iTunes 12.4 to reportedly include new sidebar, minor UI tweaks

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Apple will implement a number of user interface changes to iTunes when version 12.4 sees release later this year, including modifications to user interface navigation designed to address complaints of software feature bloat.




According to MacRumors, which received screenshots of the purported iTunes revamp, the improved media management and playback app will bring only minor user interface tweaks.

Most prominent among design modifications appears to be a persistent sidebar for easy access to albums, artists, tracks, genres and playlists. Similar in function to existing iTunes content navigation sidebars, like the Playlists sidebar, the upcoming version supports user customization and drag-and-drop menu editing.

Moving up the content hierarchy, a new dropdown media picker will help facilitate quick switching between music, movies, TV shows and other content stored both locally and in the cloud. Like the current iteration, which features small icons for each content type, the new media menu can be customized to display commonly used categories while hiding others from view.

Menus are also being simplified in iTunes version 12.4, according to the report. Along with a redesigned "View" menu that seemingly mirrors options offered in the "media picker," Apple is adding new navigation options, and removing extraneous selections, to make the menu bar system easier to use.

Finally, the iTunes mini player is said to gain minor graphical adjustments like a relocated "Up Next" pane that sits to the right of the playback window.

Judging by the leaked images, iTunes 12.4 will carry superficial UI adjustments meant to assuage user complaints, not the system level changes some users have been waiting for. Originally designed to handle music and iPod syncing, iTunes has become a one stop shop for iOS device syncing, movies, TV shows, apps, podcasts, iBooks and, most recently, Apple Music streaming services.

In February, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue and SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi teased plans for an iTunes revamp, saying concerns of feature bloat would be addressed in part by a new streamlined design. A definitive launch timeline was not revealed at the time, but MacRumors sources claim iTunes version 12.4 is expected to launch within a few weeks.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    irelandireland Posts: 17,737member
    iBooks is no longer part of iTunes btw.

    Next they should move Podcasts out to a dedicated clean app and iOS apps and management to the App Store app.

    Then put movies + movie store in a new Video app and build a completely new and clean iTunes jukebox + music store for iTunes customers and also build a new dedicated Music app for Apple Music customers.

    They could offer the same for Windows user or just keep the iTunes setup over there. But on Mac via a software update they could fix the mess that is iTunes and install all these apps by default for user convenience.

    Cleverly for Mac users if they wanted they could offer a menu to switch between these media apps available from within the menu of each of them with consistent shortcuts.
    edited May 2016 williamlondonmr orogue cheddarpatchythepiratejony0daren_mitchellapres587anantksundaramksecfastasleep
  • Reply 2 of 46
    sreesree Posts: 138member
    So, like they had before iTunes 12?? Now it looks just like the old iTunes interface.
    noivad
  • Reply 3 of 46
    ireland said:
    iBooks is no longer part of iTunes btw.

    Next they should move Podcasts out to a dedicated clean app and iOS apps and management to the App Store app.

    Then put movies + movie store in a new Video app and build a completely new and clean iTunes jukebox + music store for iTunes customers and also build a new dedicated Music app for Apple Music customers.

    They could offer the same for Windows user or just keep the iTunes setup over there. But on Mac via a software update they could fix the mess that is iTunes and install all these apps by default for user convenience.

    Cleverly for Mac users if they wanted they could offer a menu to switch between these media apps available from within the menu of each of them with consistent shortcuts.
    Some excellent ideas, I'd love to see Apple revamp things in ways as you suggest. I'd bet they have prototyped and designed several major (and minor) changes to the UI, let's hope at least one of the major ones gets the green light. Perhaps this minor tweak is a precursor to more major (underlying) changes that are coming? Let's hope.

    As for the leaked pics, I'm kicking myself for clicking through to MacRumors - the images were okay (nothing earth shattering), but I saw a few of the comments... that site hasn't changed one bit, the first post is a race to see who can post the first negative comment, and then the peanut gallery of oneupmanship juveniles follow suit, trying to be more clever in their negativity (and failing) - wow I hate that site, please AI don't follow that same path!
    caliwonkothesanepatchythepiratejony0daren_mitchellanantksundaramksecroundaboutnowfastasleep
  • Reply 4 of 46
    razormaidrazormaid Posts: 299member
    I hate that they killed off cover flow. We're a record company with a catalogue of 6,000+ songs and built our entire library for people to buy on HD. We spent hundreds of man hours arranging each albums songs in individual playlists for each album, then created a cool "off into infinity look". They wiped it out with their iTunes 11 redesign. It used to look like this:

    edited May 2016 baconstangdaren_mitchellanantksundaram
  • Reply 5 of 46
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    iTunes resume playback implemented? That useful feature to resume iTunes playback of long song lists once you quit iTunes and open it again, or after rebooting Mac, was available in SoundJam MP 2.5.3 in 2001 (15 years ago!!!), from where iTunes was developed.
  • Reply 6 of 46
    irelandireland Posts: 17,737member

    As for the leaked pics, I'm kicking myself for clicking through to MacRumors - the images were okay (nothing earth shattering), but I saw a few of the comments... that site hasn't changed one bit, the first post is a race to see who can post the first negative comment, and then the peanut gallery of oneupmanship juveniles follow suit, trying to be more clever in their negativity (and failing) - wow I hate that site, please AI don't follow that same path!
    It's a cesspool of immaturity and shallow, unintelligible thinking. It's been a few years since the forum members over there were on average sensible. The comment culture is snakry and filled with people with nothing better to do than type hate into their Android phones. Perhaps the sheer pervasiveness of computers in our pockets has revealed people who were there all along? AI should aggressively  ban those types around here. I couldn't visit if we were like them. 
    edited May 2016 quadra 610williamlondonpatchythepiratemagman1979jony0anantksundaramnoivad
  • Reply 7 of 46
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,251member
    A rare rant from me as I am usually 110% pro OS X / Apple.  IMHO, iTunes and many Apple apps in general definitely needs to return to being intelligible and intuitive.  As a suggestion, I'd like to see LAN sharing be simple again, e.g. sharing Photos set up in Photos!  The use of iTunes to set up sharing of Photos albums is weird to say the least.  Plus remove the need to have iTunes physically running for it to operate as the server instead use a daemon in the background.  Also the iTunes / Movies team should look at Plex for UI ideas since Apple seems to have lost its way.  Once the leaders in UI in recent years OS X has become a dark art of trying to find how to do anything, I particularly dislike the invisible options that don't appear unless you hover in the exact right spot (this first started in Aperture's Library panel if I recall correctly for Hide and Show options).  This is OS X not Windows!
    williamlondonwonkothesaneirelandpropodjony0noivad
  • Reply 8 of 46
    tapetape Posts: 33member
    The main thing I want/need is the ability to open a playlist in its own window. I cannot express how useful that was and how removing it in iTunes 11 made things a lot harder for me.
    oneof52baconstangirelandrepressthisapres587unbeliever2pte applejashue
  • Reply 9 of 46
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    iTunes needs to feel the burn!

    Incremental changes won't do!

    DAMMIT

    >:x
    irelandanantksundaram
  • Reply 10 of 46
    A rare rant from me as I am usually 110% pro OS X / Apple.  IMHO, iTunes and many Apple apps in general definitely needs to return to being intelligible and intuitive.  As a suggestion, I'd like to see LAN sharing be simple again, e.g. sharing Photos set up in Photos!  The use of iTunes to set up sharing of Photos albums is weird to say the least.  Plus remove the need to have iTunes physically running for it to operate as the server instead use a daemon in the background.  Also the iTunes / Movies team should look at Plex for UI ideas since Apple seems to have lost its way.  Once the leaders in UI in recent years OS X has become a dark art of trying to find how to do anything, I particularly dislike the invisible options that don't appear unless you hover in the exact right spot (this first started in Aperture's Library panel if I recall correctly for Hide and Show options).  This is OS X not Windows!
    Not sure I'd characterise that as a rant, your ideas and criticisms are well-thought out and constructive, and not overly focusing on the negative at all. Let's face it, iTunes has become what many of us hate about MS software -> something functional becomes so overloaded with features it ceases to be useful anymore (or simple and elegant in utility and design).

    It's ridiculous that Apple still requires a desktop app to be running in this world of tablets and phones and non-desktop devices, especially when many of us have TBs and TBs of media that we organise in central NAS repositories, with which iTunes doesn't play well at all. Why is the app called iTunes, when it's evolved so far beyond music? We could all go on and on I would imagine, and justifiably so.

    The recent organisational shake-up at Apple portended possible (major) iTunes changes, which I'm hoping this is the first small step on that path. It's ridiculous how long overdue a rework of that bloated s/w is at this point, it's so un-Apple simply to keep piling crap into that product instead of focusing on user experience and usability and design.
    edited May 2016 repressthisjony0anantksundarampte appleksec
  • Reply 11 of 46
    oneof52oneof52 Posts: 111member
    tape said:
    The main thing I want/need is the ability to open a playlist in its own window. I cannot express how useful that was and how removing it in iTunes 11 made things a lot harder for me.
    I so want a separate window.  Also, I'm a visual person.  I look for albums and movies and TV shows by cover art.  I would love to have a cover flow view.

    Are there any Mac programs to use as interface instead of iTunes?
    unbeliever2
  • Reply 12 of 46
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 966member
    I think the only solution is (like the banks) is to break the software up into smaller programs.  This could be done incrementally.

    1) iBackup
    2) iMusicRadio 
    3) iMedia (movies and TV)
    4) iPodcasts

    I use to think the problem with iTunes was crazy UI and yes, this was it's death knoll.

    But it needs to be treated like an App.  Less function in a more dedicated piece of software.

    The bottom line is that we ask it to do too much.  They had the wisdon to do it with books, now they have to go the rest of the way.
    baconstanganantksundaramksec
  • Reply 13 of 46
    #BlameMe#BlameMe Posts: 10member
    Make the View menu plural and let Drake take over iTunes too. 
  • Reply 14 of 46
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    I don't understand, Apple fans complain that there's too much default apps yet want iTunes to be split into 5+ apps? NO THANKS. I have enough apps on my home screens.

    I wish they would just simplify all the content under one umbrella.

    They can reconstruct the entire UI and store into one clean app. I feel like they can even add hardware into the mix. I feel like sales for new iPhones and Apple Watches would rise as consumer awareness reaches a new peak. I always thought a single iStore would be cool.

    Even amazon does this decently....
    magman1979repressthisanantksundaramlkruppksec
  • Reply 15 of 46
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,138member
    I wish iTunes would just go back to the original 1.0 version. It was simple, slick and worked pretty damn good. Make the iTunes store a separate app like on iOS. The current version of iTunes is a jack of all trades, master of absolutely none!
    williamlondonsingularitybaconstangmr opropodanantksundarampte appleksec
  • Reply 16 of 46
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    ireland said:
    iBooks is no longer part of iTunes btw.

    Next they should move Podcasts out to a dedicated clean app and iOS apps and management to the App Store app.

    Then put movies + movie store in a new Video app and build a completely new and clean iTunes jukebox + music store for iTunes customers and also build a new dedicated Music app for Apple Music customers.

    They could offer the same for Windows user or just keep the iTunes setup over there. But on Mac via a software update they could fix the mess that is iTunes and install all these apps by default for user convenience.

    Cleverly for Mac users if they wanted they could offer a menu to switch between these media apps available from within the menu of each of them with consistent shortcuts.
    Some excellent ideas, I'd love to see Apple revamp things in ways as you suggest. I'd bet they have prototyped and designed several major (and minor) changes to the UI, let's hope at least one of the major ones gets the green light. Perhaps this minor tweak is a precursor to more major (underlying) changes that are coming? Let's hope.

    As for the leaked pics, I'm kicking myself for clicking through to MacRumors - the images were okay (nothing earth shattering), but I saw a few of the comments... that site hasn't changed one bit, the first post is a race to see who can post the first negative comment, and then the peanut gallery of oneupmanship juveniles follow suit, trying to be more clever in their negativity (and failing) - wow I hate that site, please AI don't follow that same path!
    Awesome!
    Now we have juvenile oneupmanship posts between the different mac-centric website comment forums! 
    G.J.!
    (You're right. Those guys are such losers over there.) :D
  • Reply 17 of 46
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    macxpress said:
    I wish iTunes would just go back to the original 1.0 version. It was simple, slick and worked pretty damn good. Make the iTunes store a separate app like on iOS. The current version of iTunes is a jack of all trades, master of absolutely none!
    In order for Apple to do that they need to say screw Windows. It seems like the Windows desktop app is used as a crutch. But definitely the iTunes Store and Apple Music should be separate from device syncing.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 18 of 46
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,593member
    macxpress said:
    I wish iTunes would just go back to the original 1.0 version. It was simple, slick and worked pretty damn good. Make the iTunes store a separate app like on iOS. The current version of iTunes is a jack of all trades, master of absolutely none!
    In order for Apple to do that they need to say screw Windows. It seems like the Windows desktop app is used as a crutch. But definitely the iTunes Store and Apple Music should be separate from device syncing.
    So, you're millions of Windows users should be abandoned by Apple?! Remember, iTunes, the iPod and the iPhone only became a dominant commercial success after they created iTunes for Windows and without that would have remained a niche product. Arguably, the single most important release for Apple. Ever.
    Rayz2016baconstangrepressthisdaren_mitchellanantksundaramksecjashue
  • Reply 19 of 46
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,697member
    ireland said:
    iBooks is no longer part of iTunes btw.

    Next they should move Podcasts out to a dedicated clean app and iOS apps and management to the App Store app.

    Then put movies + movie store in a new Video app and build a completely new and clean iTunes jukebox + music store for iTunes customers and also build a new dedicated Music app for Apple Music customers.

    They could offer the same for Windows user or just keep the iTunes setup over there. But on Mac via a software update they could fix the mess that is iTunes and install all these apps by default for user convenience.

    Cleverly for Mac users if they wanted they could offer a menu to switch between these media apps available from within the menu of each of them with consistent shortcuts.

    I was right with you until you said that Apple Music should separated from the iTunes store. 

    A non-geek Apple customer decides he want to play a certain track. Is it better for him to search for it in one application; or is better for him to search one, not find it there, then search for it in the other?
    edited May 2016 repressthis
  • Reply 20 of 46
    mtbnutmtbnut Posts: 197member
    Tweaks? At this point, iTunes needs dynamite: blow it up and start over. What a terrible application. It's a bloated POS that has no place in the Appleverse. 

    It looks like the IDE's I see our IT department using (Eclipse, Visual Basic, and so on). I keep it open on my desktop so co-workers think I'm doing something amazing; instead, I'm trying to find my copy of Front 242, which takes about 3 minutes. 


    caliirelandanantksundaram
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