Some Minor Changes in iTunes 12.4

You can read my overview of iTunes 12.4 at Macworld; I discuss the major interface changes. But there are a lot of little changes I’ve spotted in the latest version of iTunes. Here are some of them:

  • There is no longer a Store menu in the iTunes toolbar. All store functions are now in the Account menu: the Wish List, quick access to your Purchased list, View My Account, etc.
  • The Song menu is new. (I mentioned this in the Macworld article.) It features all the menu items that are available in contextual menus. But this menu is itself contextual; if you’re viewing your Movies library, it changes to Movie; if you’re looking at audiobooks, it says Audiobook.
  • To update iCloud Music Library or Genius, use the File > Library menu; these options were previously in the Store menu.
  • The Repeat button is back in the iTunes LCD; it has been missing since iTunes 12 was released
  • The AirPlay button is now a real button, which contrasts with the background of the iTunes toolbar. Previously, it was just an icon. And it balances with the Up Next icon on the right side of the iTunes LCD.
  • Airplay menu

  • The iTunes MiniPlayer still shows what I call the “new” contextual menu; the one added in iTunes 12, which you have to click to view submenus.
  • As timmorrislw points out in the comments, there’s a new iCloud Status of No Longer Available. This shows tracks that you added to your Apple Music library that record labels are no longer allowing to be streamed. It’s interesting to create a smart playlist with this condition, to find how many tracks have been removed. Previously, I had, as the comments said, a smart playlist excluding all the other statuses. Out of 16,000 tracks in my Apple Music library, 843 are no longer available.
  • Previously, you could right-click on one or more apps and choose Update, to only update those apps you wanted to. (You may not want to update all available apps if you have limited bandwidth.) Now, you can either click the Update All Apps button at the bottom right of the iTunes window, or click an app to expand its update notes, and click the Update button. Fixed in iTunes 12.4.1.
  • When you click the icon for an iOS device to sync it, there’s no way to get back to your iTunes library other than using the Back button, or clicking the Done button. You can’t access, say, your Music by choosing View > Media Kind > Music, so you can’t back out easily to scan your music library when, for example, trying to decide what you want to sync.
  • The Convert ID3 Tags function, that was previously in the contextual menu when you right-clicked on a track, is gone. Personally, I’ve never used that function, but apparently some people do. I still don’t know why they would. Fixed in iTunes 12.4.1.
  • The Create New Version menu item is no longer in the contextual menu when you click on a track. It’s now in File > Create New Version. I think this is a good thing, because this, and other menu items removed from the contextual menu, have greatly simplified that menu.
  • Also removed from the contextual menu is the Get Track Names function, that looks up your tracks on Gracenote to get metadata. This only works with tracks you’ve ripped from CDs, and it’s something that a lot of people never use.
  • You can no longer reset play counts from the contextual menu. I’ll see if Doug Adams can whip up an AppleScript for this. Fixed in iTunes 12.4.1.
  • Above your playlists in the sidebar is a small header saying, for example, Music Playlists. Click this to choose to display All Playlists. This will show playlists with other content, such as podcasts, videos, audiobooks, etc. If you’re viewing another media kind, Music Playlists will read Movie Playlists, Podcast Playlists, etc.
  • There is an interesting and confounding labelling used in the sidebar. If you have Apple Music turned on, you’ll see a header saying My Music Playlists (which you can click to toggle to show All Playlists). If you don’t have Apple Music turned on, this header reads Music Playlists.
  • There’s a small change with smart playlists. Previously, the header let you choose to match Any or All of the following rules. Now, there is an additional option, which lets you choose a specific media kind, or all media.
  • Recently played playlist

  • There are a number of other changes in the sidebar. I’ve written an article explaining How to Work with the Sidebar in iTunes 12.4.
  • Crossfade Songs does not work. Fixed in iTunes 12.4.1.
  • When viewing a playlist, you could previously change views by clicking the View Options button at the top right of the iTunes window. This button is gone; to change views in a playlist, you can click View > View As, and choose a view.
  • Related to the above, the full View Options window has returned; you can display it by pressing Command-J. You can change playlist views here, but also choose whether to view artwork in list views, choose which columns to display, and more.
  • The Recent Updates list for podcasts is gone. If you selected My Podcasts, at the top of the podcasts column was a Recent Updates item. Clicking this led to a list of updates This Week, This Month, etc.
  • The Get Album Artwork menu item that was in the contextual item when you clicked on a track in your iTunes library is gone. Here is how you get album artwork now.

I’ll update this list as I find more little tweaks to iTunes 12.4. If you’ve found anything, please post a comment.

168 thoughts on “Some Minor Changes in iTunes 12.4

    • Seemingly gone as well. I noticed this earlier today when trying to clear incorrectly-matched artwork downloaded from the iTunes store. The only work-around I’ve come up with is to manually delete the artwork from the Get Info window, although I’m unsure if the download has actually been removed from the Album Artwork folder.

    • Seemingly gone as well. I noticed this earlier today when trying to clear incorrectly-matched artwork downloaded from the iTunes store. The only work-around I’ve come up with is to manually delete the artwork from the Get Info window, although I’m unsure if the download has actually been removed from the Album Artwork folder.

  1. The crossfade feature has been broken by 12.4 & is not working in playlists – major fail and unacceptable pre-release testing for those of us who use iTunes for radio shows!

      • Not my personal experience. I always use this feature and never had any issues with it prior to this release, a lot of people complaining in forums that 12.4’s broken it

    • I am having the same problem which is frustrating for me as I also use the crossfaderoption option for my radio shows! !

  2. The crossfade feature has been broken by 12.4 & is not working in playlists – major fail and unacceptable pre-release testing for those of us who use iTunes for radio shows!

      • Not my personal experience. I always use this feature and never had any issues with it prior to this release, a lot of people complaining in forums that 12.4’s broken it

    • I am having the same problem which is frustrating for me as I also use the crossfaderoption option for my radio shows! !

  3. How do you use “Start Genius” from a song you are listening to? Is that feature gone? It seems when you click Genius Shuffle, it picks some random song and makes a list. It doesn’t make a list related to the song you are currently listening to. It’s a bummer.

    • Genius seems to be broken for a lot of music. For some tracks, I can use it, but for others it doesn’t offer the option. (It’s now in File > New > Genius Playlist.) I’m looking into this to try and find out what’s happening.

    • Agree! I used this feature daily: pick a song, start genius from that song w/contextual menu, enjoy. Now we have to make an actual playlist?! Genius Suggestions can still show a list of suggested songs, it just can’t play them or add them to Up Next…

      Genius Shuffle is great and all, but it definitely does not appear to base its selection on the song currently playing…

  4. How do you use “Start Genius” from a song you are listening to? Is that feature gone? It seems when you click Genius Shuffle, it picks some random song and makes a list. It doesn’t make a list related to the song you are currently listening to. It’s a bummer.

    • Genius seems to be broken for a lot of music. For some tracks, I can use it, but for others it doesn’t offer the option. (It’s now in File > New > Genius Playlist.) I’m looking into this to try and find out what’s happening.

    • Agree! I used this feature daily: pick a song, start genius from that song w/contextual menu, enjoy. Now we have to make an actual playlist?! Genius Suggestions can still show a list of suggested songs, it just can’t play them or add them to Up Next…

      Genius Shuffle is great and all, but it definitely does not appear to base its selection on the song currently playing…

    • Downloaded iTunes 12.4 again and re-installed then found the “new” location for Duplicate tracking at “File/Library/Show Duplicate Items” or do the same navigation and press Alt-Option key (on Mac) to get “Exact Duplicates”.

      • There never was a “Delete Duplicates” command; it was always “Show.” And as you’ve discovered, that command is now under File->Library->Show Duplicate Items. In addition to option-clicking that menu command, you can also show exact duplicates by invoking that command on its own and then later clicking “Same Album” at the top.

    • Downloaded iTunes 12.4 again and re-installed then found the “new” location for Duplicate tracking at “File/Library/Show Duplicate Items” or do the same navigation and press Alt-Option key (on Mac) to get “Exact Duplicates”.

      • There never was a “Delete Duplicates” command; it was always “Show.” And as you’ve discovered, that command is now under File->Library->Show Duplicate Items. In addition to option-clicking that menu command, you can also show exact duplicates by invoking that command on its own and then later clicking “Same Album” at the top.

  5. Also on the “No longer available” status: it has been the number one reason why I stopped subscribing, even after making a separate library in iTunes so it would no longer interact with my files. Sometimes a handful of tracks would become NLA, for no apparent reason. That a label pulls a whole album, I get that (although it still sucks), but one to five tracks? This even happened with music I added from the service, i.e. I didn’t have tracks to match (it was the Very Best of Cream, somehow 5 or 6 tracks went away).

    Sometimes it also doesn’t make sense because one album gets pulled out while the rest of the artist’s catalogue is still available. Apple HAS to fix this before I subscribe again (and yes, I will pay close attention to the new version coming after WWDC).

    • It is the labels who decide this. They have the right to make any album or song available for streaming, or to pull it. It’s no different on Spotify or other streaming services; it’s not something Apple can “fix.” It’s just part of the deal with streaming.

      • Fix, strong-arm the labels… something 😉 As far as you know, what makes them decide on one song? For example, Jean-Michel Jarre’s Concerts in China is missing track 9. Another problem I had with that specific album was that I actually have the original CD, and it was matched successfully… except of course for that track, that became NLA. Then I have to go through the inconvenience of deleting it and re-adding it for upload, but of course, I lose play counts, etc… Your article about a Report button would help for that, I suppose.

        Music Tracker (iOS app) was actually pretty handy to discover which songs got NLA’d, as it tracks additions, changes and deletions to the library on the device.

        I keep thinking maybe I should re-sign for iTunes Match before giving Apple Music a chance again, do you think that’s a better ‘insurance policy’ against NLA-ism? That however makes Apple Music more expensive ($145 / yr) whereas I switched to Google Play and its matching/uploading works fine, and the streaming stuff coexists with it, instead of stomping over it.

        All the same, thanks for addressing the comment. I’m a big fan of Ask the iTunes Guy, and I’m enjoying the new podcast as well.

  6. Also on the “No longer available” status: it has been the number one reason why I stopped subscribing, even after making a separate library in iTunes so it would no longer interact with my files. Sometimes a handful of tracks would become NLA, for no apparent reason. That a label pulls a whole album, I get that (although it still sucks), but one to five tracks? This even happened with music I added from the service, i.e. I didn’t have tracks to match (it was the Very Best of Cream, somehow 5 or 6 tracks went away).

    Sometimes it also doesn’t make sense because one album gets pulled out while the rest of the artist’s catalogue is still available. Apple HAS to fix this before I subscribe again (and yes, I will pay close attention to the new version coming after WWDC).

    • It is the labels who decide this. They have the right to make any album or song available for streaming, or to pull it. It’s no different on Spotify or other streaming services; it’s not something Apple can “fix.” It’s just part of the deal with streaming.

      • Fix, strong-arm the labels… something 😉 As far as you know, what makes them decide on one song? For example, Jean-Michel Jarre’s Concerts in China is missing track 9. Another problem I had with that specific album was that I actually have the original CD, and it was matched successfully… except of course for that track, that became NLA. Then I have to go through the inconvenience of deleting it and re-adding it for upload, but of course, I lose play counts, etc… Your article about a Report button would help for that, I suppose.

        Music Tracker (iOS app) was actually pretty handy to discover which songs got NLA’d, as it tracks additions, changes and deletions to the library on the device.

        I keep thinking maybe I should re-sign for iTunes Match before giving Apple Music a chance again, do you think that’s a better ‘insurance policy’ against NLA-ism? That however makes Apple Music more expensive ($145 / yr) whereas I switched to Google Play and its matching/uploading works fine, and the streaming stuff coexists with it, instead of stomping over it.

        All the same, thanks for addressing the comment. I’m a big fan of Ask the iTunes Guy, and I’m enjoying the new podcast as well.

  7. THANKS FOR MENTIONING THE “GET ALBUM ARTWORK”! Thats what I came on here for, I was afraid they totally got rid of it, at least its somewhere…

  8. THANKS FOR MENTIONING THE “GET ALBUM ARTWORK”! Thats what I came on here for, I was afraid they totally got rid of it, at least its somewhere…

  9. I’ve also just discovered that the “Home Videos” media section is no longer distinctly selectable as it was in iTunes 12.3 and earlier. I have to first go to Movies, then show the sidebar, then select Home Videos, in order to see them. As this is the default spot ALL manually imported videos go first (even my own backups of commercially-available movies I’ve extracted from purchased DVDs) this is a bit clunkier than I would have liked. I routinely import these and then have to change their “media kind” to “Movie.”

    All that said, I do appreciate that all movie files are consolidated under one header now. Well, except for music videos…

    It still just feels a bit inelegant and half-baked (or over-baked?) is all…

  10. I’ve also just discovered that the “Home Videos” media section is no longer distinctly selectable as it was in iTunes 12.3 and earlier. I have to first go to Movies, then show the sidebar, then select Home Videos, in order to see them. As this is the default spot ALL manually imported videos go first (even my own backups of commercially-available movies I’ve extracted from purchased DVDs) this is a bit clunkier than I would have liked. I routinely import these and then have to change their “media kind” to “Movie.”

    All that said, I do appreciate that all movie files are consolidated under one header now. Well, except for music videos…

    It still just feels a bit inelegant and half-baked (or over-baked?) is all…

  11. The ‘create new version’ option has now been replaced with ‘convert’, which mean I can’t create a video version that I can play on my iPod – any thoughts?

  12. The ‘create new version’ option has now been replaced with ‘convert’, which mean I can’t create a video version that I can play on my iPod – any thoughts?

  13. I have a large number of Audiobooks ripped from CD. I can see them all by searching for just one, but I have to do this every time I launch iTunes. As you might imagine, this is really annoying! Can you tell me; is it possible to regain the Get Track Names function?

  14. I have a large number of Audiobooks ripped from CD. I can see them all by searching for just one, but I have to do this every time I launch iTunes. As you might imagine, this is really annoying! Can you tell me; is it possible to regain the Get Track Names function?

  15. I seem to recollect, when invoking Get Info for a selected item in a list and using the Next and Previous arrows in the Get Info dialog to “scroll thru” adjacent items, the selection followed along such that when the Get Info dialog is closed, the current selected item would be the item last viewed in Get Info. This is no longer the case – the selection remains as the one first selected when invoking Get Info.

    This is problematic if you want to exit Get Info to perform some other action on the item since now, god forbid, you must *remember* what the item was when you closed the dialog… not so easy if, say, you’re switching back and forth between same-named “duplicates” comparing the differences, deciding which one to delete…

    It might just be me, but it seems iTunes used to know how to follow along 🙂

  16. I seem to recollect, when invoking Get Info for a selected item in a list and using the Next and Previous arrows in the Get Info dialog to “scroll thru” adjacent items, the selection followed along such that when the Get Info dialog is closed, the current selected item would be the item last viewed in Get Info. This is no longer the case – the selection remains as the one first selected when invoking Get Info.

    This is problematic if you want to exit Get Info to perform some other action on the item since now, god forbid, you must *remember* what the item was when you closed the dialog… not so easy if, say, you’re switching back and forth between same-named “duplicates” comparing the differences, deciding which one to delete…

    It might just be me, but it seems iTunes used to know how to follow along 🙂

  17. ITunes 12.4 seems to have dropped the option to join tracks on import to keep tracks adjacent even upon shuffling. Is it coming back?

  18. ITunes 12.4 seems to have dropped the option to join tracks on import to keep tracks adjacent even upon shuffling. Is it coming back?

  19. I used “Genius Suggestions” frequently when working at DJ gigs. It was great! It seems to have completely disappeared. I do still see an option for creating a genius playlist (in a new location), but even that seems to have dropped the ball on the majority of my large library, even after updating genius.

    Are “Genius Suggestions” lost forever? And why can’t iTunes generate a genius playlist from most of my library now when it use to be able to do so?

    Using Windows 10 if that is of any relevance to this.

  20. I used “Genius Suggestions” frequently when working at DJ gigs. It was great! It seems to have completely disappeared. I do still see an option for creating a genius playlist (in a new location), but even that seems to have dropped the ball on the majority of my large library, even after updating genius.

    Are “Genius Suggestions” lost forever? And why can’t iTunes generate a genius playlist from most of my library now when it use to be able to do so?

    Using Windows 10 if that is of any relevance to this.

  21. when in My Music, I used to be able to select a song, right click and have ‘Show in iTunes Store’ to see the full album and listen/buy other tracks, but that’s missing now. Is it gone?

  22. when in My Music, I used to be able to select a song, right click and have ‘Show in iTunes Store’ to see the full album and listen/buy other tracks, but that’s missing now. Is it gone?

  23. In Windows version 12.5.1.21, in Mini Player menu (three dots) Delete is no longer there. I found that very convenient, and was glad when it was added. You cannot delete a track if you are in a Playlist, very inconvenient.

  24. In Windows version 12.5.1.21, in Mini Player menu (three dots) Delete is no longer there. I found that very convenient, and was glad when it was added. You cannot delete a track if you are in a Playlist, very inconvenient.

  25. Hi, I’ve just upgraded to iTunes 12 on my windows 10 laptop I have a couple of problems firstly View As is missing so I only have albums and playlists in grid view which I want everything to be in and also it just says my music or music playlists not Apple even though I have Apple Music. P.S I have tried Command + J and options still missing. Please help me!

  26. Hi, I’ve just upgraded to iTunes 12 on my windows 10 laptop I have a couple of problems firstly View As is missing so I only have albums and playlists in grid view which I want everything to be in and also it just says my music or music playlists not Apple even though I have Apple Music. P.S I have tried Command + J and options still missing. Please help me!

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