1. Technology
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Tweaking the iTunes 11 Interface: Get a Similar View to Version 10

Change the default view in iTunes 11 to get the older look

By

iTunes on iOS Devices

iTunes on iOS Devices

Image © Apple, Inc.

Why Change the Look of iTunes 11?

If you're a long time user of iTunes 10.7 and below, then you'll see a big change in the user interface of iTunes 11. For starters, the sidebar is gone and so is the column browser view on most screens. If you don't like this new look, you can of course downgrade by uninstalling iTunes 11 and reinstalling version 10.7. However, why do that if all you want is a familiar interface?

iTunes 11 is an improvement over 10.7 in several ways. So, if your only gripe is the way iTunes 11 looks, then follow this tutorial to get a more familiar interface to work with.

Enabling the Sidebar

This is probably the one feature that users of the old iTunes 10.x interface miss the most. By default iTunes 11 comes streamlined with the sidebar turned off. The good news is that you can easily enable it again with a quick click of your mouse. To configure iTunes 11 so the sidebar is displayed again follow these steps:
  1. On the iTunes main screen, click the View menu option near the top of the screen and select the Show Sidebar option by left-clicking your mouse. Alternatively, you can use a keyboard shortcut to perform the same task. For Windows: hold down the [CTRL] key and press S. For MAC: hold down [Option]+[Command] keys and press S.
You should now see the sidebar appear with the familiar menu options that you were accustomed to before.

Turning on the Column Browser

Viewing the contents of your iTunes music library in tabular form is another handy feature that is disabled in iTunes 11 by default. The Column Browser option isn't available for all parts of your media collection either. For example, the only sections that you'll be able to use it in is for Songs, Playlists, and iTunes Match screens -- it will be greyed out for Albums, Artists, and Genres. To enable the Column Browser, do the following:

For Songs:

  1. If you have enabled the sidebar (as in the tutorial steps above), click on the Music sub-menu option in the left pane (below Library) and then click the Songs tab. If you elected to keep the sidebar off, switch to the Songs screen by clicking the drop-down menu near the top left-hand side of the screen (with the blue musical notation icon).
  2. Click the View menu option near the top of the screen, highlight the Column Browser sub-menu, and then click the Show Column Browser option.
  3. Alternatively, if you want to use the keyboard to turn on the Column Browser, use the following key combinations: (Windows -- hold down [CTRL]+[SHIFT] and press B) or (MAC -- hold down [Command] and press B).

For iTunes Match:

  • Enabling the Column Browser is done in the same way as for Songs (above), but click on the Match tab instead.

For Playlists:

Interestingly if you've got the sidebar enabled, you'll have to temporarily turn it off to activate the Column Browser for playlists -- this option is greyed out.
  1. Using the keyboard is the fastest way to disable the sidebar. For Windows: hold down the [CTRL] key and press S. For MAC: hold down [Option]+[Command] keys and press S.
  2. Now the sidebar is off, click the Playlists tab. Click the View menu option near the top of the screen, highlight the Column Browser sub-menu, and then click the Show Column Browser option.
  3. You can now enable the sidebar again (repeat step 1).

Enabling the Status Bar (MAC Only)

The status bar which is displayed right at the bottom of the iTunes screen is useful to see certain statistics about your iTunes library. For example, while viewing your music library you'll see the total number of songs you have, along with the total playing time and how much storage it takes up (in Mb). However, this feature is another part of the GUI that is disabled by default (enabled for the Windows version). To turn this option on:
  1. Click the View menu option near the top of the screen, and then click the Show Status Bar option. To do the same thing via the keyboard, hold down [Command] and press /.
  1. About.com
  2. Technology
  3. Digital Music
  4. Tutorials
  5. iTunes
  6. How to Make iTunes 11 Look Similar to Version 10

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.