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iTunes 11.0.3 Updated with Redesigned MiniPlayer

Apple has released iTunes 11.0.3 with a number of playback and interface improvements. At its heart, the MiniPlayer remains svelte, but it gains a track progress bar as well as visible volume/AirPlay control icon (previously, you needed to mouse over the MiniPlayer for this to appear). The volume icon appears if you are broadcasting audio to a single source, while the blue AirPlay icon appears if you have multiple audio streams selected.

If you clicked the MiniPlayer’s album cover image in the previous incarnation of iTunes, a second window opened featuring the album cover and playback controls at the bottom, while the MiniPlayer remained visible as well. But with iTunes 11.0.3, clicking the image simply expands the MiniPlayer into a larger album cover view (rather than opening a second window) and playback controls appear only when you mouse over the MiniPlayer. Clicking the three-line Up Next icon while in the expanded album art view now displays the list at the bottom of the window. (Previously, this view was available only from the standalone MiniPlayer, and it was not available from the separate album art window). To exit the Up Next list, click the three-lined icon again. Additionally, clicking the album art box once more returns the MiniPlayer to its miniaturized form.

The update also makes a welcome improvement to the way multi-disc album tracks are displayed in Albums view. Where previously all tracks flowed in succession from one disc to the next without any demarcation, iTunes 11.0.3 separates the tracks according to disc number. (The previous implementation was maddening when trying to sort out our Mozart and Stax/Volt collections with upwards of 14 discs in each set).

If you use the Songs view, you can also now display artwork. Choose View > Show View Options (Command-J) and click the Show Artwork checkbox. This option, on its own, displays the album artwork in the Songs view only if there are several album tracks grouped together — it definitely works better if you’ve sorted Songs view by Artist or Album. However, clicking the Always Show checkbox displays the artwork even for single tracks, and you can use the Artwork Size slider to step down or up a size. (Slider is a bit of a misnomer, as you only get three size options — small, medium, and large).

Finally, Apple promises in its typically brief release notes that iTunes 11.0.3 improves searching and sorting performance for large iTunes libraries. Federico Viticci of MacStories has discovered that iTunes 11.0.3 also adds AppleScript control of AirPlay speakers, which is good news for automation buffs. AppleScript wizard Doug Adams has already created a basic script to select AirPlay speakers. And as Viticci, our own Michael Cohen, and reader Scott Hanson have pointed out, Apple has added some tweaks to iOS app updates, including an Updates tab to view available updates, a new contextual menu for apps that have updates, and display of app updates for all associated Apple IDs.

If you find any other changes to iTunes 11.0.3, please let us know in the comments. It’s available as a direct download from Apple’s iTunes Web page (188 MB), via Software Update on systems prior to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion (194.1 MB), or via the App Store app on Mountain Lion (129 MB).


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Comments about iTunes 11.0.3 Updated with Redesigned MiniPlayer
(Comments are closed.)

Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-05-16 18:34
Here's another change: when you choose Apps from the Library popup menu, Updates is now on the top bar as one of the available views; previously, available app updates only appeared when you clicked Check for Updates at the bottom of the Apps display. I like it.
Scott Hanson  2013-05-16 21:28
It also shows app updates for all Apple IDs and not just the one that's currently logged in. Double like!
Free Spirit  2013-05-17 15:11
The new "upgraded" Mini Player is actually a downgrade. The previous one allowed you to expand the album artwork to fit the screen. This one doesn't. Shame on Apple!
Bob Foss  2013-05-18 19:50
Found the fix on this...for Mac, simply hold Command + click on the icon. For Windows, which I have, simply hold down Control key and click on icon, and you'll have previous version artwork the smaller miniplay artwork works in the Store when previewing songs. I like to look at my artwork as 12" square so this is a good feature still available in 11.0.3
Michael Schmitt  2013-05-26 11:13
To clarify Bob Foss's comment: command-click on the artwork icon in the control area at the top of the MAIN window, not the mini-player.
Bob Foss  2013-05-18 14:56
A defect in 11.0.3 appears to be non-resolvable for some Windows users but works for Mac. This new update did away with enlarging album artwork (mine were 12" square); now they're limited to about 4-5", unless someone has found a way to get around this. iTunes designers have never been fond of artwork, as we found out with Cover Flow dying; now, they apparently have taken away the ability to enlarge album artwork which used to be easy after clicking the icon in the main player.
Bob Foss  2013-05-18 14:59
Again, the loss of enlarging album artwork is now apparently permanent in 11.0.3. Previous editon allowed. First Cover Flow, not not large artwork allowed....Apple users are trying to work a fix but I'm not holding my breath
cycleman  2013-05-20 14:43
For those of us who use iTunes along with a higher-quality music player such as Amarra, Pure Music, or Audirvana Plus, the 11.0.3 "upgrade" has caused many problems.

See here:

A warning for those who like iTunes for its library function, but use other programs for better sound quality.
Fred Naddelman  2013-05-20 15:06
Ever since the upgrade to 11.0.3 iTunes crashes very frequently. I'm run the latest version of Snow Leopard on a MacBook (13") and 11.0.2 was very stable, definitely not so with 11.0.3. Right now iTunes is barely usable. Terrible!!!
Ingo Lembcke Hamburg  2013-05-21 06:11
2nd that. I use WLAN-Speakers (iHome IW2), maybe you have something similar? One crash was after using the remote on the speakers to pause music.
Otherwise same Mac OS, being Snow Leopard 10.6.8 .
Would like to downgrade to the previous version, but as I send the crash reports to Apple I hope for an update soon.
Mickey Bo  2013-05-21 09:03
Here's an important fix to me: When I switch from "Music" view (i.e., my entire library view) to a playlist or podcast list and back, the "Music" selection is where I left it. This restores the capability lost in the previous version, which always reverted the view to the beginning of the "Music" list. Now I don't have to scroll down to find the selection I was viewing.
Agen Schmitz  An apple icon for a Friend of TidBITS 2013-05-21 10:11
Yes! Thank heavens this finally got fixed.
Cecile  2013-05-21 11:47
What's the big deal with Albums? I work with songs and every time I open Music I have to switch from Albums to Songs. There should be a way to set a preference. Will we ever have the chance to have multiple windows open in iTunes again? I miss being able to view several playlists at a time so I can organize songs and move them from one list to another and place them where I need them. Newer versions of iTunes have only meant more work and frustration for me.
Lawrence J. Collen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Benefactor 2013-05-22 07:41
Does anyone, other than me that is, wish for a shuffle mode that works on specific playlists and not an all or nothing approach? (or is that capability hidden somewhere and I just don't know about it?)

Also I would really like that view of the EQ of a song back that was shown in the upper center play-box when you clicked on the right end (if I recall) of the progress bar. I found it outstanding to be able to compare the EQ and level values of different songs.
Frank Greenough  2013-05-22 14:46
A lot of people, myself included are getting the message that "An error occurred while updating (103)". I am not able to update iTunes as a result. I am using OSX 10.8.3 and iTunes 11.0.2. Any clues?