Apple’s “completely redesigned player” might have taken longer to get here than we expected, but don’t fret: iTunes 11 is upon us. At its Worldwide Developer Conference held this past summer, Apple promised that iTunes 11 would be the best version yet – faster, easier-to-use and with improved aesthetics. In quick tests, it seems that Apple has fulfilled all of these; it loads faster, reacts quicker and does in fact look cleaner and more attractive.
Improving both the ease-of-use and cleanliness, Apple has organized the Music and Store so that depending on which mode you’ve chosen, the other one won’t interfere. It’s been quite some time since I last used iTunes to any real degree, but I was impressed when I clicked on the Music section and immediately saw every single song and album I ever purchased on the service. Finding that in previous versions, from my experience, has not been great or even possible (note that I’m referring to music I’ve previously purchased but don’t currently have downloaded).
A new expanded view helps improve the library view. You’ll have a row of albums as per usual, but clicking on one will review a nice-looking song-listing section at the bottom, and with a similar goal of being easier-to-use, the mini-player has also been revamped. Apple’s goal here was to offer as much control as possible in as small a space as possible, and the result is pretty clean and intuitive overall.
In general usage, I’ve found the latest iTunes to be quite nice to use – I’m impressed. I have run into some bizarre errors where my searches would result in an unformatted page, but I suspect these are launch niggles that will get tackled quick (unless for some reason, they’re unique to me).
I hate to sound like a broken record, but if iTunes offered lossless options, you can bet I’d be using it a lot more. Seeing as how polished it’s become, I almost want to.