iTunes 11 displeases me

Okay, look, it’s really nice that iTunes is so much faster, now. I mean, it’s really nice. Most of the visual changes are nice. A lot of it, as usual, is just little changes that I don’t care about. The new context menus are okay. Super, okay? They’re great.

What, though, is up with this Up Next thing? It is junk.

I used to use iTunes DJ all the time. I used it every day. When I fired up iTunes 11 and saw how fast it was, I was pleased, then I panicked while I searched for iTunes DJ, then despaired when I saw what had replaced it.

The new “Up Next” feature shows you what is going to be played next, but it isn’t treated like a real playlist. You can’t do everything you could do to a normal playlist, and when you can, it’s not through the same means. It’s just as annoying at the horrible “play queue” in Spotify, and that’s saying something.

Anyway, I’m not in the business of posting angry rants, so I thought I would back it up with the way in which it actually is an obvious downgrade.

Almost every time that I listened to music in iTunes, I used iTunes DJ. It looked like a short playlist with something like 20 entries. I could see what was up next, dominating the whole iTunes window, with all the same controls. If I didn’t like an entry, I could tap delete and it would go away and get replaced by something at the bottom. I could reorder the upcoming stuff. If I didn’t like it at all, I could just click “refresh” and have a new set of tracks pulled in to replace everything that was coming up.

The playlist I listened to quite often in iTunes DJ is called Queuelet. It’s a live-updating playlist of music that has no rating. I’d listen to it while working and rate the music as it went. The problem was, it wouldn’t work to listen to Queuelet directly. As soon as I’d rate a song, it would be yanked from the playlist and iTunes would stop. By using iTunes DJ, the song would finish normally, because it was only removed from the DJ source, not the DJ’s playlist. Now that mechanism is gone, and I’m stuck playing songs from the smart playlist.

I can make the playlist not live update, but then I have to regenerate the playlist manually.

I am unhappy with this.

Written on November 30, 2012
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