The iTunes software is best described as a media player with library and store functionality. Most iOS device owners have iTunes installed to manage and transfer audio, video and apps between their devices. It is a big program that has been heavily criticized in the past for being bulky and installing all kinds of additional services and programs on the PC.
Lets take a look if that still holds true or if iTunes 11 turns it around for Apple. Before I start I'd like to point out that you do not have to enter an email address on the download page to start the download. Just click on download now and you are good to go.
First thing you will notice after installation and running the software for the first time is that it features a new minimalistic design. The sidebar is not displayed by default anymore so that all space available is used by the main pane.
The new albums view for instance displays album sorted by cover in the pane. There is a small menu at the top that lets you navigate to other media types, e.g. TV shows, podcasts or movies, and a sorting bar to change the view from albums to songs, artists, genres and so on.
When you play an album, its contents are displayed right on the page making the selection process comfortable and easy at the same time.
You can display the missing menus again if you prefer that view. To do so click on the top left corner icon and select Show Menu Bar from the options or press Ctrl-B. Select View > Show Sidebar or press Ctrl-S to display the sidebar on the left side. The sidebar itself does not seem to have changed at all though displaying playlists, links to your libraries, the store and other options right there.
The iTunes installation adds two items to the startup of the system automatically on Windows. This is the iTunes software itself and Apple Push. I recommend disabling both items unless you are using iTunes all day long or using the Apple Push notification service.
The Task Manager lists quite a few processes by iTunes. Some only when the software is running, others running all the time on the system.
What's your take on the new iTunes? Do you like the new minimalistic design?
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