Make no mistake: When you first launch iTunes 11, it’s going to feel awfully different from the iTunes you’ve grown accustomed to. That’s because it is awfully different, from many of the user interface choices right down to the brand new icon, which now even more strongly resembles that of the Mac App Store.
You can, if you desire, get the iTunes sidebar back. And it’s back in color like the pre-iTunes 10 days, too.
The first thing you’ll notice upon opening the new iTunes is that the sidebar—the one with links to your playlists, the iTunes Store, Books, Movies, Podcasts, and such—is gone. Apple describes the new look as an “edge-to-edge” design. Instead of using the sidebar, you rely on a dropdown for navigating between sections of the app, and a button at the upper right of the window takes you to the iTunes Store. But here’s a quick spoiler: If you can’t stand the dropdown approach, you can get the sidebar of old back. Go to the View menu and choose Show Sidebar. Bonus: The icons in the sidebar, which went to a faded grayscale in iTunes 10, regain their saturation in iTunes 11.
Another casualty of the “edge-to-edge” design is the status bar—you know, the one at the bottom that lists the number of songs in your library, or the current playlist, or what have you, along with how long it would take to play those songs and how much disk space they use. You can restore that as well with a trip to the View menu, by choosing Show Status Bar.
There’s a host of new user interface conceits in iTunes 11, making it seem almost like a testbed for Apple’s design. For example, the pop-up menus that appear when you click the black arrow button next to a song that you’ve selected feels more like something out of iOS than OS X. Clicking on a sub-menu item—Genius Suggestions, for example—doesn’t pop-open a sub-menu, but rather slides into a separate screen. Likewise, clicking on an album in the Album view slides open a list of songs in that album that resembles the iTunes Store (and includes a button that lets you quickly toggle over to that album in the store, as well).
You’ll see those pop-up menus all over, too. They don’t just show up when you click on the caret that appears when you mouse over songs in iTunes; they show up when you use new features like the Up Next option (see below), or when you hold the mouse over the currently playing song in the Now Playing header.
Full Story: Hands on with iTunes 11 | Macworld.