So iTunes 11 has been out for some time now. As a very frequent music listener, I use it. As a frequent music listener who likes niche stuff Spotify and Pandora don’t seem to cover, I use it A LOT. I’ve let it grow on me, I’ve let it update, and I think I can yell at it with some degree of authority & objectivity at this point.
I have to lead into my only huge, major complaint, so bear with me while I talk about a few features.
First off, the “up next” song play queue is ridiculously useful. Thank you for that. If I was suddenly in the mood for Song B while Song A was still playing, I would have to scroll to it and hover over it until Song A reached 2 or 3 seconds remaining, then quickly double click. I didn’t always make it. Those were sad days. Now I can queue up Song B without fear when Song A is still halfway done.
It’s a good thing, too, because playlists – which I used constantly in iTunes 10 and below – are now a complete pain. I used to move seamlessly, painlessly, and effortlessly between playlists and my main library. The removal of the side bar has made that impossible. Going to a specific playlist was one click before, now it’s two. It’s also now more difficult to add a song then directly go to the playlist to see if the playlist is too long, or instantly delete a track that the new addition is meant to replace.
That’s a minor complaint in the grand scheme of things. Like many changes, it’ll take some getting used to, but there are many things about iTunes 11’s design that make the Playlists section something I turn to often, because it’s friendly. Like when you’re looking at a playlist, there’s a header with the title, shuffle button, song count, and length. It’s very, very nice. It’s clean and useful and keeps it from looking too bland.
But then there’s that decimalized time. And now we arrive at my main complaint. Rant time.
I have always hated that even in past versions of iTunes the default was a decimalized time measurement for your playlists & library. I mean I’ve always absolutely Hated it with a capital H. In the past, at the very least, you could click on the status bar and quickly switch it to DD:HH:MM:SS time like nature intended, and I always did so as soon as I opened up any new iTunes installation for the first time. Then iTunes 11 shows up with its spiffy playlist header instead of a status bar, decimalized time included. I clicked on that time, hoping it would work like the status bar used to, and… no change. The decimal remained. What? Why? And there was no status bar to try either. I did a quick Google search to find out how to restore the status bar, which proved to be a stupidly multi-step process: Open menu in top left corner, go to “show menu bar,” click “View” in newly-revealed menu bar, select “show status bar.” This revealed the friendly status bar to which I was so accustomed, and I had the option to click & change the time format.
As of the most recent version of iTunes 11, however, this is impossible. I am stuck with decimalized time for all eternity.
Who decided this was the best idea!? Who in the freaking world uses decimalized time!?! When I’m making a playlist that’s shorter than about, oh, I don’t know, 3 hours or so, I wanna know the exact running time. Some of us need to know minutes and seconds because we’re designing playlists for presentations, classes, accompanying video footage, or perhaps CDs to burn because iOS 6 makes our iPhones no longer work properly with our car stereo systems that we went out of our way to spend extra cash on because of its iPhone compatibility despite how obnoxious its color-changing LED display is!
Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.
Please bring back the exact time. Please? Pretty please? Because this sucks.