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.

5 Comments

  • I read about that online, actually. But neither I nor my guests ever use Remote, so I can’t really comment on it. Maybe Apple will add that ability in a future update? Is there anything about the Up Next feature that would make it incompatible with that? I’m not at all familiar with Remote so I have no idea.

  • Hmm, at first I also liked the new feature. I have always missed the queue feature of the old winamps. But this annoys me: If you listen to your “up next list” and you select another track in any playlist/view you will get that prompt where you are asked if you want to clear the songs of you “up next list” or just playback that track. I am used to give a song a quick listen bevor I add it into the queue. Just to check if I m in the moods for that track. ;) Does someone know how to get rid of that annoying prompt?

  • Yeah, that dialog box is annoying me too. Out of the 20-30 times it has asked me if I want to clear it, I’ve used that feature maybe twice.

    Also, Erik, Remote for iOS was updated to 3.0 today. The changes list states adding queued songs to Up Next. Maybe they already updated it?

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