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.