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iTunes Update Adds New MiniPlayer, Improves Songs View



A new update to iTunes brings a new MiniPlayer, improved songs view and multi-disc album support to Apple’s desktop music app.

The new update brings iTunes to version 11.0.3, and as the version number suggests it has a few small changes, but nothing too big.

The biggest change in the new update is to the MiniPlayer, which features a new “beautiful view that showcases your album artwork.” In the previous version of iTunes, clicking on album art in the MiniPlayer would pop out a now playing window with the album art. Now clicking on the album are will simple expand the smaller window to show the full album artwork and controls.

The new iTunes MiniPlayer includes a new album artwork view.

The new iTunes MiniPlayer includes a new album artwork view.

The new MiniPlayer also adds a progress bar so users can tell how long the song they’re listening to and how far into it they are. Everything else about the MiniPlayer is about the same as it was in iTunes 11.0.2, but it feels faster to view upcoming songs and search for songs in 11.0.3.

iTunes 11.0.3 also includes the option to view multi-disc albums as a single album in the full iTunes view. A small feature, but one that makes it easier for users with any multi-disc albums to browse their library.

Apple’s change log also notes “performance improvements when searching and sorting large iTunes libraries,” which likely explains why the MiniPlayer feels faster than it did before.

It’s hard to say the new iTunes update is a hint at the future of Apple software as it looks essentially the same. There are a few notable changes, but it’s nothing like the changes made to the Podcasts app and certainly nothing mind-blowing. Those who hate the new iTunes design will continue to hate it, unless they’re main complaints were with the MiniPlayer.

Apple’s iTunes is still as bloated as ever because it has to hold not only music but apps, movies, TV shows, iBooks, podcasts and iTunes U content as well as the stores to sell all of those things.

The iTunes update is currently available through Software Update.

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