As you start playing around with iTunes 11, don't forget that it ships with a completely updated MiniPlayer. Here's a quick guide to this great little tool.
Moving to and from the MiniPlayer
Look at the top-right corner of your iTunes browsing window. There you'll find the familiar full-screen toggle. Just to its left is a small rectangle-in-rectangle icon. Click this to transform the full iTunes window to the MiniPlayer version.
Once minimized, you can return to the full-sized browser by clicking the small rectangle under the X at the top-left corner.
Click "X" to close the browser without opening a new window.
Prefer to use the keyboard? Apple offers not one, but two keyboard shortcuts:
- Command-Option-M toggles between full and minibrowser windows
- Command-Option-3 opens and closes the minibrowser without affecting the main screen
Use the latter to open a new MiniPlayer without closing the main window.
Click the album art to open the image in a separate window. The art offers full playback controls.
Hover your mouse over the MiniPlayer to switch from the information view to playback controls. You'll find play/pause/track skip and AirPlay buttons.
Click on the circled chevron for more playback options, including the ability to rate a song or add it to your Up Next list.
Click on the magnifying glass to access the MiniPlayer search options. Results appear in the same window, so you can easily click the song you want to hear next.
iTunes' Up Next feature is also baked into the MiniPlayer. Click the list icon to the left of the search button. You'll see the next few tracks listed.
Click the time icon to see what you've already listened to (handy for answering "what was that song?" questions). Click clear to empty that history or remove items from your upcoming queue. This allows you to finish playback after the current song finishes.
The MiniPlayer's a great new window with a great set of features. Found something we missed? Drop a note in the comments and share!