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iTunesTips & How-to

iTunes 11: 10 Tips and Tricks You Should Know About

December 25, 2012 — by Simon Ng3

Several weeks ago, Apple released a new version of iTunes – iTunes 11 which brings you a complete different user experience. Some users love the upgrade and enjoy the new user interface which is fresh and less cluttered. But some do not. Whether you love the upgrade or not, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks that would help you get the most out of the new iTunes. Chrysler Stock Price Today Market Watch

1. Give Me Back the Sidebar

iTunes 11 comes with a fresh design that is less cluttered and simpler. The very first time you open iTunes 11, you’ll notice the sidebar is gone. Some users may miss the sidebar or not get used to the change. If you’re one of them, you can simply press Option + Command + S to get the sidebar back.

iTunes 11 sidebar

2. Get Album Art

To get the album art for your song library, click File -> Library -> Get Album Artwork.

iTunes 11 - Get Album Art

You can also go to the Store preference (select iTunes -> Preferences -> Store) and enable an option named “Share details about your Library with Apple”. By selecting the option, iTunes automatically retrieves album covers and other information related to your library.

iTunes 11 Get Album Art 2

3. Drag Song to Build Playlist

Without the sidebar, you may find it difficult to add songs to playlist. iTunes 11 introduces a new way to let user build the playlist. Just select a track in the song library and drag to the right. A sidebar will be appeared. You can then drop the track to the playlist you want.

iTunes 11: Build Playlist

4. Keep MiniPlayer on Top of All Windows

iTunes allow user to create more than one library. By holding the Option key and click the iTunes icon to start the program, you can choose or create a new music library to use.

iTunes Mini Player Options

5. Create New iTunes Library

iTunes allow user to create more than one library. By holding the Option key and click the iTunes icon to start the program, you can choose or create a new music library to use.

iTunes 11 - Create New Library

6. Redeem iTunes Gift Card with FaceTime camera

iTunes 11 introduces a new feature to let user redeem iTunes gift card by using the FaceTime camera. Simply click “iTunes Store”, then select “Redeem” in the sidebar.

iTunes 11: Redeem Gift Card with FaceTime Camera

Click “Use Camera” button. Hold the back of your gift card with redeem code up to the FaceTime camera to redeem it.

iTunes 11: Redeem Gift Card

After your Mac reads the redeem code, you should see your iTunes Store balance on screen. But please note that this feature is only available in US at the moment.

7. Placing Movies in Other Categories

iTunes 11 introduces a new category called Home Movies. Videos you’ve purchased from iTunes store is placed under the “Film” or “TV shows” category. For your imported videos, they’re automatically placed under the “Home Movies” category. You can always change it if you like. Right-click on the video and select “Get Info” option. Under Options tab, choose Film, TV Show, Music Video from the Media kind list.

iTunes 11 Movie Categories

8. Missing Ringtone / iTunes U

If you can’t find ringtone or iTunes U in your library, try to go to iTunes -> Preferences -> General.

iTunes 11 Preferences

Tick the check boxes for both iTunes U and Tones, then click “OK”. You should be able to find them in your library.

iTunes 11 Missing ringtones and iTunes U

Note: If you’re upgrading from older version of iTunes, Apple has renamed “Ringtone” option to “Tones” that organize both ringtones and text tones.

9. Toggle the Status Bar

By default, the status bar is hidden. You can choose View -> Show Status Bar or press Command + / to unhide it.

iTunes 11 Status Bar

10. Useful Shortcuts

iTunes 11 LibraryiTunes offers a number of shortcuts to give you quick access of some handy functions. Hit the Command key on your keyboard, followed by the 1 – 7 number keys at the same time to switch to any enabled media. Here is the list:

  1. Command + 1 = Music
  2. Command + 2 = Movies
  3. Command + 3 = TV Shows
  4. Command + 4 = Podcasts
  5. Command + 5 = iTunes U
  6. Command + 6 = Books
  7. Command + 7 = Apps

To switch to the mini player, hit Command + Option + M keys together.

What do you think about the tips? Do share with us if you find other useful tips and tricks.

Love these tips? Download our free iPhone app to learn more iTunes and iOS 6.

Simon Ng

Founder, developer and chief blogger of

  • Eric

    It would help if you could also give the Windows short cut keys.

    • On Windows, you can simply replace “Command” key with “Ctrl” key.

      • Doreen

        Well I actually used the old trusted google to find out what those 2 keys were…after finding out they were the Ctrl and Alt keys when I actually pressed all 3 keys (including the S) nothing happened…no sidebar appeared…nothing changed at all…so far not really liking these “free tips” as they’re not working for me…still trying to get my ringtones added for 2 days now and I can’t past step 11…I’m double clicking the item in windows and its not going into “TONES”…so let’s see if another tip works…