I'm Not Sure How Much I Like the New iTunes

macOS & Mac Apps

So, I've been playing with the new ITunes 12 on Mavericks quite a bit as well as on Yosemite. I've come to the conclusion that in my humble opinion, it is somewhat... ok, key word... somewhat... of a step backwards in accessibility. It's definitely going to take some major getting used to. For example, lets say that I am viewing all of my musical albums by album view. (which by the way, I think is how it is set by default anyway.) It used to be that I could locate the album grid, vo+shift+down arrow on it to start interacting, and then immediately see all my content. Not apparently anymore. Now, I have to interact first with the scroll area, and then interact again with the grid. The confusing thing however is, if I don't interact with the grid, but instead only interact once with the scroll area, then proceed to VO+right arrow, it looks like it's trying to take me into the grid, even though it doesn't. The other odd thing is, I see this thing past the grid that says "Show 18 more..." What on earth is that for? I had every one of my albums showing when I interacted with the grid, and believe you me, that comes out to way more than 18 albums. It almost gave me the assumption that it was only showing 18 items in the grid at a time, which of corse isn't the case. It also said something about "Show all." I can't VO+Space on this, nor can I route the mouse, then simulate a mouse click, and clicking the actual trackpad doesn't help matters either.

OK, lets say I want to sort my music by songs instead of albums. I see the popup button that lets me change between the two. In here, are options to sort. If then I vo+up arrow above those, after expanding the popup button with vo+space, I'm taken to a table which I can interact with. This table is where you go to move from songs vs. albums, etc. You do not seem to be able to get to the table, however, unless you first open up that popup button. So, it's almost like there is a table within a popup button. It's incredibly nonstandard. I could see this throwing people who are new to the mac with Voiceover for quite a confusing ride. I'm actually an incredibly advanced Voiceover user, yet it through the dickens out of me at first. To make it wworse, I have some usable vision. Even that didn't help me to realize what was actually happening. The other thing I notice is in the ITunes store. Once you bring it up, if you move to the top of the ITunes window... I'm not saying the store area, I literally mean the entire ITunes window in a whole... then you start to VO+right arrow through things, after hitting the search field, which also can be focused with command+option+F, just for your reference, you'll then soon after this field notice that you hit a table of search results. Plus, it automatically interacts you with the store html area. You'd think this is ok, but it's not actually. There are things I visually can see up in the ITunes screen before you get to that area which it's skipping completely over. And they're pretty rellavant. I'd have to pull up ITunes again to tell you exactly what they are again, as I don't totally remember, but trust me, they are quite useful things. I kind of remember it being ways to sort your music a bit more specifically. Don't quote me though. If you stop interacting, you will find that going to the top of the screen then trying again gives the same results all over again. It's both con! sistent, as well as per! sistent. Over all, I just think it's incredibly clunky. There are now controls in the app which are very nonstandard, etc. I'm not exactly sure what Apple was thinking. Maybe you all have not experienced these things, so your milage may very, but It's quite consistent on my end. Notice this is just one opinion of many people. My opinions don't reflect the entire blind community, voyd where prohibitted, etc. etc. etc. LOL! OK, I'm being a smart butt. Seriously though. LOL!



Submitted by Siobhan on Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hi Chris. I haven't seen anything like that, but I'm still infuriated with the new line selected thing when using shift. Annoys me to no end, and this is way before release this came up. :) Anyway is it possible the 18 more you mentioned was artwork? Just a thought. I'd write more, but the new line selected is driving me whatever past sane I wasn't before.

Submitted by MelodicFate on Sunday, October 19, 2014

I think the thing that you are referring to about the "show more" is talking about your recently added items. I turned that off, but I don't remember how. I actually like the new iTunes, it's a lot faster for me, and things just work better. I don't miss the sidebar, largely because I haven't used it in a very long time.

Submitted by Chris Gilland on Sunday, October 19, 2014

Siobhan, if you're that concerned about the capital letter thing saying new line selected, why not make a Voiceover dictionary entry with those exact words, then tell it to pronounce it as nothing but a space character. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL! OK, now, I R'r'really! am being a smart ass. LOL! Sorry, I couldn't resist. Hey! If it works, though,...

Submitted by J.P. on Sunday, October 19, 2014

I actually did a complete restore on my computer. Used a Time Machine backup to get iTunes 11 back. I wont say 12 is inaccessible, but the new way is extremely tedious without sidebar.
I have a feeling 12 will see return of sidebar. If you look at the support forums, sighted people are screaming about the loss of sidebar.

Submitted by jrjolley (not verified) on Sunday, October 19, 2014

In reply to by J.P.

The sidebar thing doesn't bother me because I spent a lot of time setting up smart playlists and all that other stuff. I have had the same iTunes setup for years really, using tags to put thing in smart playlists for what I want.

I take the point that it's a bit different and I can't seem to get the column browser to come back on but i'll wait until the next point update and take another serious look again.

Submitted by J.P. on Sunday, October 19, 2014

I'm certainly not resistant to change. With that being said; Jonny Ive is paying too much attention to making UI pretty. The UI needs to be functional too. I agree with Chris, iTunes 12 seems clunky with a lot of extra keystrokes to navigate. Thank god im not new to it.
They are moving away from something people loved about Apple, (It just works).

Submitted by Siobhan on Sunday, October 19, 2014

They have to much. Phone, pod, if they keep that going, pad, macs in various stages prices, plus the watch next year and apple pay. Chris as for the dictionary entry, why should I fix something they broke in the first place? Simple I shouldn't. Thanks for being a smart ass, compassion was really felt, just because i said something was nuts wasn't quite the level of fravolity you brought it to but that was my mistake posting it in the first place.

Submitted by dvdmth on Monday, October 20, 2014

Regarding your first point, about the album view being a scroll area, this is because there are now two views present by default. At the top is a recently added area, and below that is a separate view with your full library. The scroll area contains both of these grid views. Where you're seeing, "Show xx more," that expands the number of items shown in the recently added area, showing items added further back in time.

I personally don't like the recently added area, so I disabled it. To do this, go into the popup button with sorting options, then look for a checkbox called show recently added, or something like that. Uncheck that, and you will be back to a simple grid view with all your albums. The scroll area should be gone, so you will only need to do one interaction, as in the past. At least that's what happens on my system.

You also mentioned the fact that the popup button is non-standard. That is certainly true, and it is certainly nothing new. Apple has been doing things like that for years now, and this is just one more example of it. It actually more closely resembles the iOS interface, where buttons bring up popovers that are like smaller windows, which may contain all sorts of different kinds of controls, not just a simple menu of items. When you open up the popup button, VoiceOver is focused on the table you mentioned by default, though it doesn't always announce it. In my testing, I sometimes heard it mention the table up front, but other times it didn't. This is par for the course with VoiceOver, and I've observed similar behavior in plenty of other places, on both the Mac and on iOS.

I did not have the issue you described with VoiceOver focus automatically ending up within the iTunes Store HTML content. I did notice, however, what you mentioned about the table of search items when focus lands on the search box. This is caused by the keyboard focus being automatically placed in the search field, assuming you have cursor tracking enabled, which in turn causes the search table to appear on screen. This is normal, and you can simply press Escape to clear the popover.

Having said all of the above, I do agree that Apple didn't need to change the interface as much as they have. Plenty of people, including myself, find it annoying to have to relearn something every time it gets an update. I don't think the new interface is bad, by any means, but I didn't think there was anything wrong with the old interface either. I sometimes feel like Apple changes things for the sake of change, not necessarily to make functional improvements.

Submitted by Jessica Brown on Monday, October 20, 2014

Hi. Now after reading this I am very scared to update iTunes. I am new to the Mac. If I update and don't like it can I downgrade or should I just not update at all? If I should just not update at all, how do I stop my Mac from automaticly updating iTunes? Thank you.

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Monday, October 20, 2014

I updated but to be honest I don't like it either.
I'm using windows. I find the new layout confusing and my ihpone won't sinc for some reason.

Is there a way I can downgrade to an earlyer version?

Submitted by Jesse on Monday, October 20, 2014

I think it is workable,, but very confusing. I hope I can get the sidebar back somehow.

Submitted by Khalfan Bin Dhaher on Monday, October 20, 2014

Unfortunately, I'm not happy with the new interface in iTunes 12. All items are shown as radio buttons and popup menus. I prefer the sources view in previous versions of iTunes.
Can someone tell me if there is a way to change this?

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Well I am using it with window seven home 64, jaws 16 beta and it working well. I like the short key that it has such as control 1 for music and so on. Is fast and easy to move if you know the short key.

Submitted by kool_turk on Tuesday, October 21, 2014

You can get the sidebar back, somewhat.

All you do is locate the playlist button and you can see your playlists in a treeview.

It's not like what it use to be, but it cuts down on all that tabbing around.

I personally like the old sidebar myself, but Apple seems to be determined to get rid of it, the column browser also appears to be gone.

Submitted by Nickus on Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hi all
Quick question from a new Mac/VO user. How do I import songs already on my hard drive in to iTunes? I have a folder of songs placed in my music folder, in iTunes if I go to file - add to library, I get a lot of options there, but can't seam to navigate to the folder where this music is located. I read that you can also drag it from the finder and drop it in the iTunes window, but I also don't know how to do this.


Submitted by Chris Gilland on Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Siobhan, I was kidding for God sake! Take a joke and lighten up! I'm not hear to start an Applevis debate, so I won't say more on that comment about the dictionary, and I didn't mean to say I was making that as a serious suggestion. I was trying! though obviously with no success, to put a bit of humor in it. Don't take things so seriously to heart. Smile a little bit. I was just pickin with ya. No need to get bent out of shape.

Submitted by Chris Gilland on Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wo, Chris! That's kind of extreme to reset just to fix a syncing issue, wouldn't you say? To the user who's having issues syncing. Tell us the steps you're taking to try syncing. Who knows, something may a just simply glitched. Yeah, resetting may help, but I don't know if I'd go that far just quite yet. I'd first try to track down what's causing this, if you can, as a reset might in the long run not even be necessary.

Submitted by Chris Gilland on Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Brad, the thing however is, and by the way, thank you for the link, it's appreciated... it's not just a matter of copying music to or from your I O S device. It's the whole user interface that is anoying to many of us. Plus, shouldn't we be encouraging Apple to step up and quit the crap about making things more eye candy? They were doing so well, and now all of a sudden, kuh boom! This honestly kind a saddens me. Not to get off topic, but I've actually converted primarily to Android as I'm seeing accessibility with Apple in a whole go way down hill lately. But that's a topic for another day, and Android certainly isn't allowed up here, so I'll shut up regarding that, but my point is, there is a lot more than just copying music. What about copying apps, or downloading/transfering IBooks, or podcasts, etc. What about just playing media locally within ITunes itself. Great resource, and again, don't read too much into this. I'm greatful you shared the link, but I just think there's a little more to it than just that. Sorry to be the pickle of bad news.

Submitted by Ekaj on Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I am still on Mavericks, and have decided not to upgrade to Yosemite at least until most bugs are squashed. Plus, this is my first Mac computer and I've not quite had it for a year. The one-year mark is coming up though and will be here before I know it. That said, I just went into the new iTunes and at first glance it looks to be more accessible with VoiceOver. I honestly can't say much more than that though, as I have only downloaded a few things and they are all podcast episodes. I also don't have much time right now, as I've gotta do apartment chores. But hopefully I can come back and devote more time to iTunes later on tonight or another day this week. I guess Janet Ingber's section in her book won't really be of much use anymore. Someone will probably update theirs if she doesn't though. Hint hint Awesome AppleVis Editorial Team? I must say though, I'm glad Apple saw fit to let Mavericks customers update to this latest version of iTunes.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I love the new itunes. It's stable, fast, easier to navigate stuff, and over all easier to use. It takes sine geting used to but yeah I got used to it in about 2 hours of playing with it and now I successfully do stuff with it. Get used to it as it can only get a lot better, plus the key board short cuts? they rock!

Submitted by ming on Wednesday, October 22, 2014

hey all, this issue have ben hapened for awhile.
my I Tunes can not connect with my IPhone even I using my usb cord to connect it and check the checkbox to make it work.
but, it just working from time to time. most of the time can not work.
how can I solved this issue?

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I totally agree with you about itunes.
I don't know how it is on the mac since I'm a windows user with a mac laptop. (I'm wanting to go back to windows permanently so will do so in a couple months with a new windows laptop.) Yeah I have a mac and yes I can put windows on it, which I've done but I dunno, I just like windows laptops since they're keys are more spaced out. Well the tosheba one I saw was anyway and that's what I like, oh and the numb pad too.
But it seems a bit fiddley and the keyboard short cuts are good but I'd personally like the sidebar back since that was a lot easier to navigate, in my opinion.
Sorry for going off topic there.

As for android, I've not given up on the iphone just yet. I'm getting the six soon.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, October 22, 2014

to get the side bar back simply click playlists. I have tested this and it works.

Good luck and the new itunes rocks!

Submitted by Jessica Brown on Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hi. So I clicked on that link and read not just post 4, but the whole thread. It does not say anything about putting music on an iOS device without going through iTunes.

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Thursday, October 23, 2014

you miss understood what I meant.
I meant that you can put music in the folder in the itunes folder. In doing that you will be able to open the itunes application then sink your phone. When your phone has finished sinking, it will have put the songs you put in that folder on your phone without you having to do it using the Itunes app.

Submitted by Jessica Brown on Friday, October 24, 2014

Hi. That does not make sense to say not going through iTunes then, because you are still using iTunes.

Submitted by Mister Kayne on Thursday, November 6, 2014

I am using it on my Windows 7 PC with JAWS 14.

When I launch iTunes and it is running in the background, all other applications behave very mysteriously. For a matter of fact, iTunes behaves mysteriously when other apps. are also running. It's also totally broke in accessibility, the version 12 is an upgrade to the iTunes virus. I suggest you kill automatic updates under preferences CNTRL + P and do not upgrade from 11.20

Submitted by Toonhead on Thursday, November 6, 2014

Hi. I would say using the term virus is a tad strong. New users may be confused by this statement, lets be extremely careful here. It simply runs slow on your machine but that doesn't mean it'll run slow on other people's and it's most certainly not a virus as such. I guess I'm just really lucky, I don't mind the new iTunes at all, it's not bad.

Submitted by J.P. on Saturday, November 8, 2014

After 3 weeks now, I hate 12 with a passion. It has nothing to do with accessibility. It is just poorly thought out. Just clunky, even with shortcuts. I laugh when teaching sighted friends. It's hated by a majority I know.
I welcome change, when you improve on something. This version just has me scratching my head.

Submitted by Mister Kayne on Sunday, November 9, 2014

In reply to by Toonhead

Hey ToonHead. I appreciate your support for the new iTunes upgrade, but calling my PC slow is an insult I cannot get over. I am running an intel i5 processor with 4GB RAM, I think the only country this config of my PC would be called slow is Japan.

Agreed, calling iTunes a virus was a tad too much and it would mislead the readers here. I sincerely apologize for that not. Because I expect a lot more from apple, in my country, the price I paid for the iPhone, I could have a downpayment done for a car.

Now let me not get started with the IOS 8.2 software upgrade. Clunky yes, but hanging was not expected with VO on applications like Safari. If you feel that I am all about complaints, here is something I appreciate post the upgrade: predictive text. It sure is a blessing, even for the sighted folks.

Submitted by Ekaj on Monday, November 10, 2014

Hey all. A couple days ago as I was waiting for my life-skills tutor, I read through the chapter about iTunes in Janet Ingber's book. Granted she only discusses previous versions, namely version 11. However, here's the good news. When navigating the iTunes 12.01 interface on my Mac, I found it almost identical to her description of version 11. I didn't do much with it though due to time constraints, and also due to the fact I've not yet got much to play in iTunes. But I'm going to see about getting one of those zip drives, since I'm using a MacBook Air and it doesn't have a CD drive or anything. Or perhaps someone can take me to the Apple store here and I can meet with the trainer who has been working with a sister of mine. After all, my mom and I had one session with him just after I acquired my Mac. He's very good. I think the only difference was that there's no way to switch between iTunes versions.

Submitted by Ekaj on Friday, December 5, 2014

Hi everyone. This is my third post in this thread, but I have a question and some great news. First the news. Last night at the annual holiday gift exchange in my apartment building, I got an iTunes gift card from one of my downstairs neighbors. I am very excited to start using it once I have my Apple ID reset hopefully tomorrow or this weekend. Now for my question. Is there a way in the latest version of iTunes to delete old stuff? I just downloaded some stuff off of a few websites to practice with, and immediately after they were finished I heard a selection from a free album which I had previously downloaded some months back. I deleted the entire album after listening to it. I might download it again at some point because I really like the guy's music, but how can I prevent it from playing following other stuff such as podcasts?

Submitted by Wayne A on Friday, December 5, 2014

I think I'm in the minority here, but I agree with Marrie. At first, I didn't like the new version. however, after playing with it for a while, I don't find it any more difficult to use than the previous versions.

I have a lot of music, and I find it best to sort by songs instead of albums. I can still enable the column browser, which I find to be the most efficient way to locate specific songs. I am running iTunes 12 with Yosemite.

I do agree there is room for improvement, but I always felt that iTunes was a bit of a bloated program anyway.

Submitted by Ekaj on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I've just started using iTunes 12.x more, and I really like it thus far. For Christmas my brother-in-law got me one of those drives that will import CD's into iTunes, so I've been spending some time with that. He sat down with me at my parents' kitchen table the day after Christmas and showed me how to work the drive. I've not yet tried out everything, but I have to again commend Apple. Everything seems to work great with VO, and the audio sounds brilliant. I think I've figured out what the "Sound Enhancer" and "Sound Check" checkboxes do. I also found a button labeled "iTunes Plus," and am curious as to what that does or if it is subscription-based. I'm updating this reply because I figured out how to delete single tracks. I've been importing more of my CD's and discovered that I already have some duplicate tracks. One thing I noticed as I was deleting stuff yesterday, is that sometimes VO doesn't actually announce that the tracks have been deleted. I just had to arrow up and down within the list of tracks and figure it out that way. But perhaps this is just one of those things that only some users experience. In any case, I think iTunes is making a bit more sense to me now.

Submitted by yesears on Thursday, November 26, 2015

In reply to by Nickus

1. Connect the hard drive to your computer.
2. Insure your computer is showing desktop.
3. Press the tab button once and the name of the hard drive should display

4. Press The VO keys that is control option together with the letter m.
5. Press the right arrow key 3 times you should hear file menu then press down arrow until you hear open and press enter this opens the hard drive
6. In the open drive find the folder you wish to import and open this repeating the step above.
7. Once in the folder there should be songs or albums or artists there so bring up the menu again press right arrow 4 times until you hear edit menu then press down arrow to select all option press enter then press command c to copy items to clipboard.
8. Now bring up menu again with VO and M find the file menu and select open with option here it should say iTunes is the default program for music files so press enter. Everything should start going into iTunes immediately that is unless of course you don't already have a library for which you need to create one this is really easy just follow the dialogue and yes you can choose a default name such as iTunes 1 or simply delete that and call it what you like.


Submitted by yesears on Thursday, November 26, 2015

Ok first the column browser here is how you get it.
1. Press VO with m to bring up the menu press right arrow until you hear view menu then press down arrow until you hear column browser then press right arrow one time then press down arrow until you hear show column browser then press enter and this should bring it back note however you have to repeat this for every type of content such as music movies books tv shows apps podcasts audio books and so on.
2. To bring back side bar simply select the playlists radio button select a playlist insure everything is sorted by song not albums and this should resolve the issue.
3. In relation to the iTunes store thing people should note the layouts of iTunes stores may vary from country to country. I can only talk in relation to the Australian store so here goes. Ok say you select music then select iTunes store and the HTML comes up. In the Australian store the first thing I see is new music with a see all link there. Ok so if I don't want all songs just one style the thing I have found is this. Pressing VO with left arrow after interacting with the HTML content eventually gets me back to a pop up button I press VO with space and different styles come up. Country rock pop R&B well you get the drift anyway press the down arrow until you find the style you want press enter on that and the HTML content should change.

Ok I am totally blind and I must say I like iTunes 12 and yes it would be great if there was a side bar for every feature in iTunes but seriously I love this version it works we just have to be patient with it.