Are others experiencing accessibility problems with iTunes 12.1 on Windows?

Other Apple Chat

Hi folks,
its Carlos I'm trying to make sense of this iTunes 12.1.
I use to go for example to the blindness apps section on this web site with my windows computer.
I would click on one of the apps then press enter on the app store link from the app description page.
And iTunes would open and I would get a button that said get.
I might have to put in my password if I wasn't signed in,
and the would also download to the phone.
Now I made the miss take of going to the current version of iTunes,
and when I enter on an app store link from apple vis it tells me music or movies,
and all sorts of other things but does not give me the get button to download the app.
I'm very new with the iphone and haven't used the iTunes very much.
I was having the apple disability support try to help me but i was kind of confused.
I am using a windows 7 laptop.
Running jaws 15,
window eyes 8.4.
And i even have a version of nvda but nott sure wich one it is.
So any help would be appreciated



Submitted by DPinWI on Saturday, January 31, 2015

Since upgrading to 12.1, I can no longer use iTunes. Almost all items, including folders, columns, and media are being spoken as unlabelled buttons.

Submitted by cw on Saturday, January 31, 2015

When I upgraded to 12.1, I also found that navigation in Itunes went south. Using jaws, I have found that I could not use ITunes at all. I have even tried System access and ran in to the same road block. So far, the only way I found that I can use Itunes at all was to use NVDA with ITunes. On the other hand, 12.1 on the mac seem to work fine. Grant it, I am not syncing my IOS devices with my mac book pro. The windows machine is a windows seven custom built with 16 Gb of ram, 500 gb SSD and a 1 TB spinning HD with a I5 3 GHZ processor. I am running JAWS version 15 on it. My mac on the other hand has all of the updates applied to the OS.

Submitted by Usman on Saturday, January 31, 2015

Yup, working just fine on the mac.

Submitted by Kent on Saturday, January 31, 2015

I also found that ITunes 12.1 did not announce the labels on many items with JAWS or Narrator. It does work with NVDA. You also can open the Music folder and locate a song you want to listen to. Then open the context menu with the application key and down arrow to the "Open with" submenu. Locate Windows Media Player and press enter on it. The song will play and you can avoid ITunes altogether.

Submitted by Toonhead on Sunday, February 1, 2015

iTunes 12 is a mess. Using Window-eyes 9.0, NVDA and system access, none of them seem to work reliably. Apple really messed up on this one, so I plan to write, apple's accessibility email address and let them know the specific steps I'm taking. If I use iTunes at all it'll be on my iPhone until they can get a better version released.

Submitted by Ekaj on Sunday, February 1, 2015

Hello. On a related note, I'm having an issue updating. This might have to do with my download speed though, but I thought I'd ask here just in case anybody else is having this problem. I've been trying to update, and when I did this on Friday afternoon I got a server error. Fast-forward to this morning, when I got a spoken notification that updates were available. So I went to Software Update to check, and the only one that seemed to be currently ready to download and install was iTunes 12.1 . But I've been checking periodically ever since because of the other updates just taking their sweet time. But so far nothing. Not even a "calculating" message.

Submitted by Toonhead on Sunday, February 1, 2015

iTunes 12 is basicly an accessibility nightmare, at least in windows 7. It doesn't work at all well with any of the windows screenreaders, the best one seems to be NVDA, but even it's support for it is shaky. To read any of the links in the iTunes store in Window-eyes 9 which is my main screenreader, I have to turn browse mode off, and then all the links read just fine. The trouble with this is when this is the case I can't use the arrow keys to read text on the page. I have already written a very polite and detailed message to Apple's accessibility email address, and I'd like to encourage anyone else having these issues to do the same. I could understand if it didn't work only in one screenreader, as I have 3 of them on my system currently, but iTunes 12 doesn't work with any of them, at least not very reliably. Not enough that I would say it's accessible. Apple seems to have taken a bit of a step back here. Luckily I can still use iTunes on the phone and that seems to work just fine.

Submitted by kool_turk on Monday, February 2, 2015

can you give me some examples of what you're all trying to do? cause I don't appear to be having any issues here what so ever.

For me, it's working the way it always has been using NVDA on a windows 7 64 bit machine.

Submitted by Usman on Monday, February 2, 2015

I have not encountered any issues with updating. sounds like to me the issue is with your internet, but not sure.

Submitted by Mandy Palmer on Monday, February 2, 2015

I updated ITunes last night and just wish I hadn't! It always worked well but this new update is hopeless, like others have said there is no list of the music I have on my Windows 7 64 laptop, I could always arrow down the music list and find something I wanted to play or delete and it worked fine but now it just says button. A sighted person can see it which is even more annoying. I am going to download NVDA tonight and see if it will work but I would love to write to the Apple accessability team if someone has the email address please and any more tips......I'd love to have them

Submitted by Usman on Monday, February 2, 2015

for all of you who are having issues playing music, have you tried using the column browser? Before we all bent out of shape about how inaccessible iTunes is on windows, I would enable column browser for ease of use. this will make it extremely easy to navigate your music and browse by artist, genre album, etc.

Submitted by Mandy Palmer on Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I can find the different sections in ITunes like song, music, films, TV but when you get to the amount of songs you have on the computer, the button before that used to be a list but now it just says button. My sighted husband can find the list but it says nothing to me. So I'd love to know how to use it

Submitted by Ekaj on Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Well, I was finally able to update to the latest iTunes version. For some reason the server only seems to be able to handle one update at a time on my end, but there you go. So I first tried just listening to some music that I had imported from my vast CD collection, and then earlier this afternoon I imported another CD. I don't see any differences thus far between this version and the previous one with the exception of some of the buttons being switched around perhaps, but it's working very well over here on my MBA.

Submitted by DPinWI on Wednesday, February 4, 2015

This is from Freedom Scientific regarding the issue.

"With iTunes 12.1 and 64-bit iTunes Apple inadvertently introduced an accessibility problem with accessing the album list and perhaps other lists in the iTunes UI.
(The problem does not exist in the 32-bit version of iTunes.)

It impacts JAWS, Narrator, and Window Eyes.
All three of these products use 64-bit components to obtain MSAA event information inside of the iTunes process generating the events. This generally offers better performance than receiving events out-of-process.
NVDA uses the out-of-process technique and is primarily a 32-bit app, even on 64-bit windows. The nature of the iTunes bug is such that it does not impact 32-bit processes receiving events out-of-process."

Just to let everyone know. We have had some success getting in touch with an engineer on the iTunes for Windows team at Apple. We have given them the information they need to get this resolved and will have to give them a chance to resolve it now.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I just spoke with FS technical support. According to FS, apple broke a code in window seven. The guy told me that no screen reader works with iTunes now. They contacted them and apple need to fix it.

Submitted by Ian on Thursday, February 5, 2015

Hi, I also am having issues with iTunes 12.1. I updated this morning and now find JAWS isn't reading out the book titles in the list view. All it says is "button". I'm using JAWS 16, Win 7.

Submitted by Justin on Thursday, February 5, 2015

Hi Ian. Try downloading NVDA and see if that works for you with the latest version of iTunes.

Submitted by Patrick Hurst on Thursday, February 5, 2015

Yes, I'm having these kinds of issues a well. While the keyboard shortcuts seem to perform as they used to before, the "Playlist selection TreeView" and the "Playlist Content" are not spoken out properly, it appears to be a list of unlabeled buttons. This is quite annoying! The best I would say is write to the Apple Accessibility Team either through their direct Email adress or the Feedback option in iTunes.

Submitted by Forereel on Friday, February 6, 2015

To update for the user having issues, you'll need to just download it directly. I don't know if you want to update, but that iw how.
I can use 12.1 to a degree, but it is just not good at all.

You can do a control+shift+B, but it still doesn't work for me.
I am running Jaws 16, Windows 8.1 on a 64 bit machine.
I saw the post from Freedom Scientific, so I'd guess the people not having problems are on 32 bit computers.
Guess use others will need to wait a bit.
I'm one of the lucky, due to not having my content only in iTunes, so I'm good until it works again.

Submitted by kithri on Friday, February 6, 2015

I just downloaded iTunes 12.1 thinking it would be like the previous downloads with the columns and such the same and now I get jaws 16 saying...button, button, button and it's driving me crazy. Called Freedom Scientific to see if they had a fix for this and was told that latest version of jaws that is currently out is not fully accessible with iTunes 12.1 and supposedly they are working on the problem for a future relese of jaws, but was given no time line for this. Called Apple and have been dealing with uninstall of 12.1 and going back to a previous version that does work, which is a pain in itself. I am running windows 7 pro on 64 bit system with jaws 16 and also have window eyes 9 or whatever the latest version of that is. My suggestion is if you haven't upgraded to iTunes 12.1...don't! I have an old windows XP computer with rather old version of iTunes that is much slower but will work normally so will be using that for audio books. I spoke with a senior technical manager at Apple so they know of the problem between the version of iTunes and screen reader support and he even called Freedom Scientific and passed along the info to the Apple team developers with the info for the Jaws developers so maybe something from Apple might be fixed first on their end before Jaws gets there.

Submitted by Forereel on Friday, February 6, 2015

If you have updated and hate it, you can go back to Itunes 11.4.
It will require some work, and computing savvy, but it is not difficult.
I did the process to make sure it works on one of my computers, and it is lovely.
On the other, I’ll wait for the fix.
I also sent Apple my opinion on there website. That section is under support and feedback if you are looking. You click on the product you wish to talk about.
I didn't know the accessibility email, so did this.
Here’s the article that explains going back.
This is what I did, and it worked, but it might not be fore everyone.…

Submitted by Adi Kushnir on Friday, February 6, 2015

Hello. I am a Beta tester for Freedom Scientific, and they have just posted a workaround to deal with for now, just if you want. Basicly, the problem is on Apple's part, and they told that it would be fixed in a future iTunes update for Windows. The problem is with 64-Bit versions of Windows that have neightive 64-Bit versions of iTunes installed. You basicly have to go to Apple's website, and download a 32-bit version of iTunes that can be installed on 64-bit Windows, Apple offers it now. Here is a TSN article that Freedom Scientific posted on their website, please read it carefully, and select the correct file name like they tel you. If you don't want to re-install iTunes, just wait Apple to fix the issue. Here is the link to the wel-ritten TSN article:
The Macintosh version of the software works fine for me. I don't know the exact date of when Apple will fix this issue. Good luck.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Saturday, February 7, 2015

Followed instruction regarding fixing iTunes and now my iTunes is working. Is nice to have applevis to get help.

I installed thisversion of the 64 iTunes, and it works for me as well.
You'll find you'll need to do some relearning, but with Jaws 16, it is good.
Now, I've got a computer with an old iTunes and one with a odd iTunes. Smile.
I am interested to learn how the sharing will go between them on my network.
This fix is really a piece of cake.
Thanks for posting it.

Submitted by Patrick Hurst on Monday, February 23, 2015

GOOD NEWS: Today the "Apple Software Update" manager in Windows 7 prompted me to update to iTunes From my short test session, I can definitely says that Apple seems to have resolved the issues.

Submitted by DPinWI on Monday, February 23, 2015

I'm glad a more accessible version was released.

However, I still can't find a way to edit an item's info. All fields that were editable in version 11, say they are read only in 12.

Has anyone figured out how to edit in version 12?

Submitted by Mike Freeman on Thursday, February 26, 2015

Latest update of 64-bit iTunes for Windows fixes the problem that broke accessibility for JAWS and Window-eyes. Just downloaded the update and it works like a champ.