Apple adds Notification Center widget, enhances syncing performance in iTunes 12.1 update

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited February 2015
Apple on Thursday released iTunes 12.1, an update to its venerable media organization and synchronization app that brings a new OS X Notification Center control widget and fixes performance issues during syncing.




The new widget replicates some of the functionality of iTunes's MiniPlayer, including the ability to play, pause, scrub, and skip tracks. Users can also purchase songs directly from the widget --?clicking the button that displays that track's price will prompt the user to authenticate with iTunes.

Other MiniPlayer features, including volume adjustment, library search, or track listings are not available in the widget. The widget also does not show cover art.

The new iTunes Notification Center widget.
The new iTunes Notification Center widget.


Apple also promises improved performance when syncing music or data to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. There is no word on whether those improvements apply to tethered or Wi-Fi syncing, or both.

iTunes 12.1 is available now as an update in the Mac App Store. The widget can be enabled following the update by opening Notification Center and clicking the Edit button at the bottom.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,534member
    Now if Apple would just bring iTunes Radio to more countries. It's articles like this that annoy me... it talks about features (such as buying songs from this widget) that aren't even available right here in the northern neighbour of the US... Canada.
  • Reply 2 of 27
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member
    Lyrical is still much better then.
  • Reply 3 of 27
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    Quote: "The widget also does not show cover art."

    Bravo!

    Recently, the various iTunes, Music and Podcast apps in OS X and iOS have developed an irritating tendency to display pictures when words would serve better. I often curse Apple for thinking we're a bunch of illiterates.

    The Podcast app is particularly irritating in that respect. It clutters my iPhone screen with pointless pictures but too few controls and poorly designed ones at that. It gives me a line only a little over two inches long and thinks I can use that to scrub through an 8-hour audiobook. Try it Apple, and you'll see how impossible that is.

    That and a silliness to call things "Stations" when they're not stations. The last reminds me of a joke.

    "If you call a dog's tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?"

    "Five."

    No four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one."

    In much the same fashion, calling playlists "My Stations" doesn't make them radio stations and it doesn't make using the app any easier.
  • Reply 4 of 27
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member

    I'm not sure I would rush to blame Apple on this one. The legalities of licensing copyrighted material in other countries can get quite messy. 

  • Reply 5 of 27
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,139member
    Looks like there's a problem with this update...

    I use the OS X Application Firewall, normally without any prompts to allow or deny any apps. I downloaded and installed iTunes 12.1 via the App Store, and now I'm getting constant "Do you want the application "iTunes.app" to accept incoming network connections?" dialog. Doesn't matter if I go and remove the pre-existing entry under the firewall options, it will always prompt me.

    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/54872/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

    Tried downloading it fresh, via here:

    [URL=http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/]http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/[/URL]

    Reinstalled from the DMG, still the same issue.

    So then tried to manually code sign it, and this is what I get:

    [CODE]codesign -vvv /Applications/iTunes.app
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Frameworks/iAdCore.framework/Versions/Current/.
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Frameworks/iAdCore.framework/Versions/Current/.
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Frameworks/iPodUpdater.framework/Versions/Current/.
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Frameworks/iPodUpdater.framework/Versions/Current/.
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/iTunesASUHelper
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/iTunesASUHelper
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/iTunesHelper.app
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/iTunesHelper.app
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_dsp.3.06.0.dylib
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_dsp.3.06.0.dylib
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_link.3.06.0.dylib
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_link.3.06.0.dylib
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_manager.3.06.0.dylib
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_manager.3.06.0.dylib
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_musicid.3.06.0.dylib
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_musicid.3.06.0.dylib
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_submit.3.06.0.dylib
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_submit.3.06.0.dylib
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/PlugIns/TodayExtension.appex
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/PlugIns/TodayExtension.appex
    /Applications/iTunes.app: a sealed resource is missing or invalid
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-bold.ttf
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-bolditalic.ttf
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-medium.ttf
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-mediumitalic.ttf
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-semibold.ttf
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-semibolditalic.ttf
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-text.ttf
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-textitalic.ttf
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-thin.ttf
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-thinitalic.ttf[/CODE]

    I think something got pooched...
  • Reply 6 of 27
    The widget may be a remotely useful thing (at least cleaner than control-clicking the iTunes icon to see the title of the currently playing track when entirely elsewhere on your Mac), provided it is kept towards the bottom of the Today view. I wish that the iTunes widget were designed like the Reminders widget, in that it'd hide itself completely unless you were playing music or some other media in iTunes. If it were designed to hide most of the time it, like the Reminders widget, would earn a top-level place in my Today view, but since it insists on showing a blank space when you aren't playing music I would rather it not be something I see every time I just want to glance at my calendar or the weather.
  • Reply 7 of 27



    Have some fonts changed slightly? And did fonts change slightly in Safari 2 days ago? It looks just a little different...

  • Reply 8 of 27
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    The new iTunes Notification Center widget.

     

    Is it just my eyes or does this look bad? Haven’t had much sleep recently, so that might be me. I dunno; I may have done this differently.

     

    EDIT: HOW IS THIS BETTER?!

     

     

    A bar that runs all the way across the video? Squished up against the frame, making it look like it’s hiding underneath the edge of the video window? Come on, what on Earth is this?!

  • Reply 9 of 27

    @ MagMan1979

     

    You probably need to goes into iTunes.app/Contents/PlugIns/ and trash TodayExtension.appex

     

    http://blog.teamleadnet.com/2012/10/fixing-do-you-want-application.html

  • Reply 10 of 27
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,721member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MagMan1979 View Post



    Looks like there's a problem with this update...



    I use the OS X Application Firewall, normally without any prompts to allow or deny any apps. I downloaded and installed iTunes 12.1 via the App Store, and now I'm getting constant "Do you want the application "iTunes.app" to accept incoming network connections?" dialog. Doesn't matter if I go and remove the pre-existing entry under the firewall options, it will always prompt me.



    I think something got pooched...



    I turn off incoming connections as a matter of course, and got this error dialog starting iTunes 12.1 tonight:

     

     Your computer’s firewall settings prevent you from using some iTunes features.


     

    ... with the option to Ignore or Open Firewall Preferences (default).

  • Reply 11 of 27

    In the previous version, Shift+Get Info menu would bring up the legacy info dialog.

    In the current version, that functionality has either been removed or is broken.

     

    I loathe the new info dialog that imposes its notion of which metadata fields that I am allowed to edit on me.

  • Reply 12 of 27
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MagMan1979 View Post



    Looks like there's a problem with this update...



    I use the OS X Application Firewall, normally without any prompts to allow or deny any apps. I downloaded and installed iTunes 12.1 via the App Store, and now I'm getting constant "Do you want the application "iTunes.app" to accept incoming network connections?" dialog. Doesn't matter if I go and remove the pre-existing entry under the firewall options, it will always prompt me.







    Tried downloading it fresh, via here:



    http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/



    Reinstalled from the DMG, still the same issue.



    So then tried to manually code sign it, and this is what I get:

    Code:

    codesign -vvv /Applications/iTunes.app
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Frameworks/iAdCore.framework/Versions/Current/.
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Frameworks/iAdCore.framework/Versions/Current/.
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Frameworks/iPodUpdater.framework/Versions/Current/.
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Frameworks/iPodUpdater.framework/Versions/Current/.
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/iTunesASUHelper
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/iTunesASUHelper
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/iTunesHelper.app
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/iTunesHelper.app
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_dsp.3.06.0.dylib
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_dsp.3.06.0.dylib
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_link.3.06.0.dylib
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_link.3.06.0.dylib
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_manager.3.06.0.dylib
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_manager.3.06.0.dylib
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_musicid.3.06.0.dylib
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_musicid.3.06.0.dylib
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_submit.3.06.0.dylib
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/libgnsdk_submit.3.06.0.dylib
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/PlugIns/TodayExtension.appex
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/PlugIns/TodayExtension.appex
    /Applications/iTunes.app: a sealed resource is missing or invalid
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-bold.ttf
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-bolditalic.ttf
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-medium.ttf
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-mediumitalic.ttf
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-semibold.ttf
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-semibolditalic.ttf
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-text.ttf
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-textitalic.ttf
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-thin.ttf
    file added: /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/Fonts/MyriadSetPro-thinitalic.ttf



    I think something got pooched...



    Close iTunes.  Then go to firewall, delete iTunes from the list and reopen iTunes. It reappears in the list, but it doesn't bug you anymore.

  • Reply 13 of 27
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,416member

    Originally Posted by MagMan1979 View Post

    Looks like there's a problem with this update...



    I use the OS X Application Firewall, normally without any prompts to allow or deny any apps. I downloaded and installed iTunes 12.1 via the App Store, and now I'm getting constant "Do you want the application "iTunes.app" to accept incoming network connections?" dialog. Doesn't matter if I go and remove the pre-existing entry under the firewall options, it will always prompt me.

    Somehow, this reminds me of one of those old "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercials...

     

     



    codesign -vvv /Applications/iTunes.app
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Frameworks/iAdCore.framework/Versions/Current/.
    --validated:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Frameworks/iAdCore.framework/Versions/Current/.
    --prepared:/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Frameworks/iPodUpdater.framework/Versions/Current/.


    And this is what I guess the annoying Apple GUI should look like, eliminating all those imbecilic pictures...at least, according to Inkling...

  • Reply 14 of 27
    kolvas wrote: »

    Close iTunes.  Then go to firewall, delete iTunes from the list and reopen iTunes. It reappears in the list, but it doesn't bug you anymore.
    That's basic troubleshooting 101, which I've already done, had no effect.

    I ended up sudo removing iTunes.app from my system, removing it's reference from the application firewall, and re-installing it from scratch. Now the code signature matches up, and it no longer prompts to allow incoming connections. It does appear it was a corrupted update.

    Now, on the other hand, as I use Remote Desktop at work, after the Client Update 3.8.2, the ARDAgent.app is constantly prompting to allow incoming on each startup of Remote Desktop 3.8, sigh.
  • Reply 15 of 27
    boredumb wrote: »
    And this is what I guess the annoying Apple GUI should look like, eliminating all those imbecilic pictures...at least, according to Inkling...
    I'm sorry, were you trying to be funny, or just troll me?
  • Reply 16 of 27
    smalmsmalm Posts: 656member

    I hopped on the new boat when iTunes 11 arived.

    But when iTunes 12 showed up, even uglier than 11 and even less usable, I gave up and switched back to 10.7.

    And what a relief when all the insufficiencies and annoyances that had bugged me were gone :D 

     

    Who needs a new widget when you can have the mini player of 10.7?

  • Reply 17 of 27
    From my perspective, the major improvement is simply massive - Apple has fixed the very annoying bug that left TCP connections in the CLOSE state until the Mac clagged with thousands of connections not closed properly. (i.e. a "netstat -an | grep 62078 | wc -l" would show thousands of connections). If you left iTunes open for long periods of time (as I did) then the Mac would need a re-start to clear the connections every week or so. The only work-around was to kill USBMUXD every couple of days. Frustrating.

    I can confirm that this bug has ben fixed in 12.1 and there are precisely 0 connections left in CLOSED state after a synchronise.
  • Reply 18 of 27

    From my perspective, the major improvement is simply massive - Apple has fixed the very annoying bug that left TCP connections in the CLOSE state until the Mac clagged with thousands of connections not closed properly.  (i.e. a "netstat -an | grep 62078 | wc -l" would show thousands of connections). If you left iTunes open for long periods of time (as I did) then the Mac would need a re-start to clear the connections every week or so.  The only work-around was to kill USBMUXD every couple of days.  Frustrating.

    I can confirm that this bug has ben fixed in 12.1 and there are precisely 0 connections left in CLOSED state after a synchronise.

  • Reply 19 of 27
    It sure would be nice if every time an iTunes sync is interrupted I'm not left with billions of bytes of "Other", which never go away. I have so many issues with iTunes syncing anymore that it isn't even funny. Albums without artwork, etc. It's fine on my desktop but not phone.

    Who else loves the eternal "Waiting for changes to be applied" status? What ever happened to useful progress bars???
  • Reply 20 of 27
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MagMan1979 View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by boredumb View Post



    And this is what I guess the annoying Apple GUI should look like, eliminating all those imbecilic pictures...at least, according to Inkling...


    I'm sorry, were you trying to be funny, or just troll me?

    Not really either - your pointing out the choices the dialogue box offered - as a little roadblock - reminded me of the "I'm a Mac" ad ending "You are coming to a sad realization", about the inconvenience of features in a Microsoft "upgrade" - I've forgotten which.

     

    For the second part, I merely highjacked your inset pic of code to point out that, were it not for Apple's insistence on an advanced graphical interface, computers might still look like ms-dos code interfaces.

     

    I think we all like where Apple went - almost from the start - and so I was simply using it to disagree with Inkling's complaint

    about 'all those pictures' he found unnecessary, but which I think have always been the hallmark of

    "Apple vs. Everyone Who Hasn't Started Copying Them Yet" down the years...

    Sorry if you mistook it.

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