7 Features Apple Got Rid of in iTunes 11

Apple's latest iTunes brings plenty of new features, but also puts some golden oldies out to pasture.

The software, which went out yesterday as a free update, comes with a redesigned player and a more extensive album view for browsing music. Apple's also more deeply integrated iCloud and its stores within the software.
But some of that march towards simplicity has come at the expense of some old features. Few of the deep-sixed features seem like logical deletions, and others are already bringing ire from longtime users who expected to see them on the other side of the update.

Read on to find out what's gone.

1. Cover Flow

Cover Flow was the headlining feature of iTunes 7 in 2006. The feature put album covers in a "flow" together, that let you flip between them as if they were floating in front of you.

Short of the built-in visualizer, it was really one of iTunes' biggest eye candy features, but it was also a way to show off the fluidity and smarts of the software when browsing through music with a multitouch trackpad. Apple's even been sued over using it, and initially lost a $625 million patent lawsuit until the judge reversed the jury verdict.

Apple completely nixed Cover Flow in iTunes 11 in favor of its new album view, which will expand out an album to show you the songs within when you click on it. The Cover Flow feature remains on iPhones and iPods.

2. The de-duper

In the world of collecting and organizing digital music, you might get a duplicate or a thousand in your library. By default, iTunes won't let you re-add another music file if you've already added it, but accidents happen and large libraries can overlap.

In iTunes 10.7 and earlier, Apple offered a built-in tool that would sniff out duplicates and put them on a single page. It wasn't great, but it was something, and free. In iTunes 11, the feature is missing in action.

Third-party tools like $40 TuneUp can bridge the gap with a feature that finds and deletes duplicates, grabs album art, and fixes metadata. Mac users can also use the $15 Dupin.

3. iTunes DJ

iTunes DJ was a neat feature that would let you put together a never-ending playlist in a pinch. You could even tweak it to make sure it wouldn't play the embarrassing chunks of your music collection by limiting selections to a certain playlist or genre (see above).

What made it really stand out, however, was a feature Apple added in iTunes 8.1 that let other people at your party put in a request for a song from their mobile device, and even vote on upcoming tracks. If a party host agreed, that song would go on, making the whole thing feel a little more social. Google's defunct Nexus Q device (which is currently being reworked) wanted to take that same idea and turn it into a standalone product. In iTunes 11, though, it's MIA.


SOURCE: Josh Lowensohn
C|net News
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