The iTunes Mini Player has always been a feature I’ve stayed away from: it never helped me browse, queue up or enjoy my music in new ways. With the latest update, however, that’s all changed. I now find myself making heavy use of it.
Here are some reasons why:
- Playback controls from within the mini player, including being able to add the current playing song to playlists or start a genius playlist
- AirPlay controls
- Up Next access allows me to queue up songs to play after the current track finishes — or stop playback when the current song ends
- Search feature allows me to find and queue up any song within my music library
- Beautiful artwork display, with a user interface which fades away when not being used
- Mini Player hovers above all other OS X windows allowing me to enjoy artwork whilst doing other work — it’s even possible to hide the “Up Next” or “Search” drawer at the bottom of the window so only the artwork is visible
This update to iTunes seems to be one of the most profound in recent memory: whilst the upgrade to iTunes 11 was arguably a bigger undertaking, Apple has now really brought the Mini Player up to the next level. Music enthusiasts and casual listeners alike should enjoy all the new features. To get started, just click the icon next to the “Full Screen” button on the top right of the full iTunes window.