Saturday, July 26, 2014

iTunes 12 and the Case of the Missing Sidebar

Kirk McElhearn:

I’ll miss the sidebar, and I wonder why Apple is removing it. For those who use it, it’s a convenient way to access much of your iTunes library. According to screenshots published on a variety of websites, there is no longer even a drop-down menu at the top-left of the iTunes window when the sidebar is hidden; you access the various libraries and devices by clicking icons in the navigation bar.

Jim Tanous:

It’s clear that Apple is trying to steer users away from the sidebar, and the company’s default album view is visually impressive. But longtime iTunes users who prefer the “traditional” iTunes layout may be fighting a losing battle with Apple. It’s great that the company preserves some forms of sidebar and list views in iTunes 12, even if they’re harder to find and lack some functionality, but how much longer will Apple continue quietly relegating these layouts before they’re gone completely?

The sidebar’s gone, but the modal preferences window remains. I’m not really attached to the old sidebar, but I found it essential to turn it back on in iTunes 11, and the new design does not seem to be a clear improvement. It seems even less friendly to those of us who like to navigate by menus or keyboard shortcuts, rather than by clicking tiny, unlabeled buttons.

5 Comments

Do note you can use the keyboard shortcuts (command-1 for music, command-2 for movies... command-7 for apps). This still works.

There is one longstanding bug, however. If the search field has focus, and a blinking cursor in it, then the keyboard shortcuts do not work. Why this bug is still around I don't know, but it does mean that every once in a while you'll notice keyboard shortcuts don't work and then... blinking cursor in search field. BAH.

Effectively if you click on the playlist mode you get everything you had. So I think the sidebar complaints are pretty overblown.

The bigger issues IMO are what remains broken. Get Info windows are still horribly modal rather than something like a Cocoa Inspector (admittedly an UI feature falling out of favor at Apple but it doesn't have say the new iWork's equivalent either) Syncing items to your iOS devices is still hopelessly broken - especially for large libraries. You have to spend so much time poking around to find what you want to sync (search helps a little, but only a little) With books it's even worse because a lot of the metadata you used to be able to use is now gone. And there's no way to display by collection what books you want to sync.

@Clark It seems to me that even with the playlist mode there is still more switching between different categories rather than seeing everything at once.

[…] What the hell? iTunes 12 and the Case of the Missing Sidebar […]

Robert Franssen

Has no one noticed that you have to change each playlist view individually!!! STUPID. i have HUNDREDS OF PLAYLISTS

Stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Comments RSS Feed for this post.

Leave a Comment