iTunes 11 was released today, and seems to have made at least one major feature change: iTunes DJ is gone, replaced by a new feature called Up Next (the small dialog box open in the screenshot above).

How it works:

  • Everything has a little arrow button that lets you Play Next or Add to Up Next. This button shows up for albums, individual songs, playlists, artists, and so on.
  • The Up Next dialog box is opened by clicking on that “list” icon in the right side of the player area, or by pressing Command + Option + U on the keyboard.
  • There, you can see previously played tracks, delete tracks from the Up Next list, rearrange them, and so on.

When I realized that iTunes DJ had disappeared, my first thought wasn’t good. But after using the Up Next feature for a while, it has grown on me a lot. I actually think it’s a much more streamlined implementation of the feature than iTunes DJ ever was.

The only problem is that dialog box. It’s so small, and when you start queuing whole albums back to back, that’s only going to compound this limitation.

My suggestion: Make the Up Next feature a whole sidebar to the right on its own. This may cut into the screen real estate for the item listing, but it’s a lot better than exiling such a main feature to a small dialog box.

Apple definitely seems to be limited with screen real estate with iTunes 11, though.

Update: Just discovered something new. In the Mini Player (Command + Option + M) mode, opening the Next Up list makes it a windowed view. Pretty cool, check it out in the screenshot to the right.