The all new iTunes 11 and using it with VoiceOver.
The all new iTunes 11 is here and voice over users will find a completely new layout. The layout will seem strange at first, but with a little practice and a few keystrokes, you'll be familiar with the new layout in no time.
iTunes 11 is free to install and this guide is for voice over users on apple Mac. I have written this guide using the following operating system. Mountain Lion version 10.8.2, the latest version of safari and iTunes 11.
This guide assumes you have already installed iTunes 11 and agreed to the software licence and the iTunes 11 terms and conditions. This guide assumes you have iTunes 11 already open.
VO equals voice over keys.
It is highly recommended you have no other applications open or active whilst trying the new keystrokes this guide describes for using iTunes 11.
Assuming you are in iTunes 11 window.
Hold down the VO keys and explore the new screen with the left and right arrow keys.
One of the things you should hear is that there is now a pop up button. iTunes 11 initially says music pop up button. This means you are in the music source list. To select a different list, press Vo keys and space bar key on the pop up button, and a pop up menu appears. In this menu, you will find all the other forms of media iTunes can play such as movies, tv shows, podcasts and so on.
When it comes to books, iTunes 11 now has the ability to separate iBooks and audio books. This is done using radio buttons which are clearly labelled. So to select books, press Vo keys with the left and right arrow keys until you hear a pop up button. Press VO and space bar keys to activate the pop up button and use VO with up or down arrow keys to locate books, then press VO with space bar key again to select the books option. Now press VO keys with left or right arrow keys until you locate the radio buttons and select the appropriate radio button. The iBooks radio button will display all of your iBooks and the audio books radio button will display all your audio books.
But apple has made it even easier than using a pop up button and a pop up menu.
Now VO users can simply do the following.
Press command key together with the number 1 key and music appears. In here, you'll find more radio buttons such as songs, albums and artists and so on. This gives you the ability to list your music by song, by artist or album etc.
Press command key together with the number 2 key and movies appear. Again here there is the ability to sort movies by title actors and so on.
Press command key together with the number 3 key and hear what VO says. You can use the command key together with numbers 1 2 3 4 5 or 6 to change from one list to another.
In the initial iTunes 11 screen if you press VO with left or right arrow keys, you'll find things like radio, iTunes store iPhone. Don't worry if you have an iPad, iTunes 11 lists iPads when one is connected to your computer.
What about the iTunes store?
The all new iTunes store still has all the music movies and tv shows and so on, but each section also now has tabs. For example the music section has a featured albums tab and a recent hits tab. Now you can listen to one section at a time. Now you can listen to the featured albums tab first and then listen to the recent hits tab. The other sections of the iTunes store also have tabs. to select a tab, insure your cursor is on the tab you want to select then press VO with space bar key to select the tab.
How do I create a playlist in iTunes 11?
In the initial iTunes screen there is an item labelled playlists. Select this label using VO keys with left or right arrow keys to find the label and press VO keys with space bar key to activate the label. A list of your playlists now appears and there is a new playlist option at the end of this list. Insure your cursor is on this option then press VO keys and space bar key to activate this option. Now you are taken to a dialogue box where you can enter the title of the playlist. Putting songs into the playlist is the same as you would have done in previous versions of iTunes.You will also find your genius recommendations here if you have enabled this feature.
What about the IOS app store?
The IOS app store is also similar to the iTunes store, there are also tabs here and your computer will inform you if any updates are available.
Take some time to explore the new layout of each of your media types. Take a look at how you can now sort music, movies, tv shows, podcasts, books and IOS apps.
Now it's time to talk about the all new iTunes menus. Press VO keys together with the letter M to bring up the iTunes 11 menu.
Here there have been some significant changes. The advanced tab which was in former iTunes versions is gone. For example, bring up the iTunes menu and select the file menu. Opening streams and subscribing to podcasts is now in the file menu. Take some time to explore the new menus. Use the VO keys with up or down arrow keys to explore the new and different menus.
The quickest way in iTunes 11 to use airplay.
In the initial screen, you may hear an option to use mini player. Select this option using VO with left or right arrow keys to find the option and VO with space bar key to activate the mini player. Once mini player is selected, press VO with left or right arrow keys until you hear airplay, then press VO with space bar to activate airplay. Note, airplay only works correctly on airplay compatible devices.
iTunes 11 is fully accessible with Voice Over in fact if anything, apple has improved voice over accessibility for blind users.
The old saying goes, practice makes perfect, but I also say practice helps people become more familiar. There are some fantastic features in this version of iTunes and if the truth is told, this guide has not yet covered all of them.
Please feel free to comment on this guide, either on the applevis website, or why not drop me a line.
My email address is. firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to hearing your comments no matter how positive or negative they are. If you ever need any help with any of the new iTunes 11 features, please feel free to contact me via email.