Working Around the Regressions of iTunes 11

I decided I wanted to upgrade to the newest version iTunes as I had just bought an iPhone. I would have quite happily carried on using my old iTunes 10.2.1 which had never let me down but I wanted the iTunes setup option for the iPhone ready just in case of emergencies.  And it said I should get the latest one.  So I updated to the newest iTunes (at the time of this post 11.0.1).

I have to say, if you don’t have to update, don’t do it! The new iTunes is hideous and also really annoying in so many ways. It was probably marketed as “sleek and simplistic”, or some other rubbish, which just means it has less features, looks more boring, and is less user friendly.


There are several things you can do to make using the new and regressed iTunes more bearable.


Really Annoying Regression 1.


I think that for me the worst and most shockingly hideous part of the new iTunes is without doubt the font in the main song list window. You know, the part that you spend most of your time using! I think I was paralysed for a moment when I first opened iTunes after the update just by the ugliness. You think I overreact? Well, I use iTunes a lot and the thought of looking at that font every time I fire up iTunes filled me with loathing and disgust. Besides, it would probably give me migraines. I actually don’t mind the font itself, I just can’t stand it in the main window of iTunes.


But yes, the solution! I googled around, and sure enough there were many many other people, who used far stronger language than myself, abusing the ugliness of the new iTunes main font. And several different solutions. This is the one that worked for me.
As usual this is a foolproof guide so some of the steps may seem extremely obvious, but bear with me.


Do not do this while iTunes is running.


Step 1.
Open your Applications Folder
Finder > Applications

Step 2.
Right click on the iTunes app and choose Show Package Contents


Step 3.
Inside the iTunes package there is a folder called Contents. Open it

Step 4.
Inside the Contents folder there is a folder called Resources. Open it.

Step 5.
Inside the Resources folder there is a folder called English.Iproj. Open it.

Summary of steps 3 — 5
iTunes package > Contents > Resources > English.Iproj

Step 6.
Inside the English.Iproj folder is a file called TextStyles.plist.

Make a backup copy of TextStyles.plist and store it somewhere safe in case of accidents.
Then make another copy and paste it on the Desktop.

Step 7.
Open the copy (it should open in TextEdit or similar) and find (cmd⌘+f) the number “9002”.


Step 8.
You should see the following text (or something similar depending on the fonts installed on your computer).

Delete the “HelveticaNeue” part and insert a font of your choice. The fonts available to you will depend on what fonts you have installed. You can check your fonts by using any word processor you have or by using FontBook.

annotated helneu2

Step 9.
When you’ve finished editing save the file and paste it into the original folder English.Iproj. You’ll get a warning saying there is already a item with that name. Click Replace.


Step 10.
Fire up iTunes and there you have your main window in your nice usable font of choice.  Here’s mine.



Really Annoying Regression 2.

Album Art/Video Viewer

Remember in the good old days when you could make your videos and album art show in a happy little corner of the left of your iTunes window? Well, forget it! Those days are gone with the iTunes 11 upgrade!
Seriously, this was a well-loved and much appreciated part of my iTunes experience. And Apple have just brainlessly discarded it along the way.

Well, actually I haven’t found one yet. Other than downgrading to iTunes 10 there is no way to get back that lovely integrated iTunes corner.
But this is my temporary setup.

Step 1.
Fire up iTunes and start your video playing. It starts playing in the main window by default (which is another thing I HATE!).

Step 2.
Right click on the video and choose Play Video in Separate Window.

play separate

At least now the video can be moved and resized to resemble your original Album Art setup.


Really Annoying Regression 3.

Mini Player Volume Control

Wondering where the volume control is on the iTunes 11 MiniPlayer? It’s actually inside a tab on the title bar. This is because of a feature called AirPlay, which allows you to play music through other Apple gadgets. Way to go Apple, not thinking at all about the people who don’t have multiple Apple gadgets, or, like me, have them but don’t want to play music through them. Such a wonderful upgrade this! Gods forbid you just have a normal volume bar for MiniPlayer and a separate tab for people who actually use AirPlay.

airplay volume

There is no solution for this. You just have to get used to the stupid tab.



I’ve only been using iTunes 11 for 2 days so hopefully there is some hidden positivity somewhere I have yet to find. But seriously, let’s all hope that Apple get their act together for the next version and sort out some of this rubbish.


UPDATE: There is no positivity.  

I couldn’t take it any longer and downgraded to iTunes 10.7.  I am now as happy as Larry (however happy he is).  

Ah, iTunes 10 how I’ve missed you!!!  This is the ultimate solution to the wreck that is iTunes 11.  If you decide you have had enough read my post here to return to the wonder of iTunes 10.

Categories: Free Software, Mac & OS X, Macbook Pro | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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