iTunes: Changing Your View Options

| TMO Quick Tip

I admit it. I think the interface of iTunes 11 is a bit…counterintuitive. Clunky, even. As soon as I installed it, I turned the old sidebar back on (View > Show Sidebar), and I sometimes still think it's not very user-friendly. That said, I find customizing my view has helped a lot. This trick isn't new to iTunes 11, mind you, but it's never seemed so necessary. No offense, Apple.

So to change the way your stuff is organized, go to any source list. Those are the buttons across the top of iTunes' window, labeled Songs, Albums, Artists, and so on.

Then press the keyboard shortcut Command-J (View > View Options).

Depending on what source list you've chosen, you'll be able to change different things after you do that. For example, within Songs view, you can quickly pick which columns show up and which one is being used to sort:

For Album view, here are the choices you get:

I like sorting mine by title instead of by artist, so that was huge for me!

Under Artists, you can even change how large the album art is:

And so on. It's useful to mess around with those settings, as you never know when—BAM!—you'll find exactly what you're looking for, and iTunes will suddenly become a happy place to be again. I kid, I kid. OK, mostly I kid.

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I installed iTunes 11 on my work computer and hate it.  Left 10 on my home computer.  I have TONS of movies, TV shows and music.  I need cover flow.  I add enough content that I sort by last added and view it by cover flow.  Its so much more convenient to search a movie based on the poster in cover flow than reading a list of text.  I just think the the art is part of the experience.


I don’t understand why there’s no option in Genres view to sort albums by artist then by year. Completely random sorting doesn’t make sanse at all.

Taiyo Lipscomb

Yes, i continue with V10 which works well and smoothly for me and have seen no reason to change to V11 - nothing, nothing i hear makes me want to upgrade!


Version 11 is one of the most annoyingly counterintuitive pieces of software ever. I’m sticking with 10 and Snow Leopard till it becomes impossible or impractical to do so. In truth nothing Apple is selling nowadays is on my wish list - first time since 1988 I’ve ever felt that way. If they bring out a decent new Mac Pro then maybe I can choke down ML and go with it - otherwise no sale.

Paul Goodwin

Thanks Melissa. No matter how you doodle with iTunes 11, it’s still a huge disappointment to me. No multiple windows…..what a loser decision that was! You can’t pull up a song list in one window and the library in another. You can’t bring up a shared library in one window and compare it to your own in a separate window. What committee decided this was a good idea.

If you want to edit a song list, now to remove one, you have to open that playlist window and delete. That’s fine, that’s the way it was. But to add a song, you have to go back to your library window, right mouse add to playlist. Over, and over and over ad nauseum. If you have a lot of song lists, get ready for a scroll happy day. Jaheezus! It’s like Microsoft designed this iTunes….10 times as many mouse clicks as it should take.

What happened to drag and drop between multiple windows. On a big iMac screen I used to be able to edit/ drag/drop 3 song lists at a time while viewing the library. What kind of an app on a Mac has one window? it’s like iTunes Jr.

I’m going back to iTunes 10. And I’m not doing any more OS X upgrades until I’m sure it won’t update iTunes. I haven’t done this yet, so I can’t say whether this is the best way to do it, but this method on paper looks right, and the best I’ve seen on the Apple Discussions iTunes Forum.

See Dan Rolnicks post on this thread

Paul Goodwin

The trend at Apple lately seems to be moving toward completely dumbing down. AirPort Utility is almost a non-utility now. They took almost all of the good stuff out. You can get Airport Utility back: See this thread:

With 5.6 you can view wireless clients’ signal strength, signal to noise ratio, and more. The way the utility is now, you can’t see that. So if the Airport Extreme’s algorithm can’t select the best frequencies, you have no idea which ones to pick because you can’t tell if the signal to noise ratio improved or degraded. So what do you do, try all of them? Ridiculous!

This post has nothing to do with iTunes, but at least it’s a tip. I’m so annoyed at Apple and their software trends these days. They screwed up Final Cut Pro, iMovie. They’re getting worse and worse IMO. I don’t know who’s leading their software initiatives and driving this dumbing down, but they need to clean house.

Paul Goodwin

I’m done ranting. In my 24.5 years with them, this is about as disappointed as I’ve ever been with Apple.

Vellach Samie

Hi Melissa, you sound almost afraid to offend Apple.
I guess this are the days, where we accept everything they through at us and keep smiling. Apple being one the Corporate leaders in the Great USA maybe do not want to listen to complains. Maybe. I hope not.
Lets just say it.
iTunes is indeed one of the most disappointing app I have seen for organising music files or Video files.
I came to this site to get some idea what i could do to change the views.
I realise there are so little you can do in iTunes.
That is just the fact.

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