the iTunes window, provides access to your iOS devices.

    With the new Playlists view also comes a new way of creating playlists. Click the Add To button at the right of the iTunes window to show a two- or three-pane display. On the left are Songs or Albums in a single pane, or Artists and Genres with a list to the left and content in the middle. Your playlist is on the right; you can drag items to it, and click Done when you’ve finished.




    Curiously, if you have the sidebar displayed, you don’t see the Add To button when you click a playlist, and you have to manually drag items to the playlist. This surprising situation is one of the many inconsistencies in iTunes 11, where controls appear and disappear according to what you are viewing and how.

    All of these view options are essentially the same for other types of content. I’ve focused on music here, but movies, TV shows, books, and so on, inherit the same options.

    What’s next?

    If you're accustomed to using the iTunes DJ playlist, you’ll have to adjust to its quite different replacement, the new Up Next feature. Whereas iTunes DJ could extract tracks from a selected playlist or from your entire library, Up Next plays only what you tell it to. You can select items, right-click them, and then choose either Play Next, to play them after the current track, or Add To Up Next, to add them to the upper part of the queue, in front of what was already there.

    You can also drag items to the iTunes LCD (the display at the top of the window). If you press the Option key and hover over an item, its track number will change to a plus (+) icon; click that to add it to Up Next. (Alternatively, you can press Option-Enter to add selected items, but this will add the items only to the top of the queue, not to the end.) Click the Up Next icon to open a popup window containing a list of what’s to be played; you can reorder your play queue from this list, or delete songs that you no longer want to hear. Apple’s updated Remote iOS app integrates with Up Next.



    Up Next employs a new kind of contextual menu. When you hover your cursor over a song, a small arrow icon appears after its name. Click this, and you'll see a contextual menu containing a number of commands, including those for Up Next, as well as others for adding songs to playlists, starting Genius, viewing items in the iTunes Store, and more.


    The new contextual menu displays when you click arrow icons next to items in your library, but the older contextual menu remains available if you right-click an item.

    Although Up Next is a very useful feature, initially it's confusing. You can add items to the queue in various ways, but those ways are inconsistent, and it takes time to understand exactly what happens when you have songs in the queue and add others. Also, a perplexing dialog box appears when you have something in the Up Next queue but you go to play something else. The program asks whether you want to clear the songs in the queue—an odd question, since iTunes doesn’t offer to put the songs at the end of the queue.

    Updated MiniPlayer

    The MiniPlayer has been redesigned as well, and now functions more as a control center for iTunes. In addition to providing the standard controls for play/pause, next, and previous, it shows you what’s queued up in the Up Next list; also, a search field lets you find songs, albums, and playlists, and either add them to the Up Next list or play them immediately. Searching was abysmally slow in my 65,000-track library: I sat through more than 20 seconds of a spinning beachball before getting results, though those results were useful and practical. (On my blog, I posted a video of just how bad it was.) I found the MiniPlayer so useful that I’ve set up iTunes to display it all the time. (Since I use Spaces, setting up MiniPlayer for permanent display wasn’t easy; this hint explains how to do it.) In a perfect world, I would frequently use this search field to find what I listen to from the MiniPlayer window, and to avoid visiting the main iTunes window as often.

    Unfortunately the MiniPlayer lacks a progress bar. This is problematic for me in two ways. First, I sometimes want to see where I am in a certain track. Second, I often want to skip ahead in a track—for instance, when I’m listening to a podcast or when I want to skip through a drum solo in the middle of a live song.

    Clicking the album art in the MiniPlayer brings up the artwork player window, which shows the album art in a larger window with QuickTime-type controls at the bottom (when you hover your cursor over that window). I opened that window, moved it just above the MiniPlayer on my screen, and then closed it. Now any time I want to access its controls, I click the album art in the MiniPlayer—and the larger control window displays in the same location.




    To change the MiniPlayer's volume, you click the AirPlay icon and change the Master Volume, rather than using a volume slider.

    I wish that Apple had put the MiniPlayer controls and access to Up Next in the menu bar, but I expect third-party apps to add such functionality if possible.





    12-5-12

    www.macworld.com

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    Redeem App Store & iTunes Gift Cards Using a Computer Camera



    One of the better little feature of iTunes 11 is the addition of a new ability that lets you redeem gift cards for the App Store and iTunes Store using nothing but the built-in camera of a computer. This is much better than typing in the random numbers which is fairly easy to mess up, and using this great new feature is super simple:

    Launch iTunes and choose the “Redeem” link as usual, login to your Apple account when requested
    Click the “Use Camera” button instead of inputting codes into the text below
    Hold the gift card steady with the code visible, and let iTunes redeem the card

    The gift card balance will be transferred to the iTunes/App Store Account used, and yes it works on accounts made without credit cards on file.

    You’ll notice the little message below says “This requires a gift card with a box around the code”, but that’s not entirely true…

    Redeeming Older iTunes Gift Cards Without the Code Box

    The older style iTunes gift cards without the code box are still out there in abundance at stores and the hands of consumers, but they aren’t recognized by the Camera Redeemer on their own. Thankfully, reader Yanni P. wrote in to tell us us this handy trick to use with traditional iTunes gift cards: scratch off the silver backing as usual, then use a black sharpie pen to draw a square box around the code.




    Now hold that up to the Redeem feature in iTunes 11, and it will be instantly recognized and redeemed. Nice!

    iTunes 11 or later is required for this feature, if you’re holding off on the update exclusively because the interface is unusual, don’t miss these tips to make iTunes look normal again.

    I’d assume this handy camera redeemer feature will show up in the iOS App Store soon too, but in the meantime you’ll have to keep redeeming the codes by entering them in manually with the iTunes or App Store apps on an iPhone or iPad.

    12-10-12

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    iTunes now selling and renting movies in 42 newly-opened stores

    Apple on Wednesday activated iTunes movie sales for a bulk of the countries in which the online media storefront launched earlier in December, though film selection and availability is somewhat limited and varies from region to region.





    A number of AppleInsider readers have reported that movies are now available through iTunes in various countries, such as South Africa, but many stores are only showing films from Disney, Sony and their subsidiaries. It should be noted that not all countries allow for movie rentals or high-definition content.

    On Dec. 4, Apple officially opened the iTunes Music Store in 56 countries, offering users access to both local and international artists. However, at launch only Russia, Turkey, India and Indonesia supported movie and video purchases, with no timeline given for future rollouts.

    As of this writing, the iTunes Store users now have access to movies in the following newly-added countries:

    Europe: Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine

    Africa, the Middle East and India: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Botswana, Cape Verde, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, India, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Arab Emirates, Uganda and Zimbabwe

    Asia Pacific: Indonesia, Micronesia, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan

    Latin America and the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago

    12-12-12

    appleinsider.com

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    Send Apps as Gifts & Schedule Delivery Dates from the App Store



    The ability to gift apps has long been around in the App Store, but it briefly disappeared before making a reappearance again with an additional great new feature. As 9to5mac noticed, you can now schedule deliver dates for the gifted apps, allowing them to be automatically delivered at a certain set date in the future. This should make holiday and birthday shopping super easy for some of us, here’s how to use it if you haven’t before:

    Open the App Store and locate the app to send as a gift
    Tap the Sharing arrow icon in the upper right corner
    Enter the recipients email and your name, provide a message if desired, and then choose either to send the gift “Today” or choose “Other Date” to schedule the delivery
    Choose “Done” to set the app gift in motion




    Your iTunes Account will be billed for the gifted apps. The billing seems to take place immediately, just as if you bought the app for yourself, so if you’re planning on shopping for someones birthday next year you might want to keep that in mind.

    Like the original method, you can still scroll down in the app description and gift from there, but the Share Sheet method is quicker. If you try out the feature now you may find it not to be working all apps yet as the feature is propogating throughout the App Store, you’ll know that’s the case because the Share button is unresponsive. If so, wait a few minutes (or hours) and it should be working as expected.

    12-13-12

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