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More iTunes 11 Tips For Better Browsing and Playing Your Music [Mac & Windows]

Bakari Chavanu 05-06-2013

More iTunes 11 Tips For Better Browsing and Playing Your Music [Mac & Windows] iTunes 11 iconWhile we patiently wait for Apple to catch up with Google, Rdio, and Spotify and bring a music streaming subscription service Which Is The Best Mobile Music Streaming Service? Online radio is picking up steam now that there’s a good bit of competition driving the technology. You might be familiar with services like Pandora and Spotify, but now that you can stream music on-the-go... Read More to iTunes, there are still numerous ways we can get more out of the popular jukebox.


While some users complain that iTunes has gotten a little bloated, I personally don’t find that to be true. I focus on the features of the application that are useful to me, and pay little attention to those that aren’t. The recent 11.0.3 update of iTunes brings back even more cover art features, and there are some other tips I didn’t cover in my last iTunes tips round-up article Get The Most Out Of iTunes 11 With These 10 Tips A few of these tips are work-arounds for features Apple left out in iTunes 11, like iTunes DJ, while others point out a few new handy features you might overlook. iTunes is not a perfect... Read More  you may find useful.

Create A Quick Playlist

The Up Next feature of iTunes 11 is handy for showing you songs that are coming up next in a playlist, but I also like to use the feature to create a new temporary playlist. When browsing your iTunes collection, you can drag individual albums, playlists, or songs to the Up Next list. This creates an instant temporary playlist based on the listening mood you’re in.
itunes 11 tips
While the tracks on that list drop off as they are played, you can click the History button in Up Next to view all of your previously played songs.

itunes 11 tips

New Playlist

If you want to create a new permanent playlist, you can now click on the plus “+” button at the bottom-left side of iTunes (in Playlists view), and a panel will open on the right-hand side. From there you can drag individual songs and album selections to the panel to create a playlist.

itunes tips

Song Album View

In Apple’s most recent update, they brought back album view in the Songs section of iTunes. If you’re a visual browser like I am, you’ll be thankful for this update. To get albums to show up, click on View > Show View Options, and enable Show Artwork and Always Show. Notice that you can also adjust the size of the cover art.

itunes tips

Now album covers will show up on the left side of the songs list.

itunes tips

More Up Next

Also in the new update, Apple expanded the features of the MiniPlayer. When you open it (by clicking on the tiny window icon at the top-right of iTunes), you may see the player with small cover art displayed. But now you can click on the cover art to enlarge it.

itunes 11 tips windows

The updated MiniPlayer also includes a progress bar, alongside all of the other features including searching, browsing and adding tracks to a new playlist.

itunes 11 tips windows

By the way, if you want to keep the MiniPlayer on top of all the other windows, open Preferences > Advanced, and enable that new feature.

itunes 11 tips windows

Rate Albums

This is not a new feature in the recent update, but if you tend to listen to entire albums rather than single songs, iTunes 11 enables you to rate a whole album, though the ratings you give to individual songs in that album may be higher or lower the album rating.

itunes 11 tips mac

One way to quickly add an album rating is to select an album in Albums view, and then hover your cursor over the area right next to the release date for the album. From there you can set your rating.

Favorite Albums Playlist

If you like you using smart playlists How To Create 5 Smart iTunes Playlists For iPad, iPhone & iPod Read More , you might want to create a smart playlist that consists of your top rated albums in a genre. Just set it up like the screenshot below. This smart playlist will automatically collect all the albums you rate with 5 stars.

itunes 11 tips mac

Clean Up Genres

Sometimes, Genre view in iTunes is a good way to browse music; however, if you find that genre listing a bit messy, i.e. with several related genres, you can easily tidy it up. Sometimes songs and albums get genre labels embedded in them that are not what you agree with, or you may have added a similar label that only fits a few songs or albums.

For example, I had three slightly different “Hip-Hop” labels, though I only needed one. So I merged the other two that only had a few albums in them. To do this, right-click on a genre label you want to get rid of and select Get Info in the drop-down menu. Now just change that label to the one you prefer.

itunes 11 tips

If you’re a fan of iTunes, I hope you found the above tips useful. Let us know if you have a few iTunes 11 tips of your own for getting more out of Apple’s 11 year-old music player.

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  1. macwitty
    June 6, 2013 at 8:55 am

    ITunes 10 was not good, but better than this. Still miss the easy way to sort by Genre with icons. Still dislike all the new clicks to get menus

    • Philip Damgaard
      June 10, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      I totally agree! Sometimes it's best to keep things as people are used to.