iTunes 11 – Shortcut Keys and Optimization Tips

iTunes 11 is cooler than ever with its revamped interface, neatly placed icons and new enhancements. But, first time users like many people may experience some bewilderment, when accessing the software. The redesigned application and interface sure look neat, but for beginners, it may be a bit complex to reach those hidden, moved and adjusted tabs and windows, to accomplish a task. So for those of you who want to learn how to get started with iTunes 11 and optimize them for your personal use, here are some quick tips and keyboard shortcuts.

MacBook Air with iTunes Store

By hi-tech.mail.ru license (Apple открывает iTunes Store в России) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Change viewing options when sorting:

Apple has added a convenient option to sort the music by albums. But this can prove time consuming for those who are unsure of the album to which the song belongs. So the conventional way of exploring the tracks individually can be brought back by just clicking on the ‘Songs’ tab, present on top of the screen. Now, you will see a familiar user interface with which you can sort your music by songs, instead of albums.

Seek the Hidden Sidebar:

Apple has chosen to hide the sidebar for some reason, but if you wish to bring it back for the good-old-time’s sake, simply reach the ‘View’ menu and select the ‘Show Sidebar’ option to bring back the hidden sidebar. By bringing it back, you can now view and reach places like the library, connected iOS devices, iTunes Store and similar tabs.

The latest version of iTunes has hidden the ‘status bar’ as well. This bar has always been helpful to users by displaying information like the total collection of songs in the library, the overall run-time and the amount of space occupied. So to bring it back, reach the ‘Show Status Bar’ tab under the ‘View’ menu.

Vanishing Burn to Disc Option:

The ‘Burn to Disc’ Option in iTunes 11 rests under the File tab. But the problem is it won’t be visible unless a playlist is viewed. When in playlist mode, the option pops up and allows the user to automatically burn the entire playlist into a readable disc, and hides itself when the operation of burning to a disc is not possible.

The Up-Next Feature:

The Up-Next feature in iTunes 11 has undergone some significant changes. It now allows users to add a song to the Up-Next queue by just pressing the ‘Option’ and selecting the ‘+’ button, present beside each song. Checking on the + button will automatically include the song to the Up-Next queue. In case you’re using your keyboard for navigation, you can simply press ‘Option’ and hit enter over the selected song. Note that this feature won’t function for tasks involving multiple song selection.

Retain Missing Album Artwork:

iTunes 11 has an interesting dialog box to automatically search and get back the missing album artworks for your albums. This can be found under the File tab -> Library -> Get Album Network. By choosing this, the software conveniently searches for the missing artworks and supposedly fetches them from the Internet.

Keyboard shortcuts:

1. ‘Command+Option+S’ = this shortcut will bring back the traditional sidebar.

2. Once you have enabled the sidebar, you can use your keyboard to navigate among various tabs present under the library such as the Music, TV shows, Podcasts, Apps, Books, iTunes U and Movies. The shortcuts are ‘Command+ 1 through 7, where the numbers correspond to the various tabs (mentioned above) under the library window respectively.

3. ‘Command+/’ will toggle the status bar.

4. ‘Command+Option+M’ – can be used to switch between different iTunes views such as the normal view and the newly included MiniPlayer mode.

5. To enable the MiniPlayer and simultaneously retain the normal view, you can use the command – ‘Command+Option+3’

6. The command ‘Command+F’ will initiate a MiniPlayer song search feature. You can use this to search for your preferred tracks and add them to the Up-Next by hitting the shortcut – ‘Option+Enter’.

Apart from this, you can even create a custom shortcut to perform your most frequent iTunes actions by reaching the ‘Keyboard Shortcuts’ tab under System Preferences. So, these were some keyboard shortcuts and optimization tips for iTunes 11. Hope it was helpful.





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