Saturday, December 1, 2012

Turn On iTunes 11's Missing "File Edit View..." Menu Bar


TL:DR - Hold Alt > View > Show Menu Bar (Or press Ctrl + B)

If you've updated to the new iTunes 11 and have noticed some of the useful items missing then you're not alone.

After updating I wanted to simply select "File > Add Folder to Library..." which is how I normally add albums to iTunes. The only problem was that there seemingly was no "File" menu to speak of. It just wasn't there.

After hitting a few modifier keys to try to find the menu I stumbled upon holding down "Alt" (I'm on a Windows 7 PC) which temporarily showed the "File" "Edit" "View" etc. Menu Bar.


Holding "Alt" Brings Up The iTunes 11 Menu Bar 


This was helpful but the fact that something as useful as a "File" menu is hidden by default is very bad design in my opinion. We're all used to "File" and "Edit" menus and we can often get lost when we can't find them or even worse think features (like "Add Folder to Library...") have been removed.

If you like the iTunes Menu Bar to only appear when holding "Alt" then simply press ALT when you need to use it.

If, however, you are like me and want the Menu Bar to show up all the time you can select that option by:

  • Holding down Alt to bring up the Menu Bar
  • Selecting "View" from the Menu Bar
  • Selecting "Show Menu Bar" (or press Ctrl + B)

The menu bar should now be visible without having to hold Alt.


Turning Menu Bar On: View > Show Menu Bar

Having to hold a somewhat obscure (or any) modifier key to access something as fundamental as the Menu Bar is really a UI fail in my book. If I hadn't stumbled upon it I would have simply assumed iTunes 11 didn't have a menu bar and therefore was less useful.

Having just started using it I can't say for sure whether iTunes 11 is a step in the right direction but I think hiding much-used and familiar features is not a good route to go.

18 comments:

  1. What happened to the Advanced menu within the Menu Bar that allowed us to create an Apple TV or iPod/iPhone version of a TV Show or movie?

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    1. It seems it may have been moved. Try File > Create New Version.

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    2. Dear Jim,
      Thank you for your comment and great solution. It was so simple: hold ALT key, then menu appears, click on View then on "Show Menu Bar" : ). Now I can go to the gym and do not think about this iTunes little inconvenience.
      Have a very Happy New 2013 Year.
      Olga

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  2. Hw to arrange my albums year wise from 2012 to back. Right now my files are from late 90's to 2012.

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    1. From the file menu (Hold Alt or read above if you don't see it) try View > View Options... (will make a small popup box) > Sort by: > Year.

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    2. thank you Jim, very helpful
      simply explanation and a simple fix
      much appreciated!
      Marcia NYC

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  3. Hi Jim. I hope you can help. I am tearing my hair out (little enough as it is!) with Home Sharing on iTunes and trying to copy files from my partner's library. We have iMacs and have turned on Home Sharing and authorised both our Macs with our iTunes accounts. However, when I click on my partner's library and try iTunes Help says to "use the Show Menu to identify albums not in your library" or to auto download newly purchased albums. I cannot find the Show Menu! Judging by the research I have done and Googling for hours, I am not alone. Then I found your blog and so now live in hope that you have cracked this one. help please? Alan, Cornwall, UK

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  4. this was so silly but SO SO helpful! I was about to add manually 200 new music files in separate folders since I could only see that "Add file" button, thank you!

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  5. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! I've been tearing my hair out over this newest gaff...!
    Much appreciated,
    Pam

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  6. Thank you for this. It was super helpful to me! Now I can transfer my old folders to my new computer!

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  7. Thank you. i was also going crazy trying to find the menu bar. all itunes doc mentions file menu without mentioning that it is hidden in version 11. i have never seen such poor software in my life. a complete rewrite is necessary.

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  8. I have been searching for hours trying to find this. THANK YOU!!!!

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    Replies
    1. I did the same thing. Glad it helped!

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  9. Hi Jim, I have recorded a voice memo on my iPhone which I want to edit in Garageband. In order to be editable the file must be in MP3. There was a 'convert to MP3' in the Advanced menu on iTunes - which as everyone has noticed is now missing - do you have any idea if it is possible to do this in iTunes now, and if so how? Your help would be very much appreciated.

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    Replies
    1. Try going to File > Create New Version > Create MP3 Version. While I haven't used that option it seems like that's the way to do it now.

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  10. I had to download ITunes to replace a corrupted version and - what??? Where is it?? Thanks so much Jim!

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