In this movie, let's take a look at some of the window options that are available on iTunes, and by window options I'm referring to the various buttons found all over the iTunes window and that affect how the window appears and behaves. Now this is one of those areas where the Mac and Windows versions of iTunes are a little different. So I am going to start here on the Mac and then I will switch over to Windows to show you basically the same features but how activating these features is slightly different between the two versions. So let's start with the four View buttons up here in the upper right-hand corner. These are basically the four-ways in which you can view and browse through your Library.
You have the song List view, which is you can see displays all of your media as a long list. New to iTunes 10, you have the Album List view, which is like the song list view but the nice thing about the Album List view is that if you have five or more songs from an album, iTunes displays the cover artwork of that album to the left. This actually makes it a little easier to see where albums begin and end, especially if you have several albums from the same artist. So instead of seeing a huge list of songs, it's very easy to discern those songs and their individual albums with Album view. You also have the Grid view, which shows you your media in a grid displaying album artwork along with artist names, and you also have the cover-flow view, which allows you to flow through the album covers on the top pane here, while the contents of the album are displayed below.
We'll go into more detail with these views and their options a little bit later but for now I just wanted to point them out. Next, we have our standard three buttons in the upper left-hand corner. For some reason, in version 10, Apple made these buttons vertical instead of horizontal like they are in just about every other application on the Mac, but they still function the same way. The first or top button is the Close button just like in most applications on the Mac. If I click it, the window closes, but notice iTunes doesn't quit. It's still running as the front-most application. Now if I had music playing, the music would continue to play even when I close the window.
I can always bring back the main iTunes window either by selecting Window > iTunes or by using the keyboard command of Option+Command+1. Next, we have the Minimize button. Again as with most OS X applications, clicking that button sends the window to the dock and I can bring that back by clicking it again. Now the third button behaves a little bit differently in iTunes then it does in other OS X applications. Normally this button lets you toggle between a window's maximum size and its previous size but when I click it in iTunes, I get what's called the Mini Player and you can see this is a minimalistic, stripped-down iTunes window that just gives me the display and some playback controls.
Let me go ahead and maximize this again and let me play some music. (Music playing) So if I start the music playing and I switch to the Mini Player, you can see that it displays all the same information in the display portion of the iTunes window so I can see the song name, the artist. I can toggle through it to see the graphic EQ. I can adjust the volume. I can pause playback, fast-forward, rewind and so on. So the Mini Player is nice because I can just drag it to a corner of my screen out of the way, start some music playing, and then get on with whatever else I am doing but at the same time I'll be able to see the name of the song or artist that's currently playing and if I want to skip a song or something like that, I can easily access the controls.
Now we do have additional options under Preferences. If we go to the Advanced section, and in here I can check Keep Mini Player on top of all other windows, which is a nice feature to turned on if you have the screen real estate to spare. So with that option checked, I can have some music playing and let's say I bring up my web browser. (Music playing) Notice that the Mini Player stays in complete view even though iTunes is not the active application right now. We can see that Safari is the active application.
So no matter how many windows or applications I am running, the Mini Player stays on top of those windows so I always have quick access to control my music. Now another option we have with the Mini Player is to turn it into the mini Mini Player. By grabbing the lower right-hand corner of the window, and dragging to the left we can see that hides the display area and now I have a very tiny playback controller that I can tuck away in the corner of my screen. I just can't see which song is playing but I can always re-expand the player by dragging the lower-right hand corner out again to see that information.
It's a pretty nice way to be able to control your iTunes music without having to open this big window every time I want to just pause or advance to the next song. Now along those lines, let's say instead of using the Mini Player, maybe I don't have room on my screen to display it at the moment, I'll just minimize it to my dock or I could even hide it. Now I can also control playback by right-clicking the iTunes icon in the dock and that reveals options to rate the current song. We'll talk about ratings a little bit later. We can also change our repeat options, shuffle the songs, Play the currently selected song, jump to the next one, jump to do the previous, play recently played songs, and we have several other options here.
Notice at the top it even does display the currently playing song so I can check that information very easily just by right-clicking on the iTunes icon. So those are some of the window playback options that are available here on the Mac side of things. Let's take look at the Windows side. So here we are looking at the Windows version of iTunes and you can see it looks very similar to the Mac version and it has pretty much all the same features we just looked at on the Mac but accessing them is little bit different. The four views, the song list view, album list, grid, and cover flow are all identical to the Mac so there is nothing new or different to mention there.
As with most Windows applications, the three main windows buttons are found in the upper right-hand corner instead of in the upper left like on the Mac. The first button is the minimize button, which minimizes iTunes down to the Taskbar, and I can bring it back by clicking it again, which you can see it toggle between a smaller iTunes window or maximizing it to the entire size of my screen. Now in Windows, the third button, the X button is that quit button, which is different than on the Mac side where we have a button that just closes the iTunes window but leaves iTunes open and running. Here in Windows, when I click this button, iTunes actually quits. You see it's no longer down here in the Taskbar anywhere.
I'll just open it again from my Desktop icon. So those are some of the differences between the three buttons found on the Mac version of the iTunes window and the Windows version of the iTunes window. Also none of these buttons on the Windows side give you the Mini Player. To get the Mini Player, you'll have to go to the View menu and choose Switch to Mini Player, and this Mini Player behaves exactly the same as the Mac version. You can also drag the lower-right hand corner to give you the mini Mini Player as well. Now you'll also find the same preferences for keeping the Mini Player on top of all of all other windows by going to Edit > Preferences and under Advanced, you'll find Keep Mini Player on top of all the windows, and again checking this option gives you quick access to the Mini Player at all times.
Now also on the Windows side, you have the Show iTunes icon in system tray option, which is checked by default, and that means when iTunes is running, you'll see the icon in your system tray. Another option is Minimize iTunes window to system tray. So if I check that and click OK, now when I click the minimize button, notice iTunes no longer appears in the main Taskbar, which is kind of nice if your Taskbar is usually cluttered with other applications and windows. Instead you can get back to iTunes by double-clicking its icon in the system tray.
So there you have the basic differences between the Mac and Windows versions of iTunes as far as their window options are concerned.
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