iTunes Stealthy Changes

In the past, I have blogged about how to create and add Ringtones to iTunes. I've also written up a post about How to tag iTunes movies and TV shows. I like iTunes. It has a purpose and, at least in the past, it worked well for me.

Recently things have started to change. I've expressed my frustration with iTunes updates that messed with the behavior of the mini player and I've ranted about general iTunes annoyances.  

This past week Apple released MacOS 10.12.4 and updated iTunes to 12.6. In doing so Apple once again messed with the look of iTunes as well as the behavior. Please Apple, STOP IT! iTunes was great once and now it's just a jumbled mess that's fading away.

Today I want to talk about some of the issues and problems brought on by the update and I'll start with the mini player. 

When you open iTunes you see a large window of all your media. If you would rather switch to the smaller mini player you need to hover your mouse over the play area and click the boxes that appear.

Yeah, intuitive I know. But that's how it's designed. With iTunes version 12.6 you will now see a slightly larger mini-player than past versions and it's completely devoid of any UI clues. 

Again, What was Apple thinking? How are you suppose to know what the controls are or what to do? If you hover the mouse over the window things change and now you see this view:

This makes things a little clearer but based on this view you have no idea what will play if you hit the play button. Is it a song, a movie, a TV show?  What??? The most egregious sin of all: Where are the open and close, red, yellow and green buttons in the upper left? How do you close the window to get the large media view back? Good gosh Apple, can you at least be consistent in your UI? PLEASE?!

The key here is to select the ellipsis, that's the 3 little dots on the left by the speaker icon.

If you select "Hide MiniPlayer Large Artwork" EVEN THOUGH IT"S NOT SHOWING, the view changes again.

Why look at that! The close butting has returned in the upper left. If you close the window, the large view of all your media reruns and you are back to where you started. Obvious isn't it?

OK, now that we have some way to control the MiniPlayer what about TV shows? In the past every episode of every season of your TV show showed up when you clicked the icon of that show. Now just the last watched season and it's available shows will be displayed. 

If you select the currently visible season (SEASON 6 in the example above) you will now see all available seasons for that show.

In this case I think this change is an improvement. It prevents shows like The Simpsons, 28 Seasons and counting, from taking over you monitor. By only showing one season at a time your scroll time is decreased.

What ever changes Apple makes in their software I just wish they made it a little clearer what changed and how. I'd also appreciate a little effort to unify the behavior of the UI so you don't have to hunt around to figure out how to get things to work.

Are you listening Apple?