How I Would fix iTunes, Part 3: Multiple Windows

(This is one of a series of articles looking at elements of iTunes that I think need fixing. I’ll choose one element for each article, and offer a solution. See all articles in this series. If you have any particular gripes about what needs to be fixed in iTunes, drop me a line.)

Until iTunes 11 was released in 2012, the app let you open multiple windows. You could have, say, one window showing your Music library, and another displaying the iTunes Store. Or you could open two windows when you were creating playlists: one you’d use to browse your music, and another with your new playlist, allowing you to drag and drop items from one to the other, and re-order them easily.

While most iTunes users didn’t use multiple windows – and probably didn’t know they existed – many of us miss this feature. It is most obvious when I visit the iTunes Store. If I’m in my Music library, I need to click the iTunes Store button, then click the type of content I want to browse. If I’m in the iTunes Store and want to get back to my library, it’s often two clicks to do this.

I know why Apple did this, at least in iTunes 12: every time you leave the iTunes Store, clicking a media kind (in the navigation bar at the top left) takes you to another section of the iTunes Store. So, before you leave the store, you may see more things to buy.

Unfortunately, this just makes using the iTunes Store more annoying. I used to always have a window open for the iTunes Store. I could check music, movies, or apps, and not lose my place in my Music library. I could quickly get back to exactly where I was in one of me media libraries, instead of having to click several times to get back to the same library, and the same content I was looking at before.

It’s not complicated to bring back multiple windows in iTunes; they could even do it with tabs, as in Safari and other web browsers. It’s one of the main features I’d like to see fixed.