The biggest launch in the last week must have been from none other than Apple Inc., and its launch has been a highly anticipated one. Apple had released the iTunes 11, its media player that allows you to manage music,movies,apps and podcasts between your PC/Mac and an Apple device (iphone/ipod/ipad). Its free, and works on both Windows and Mac.
iTunes Store has been completely revamped, and the most famous cover-flow feature is killed away. But one doesn’t really miss that feature if you consider the plethora of new features added to the new itunes.
Fortunately, Apple has clearly brought out some great changes into the latest iTunes and that has made iTunes, the default media player in my system.
iTunes 11 looks completely new, with a swanky new UI, which looks amazing apart from a revamped iTunes store and lots of integration over facebook and iCloud.
iTunes has been a great media player, but its UI has remained the same since 2006, and it had some flaws during playback and managing libraries which made me look out for alternate media managers like Windows Media Center, Songbird etc. with iTunes 11, Apple has certainly fulfilled most of a music lovers demand.
So, What’s new, exactly?
New User Interface :
The older itunes features a MS-Excel kind out layout which has been replaced as a swanky layout with amazing artwork for albums in a grid pattern. This layout looks great, but it may look awkward if you don’t possess the proper album artwork.
The Expanded View :
Click on any album and iTunes will display the list of tracks, along with ratings and running time. The background changes into a pleasant colour that matches with the edges of the album artwork making it look even more appealing. I seriously love the usage of album artwork in iTunes. in Itunes 11, it only got better.
Internet Radio :
Was it there in the older itunes? I never remember the presence of a free internet radio stations, streaming music directly from itunes. The new internet radio feature in itunes 11 is really amazing and works really good. There are many stations available and maybe itunes can be my new alternative to Pandora Radio.
Podcasts – Listing and direct playback in itunes :
I never knew about playing podcasts in itunes on desktop, because the older itunes displayed podcasts like a app and no details of downloaded episodes were ever given. iTunes 11 changes the complete perspective and provides amazing Podcast playback. I had recently subscribed to TED, CNet, and a few others and was amazed by the facility of playing the podcasts on my desktop in full screen.
No Side bar :
The sidebar in earlier versions was really annoying. I seriously hated its location and the kind of navigation it provided. fortunately, iTunes 11 has got rid of the sidebar and its a full screen album display window.
The Mini Player :
This is a little list icon that also appears in the main view’s status window: click it and you’ll see the next three tracks iTunes intends to play. If you don’t fancy what’s coming up, the MiniPlayer now has a search button you can use to find and queue a specific track without opening up your library.
Dropdown Menu in Mini Player :
The new dropdown menu in mini player displays the upcoming songs and also offers recent listening history (yes!)
Facebook, Twitter and iCloud integration :
This had to be done someday and finally iTunes 11 was destined for it. You can now recommend tracks, apps and all other iTunes store stuff with your friends, directly from iTunes. iCloud finally gets direct integration and is highly useful for i-device users.
- Computer Memory usage is pretty high.
- No Multi-Tasking features. You cannot browse apps in one window and play radio in other. only one task at a time.
Well, Exams had kept me busy for the last fortnight, but I had lots of fun exploring the various features of iTunes. The most wanted features for anyone wishing to manage a media library are completely fulfilled and Apple has really pulled off a great one this time.
In my next article, I would be showing you how to create a iTunes account without the need of a credit card and creating an American (US) Apple ID, which can provide you access to all the content in iTunes store without any restrictions.
Do comment about your experience in using iTunes 11, and don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter, so stay updated.