Using the Various Parts of the iTunes Window

By Tony Bove

To use iTunes efficiently, you need to become familiar with the various parts, panes, and panels of the iTunes window and how to use them. The following figure shows the iTunes window on a PC, using the Browse pane to browse by artist.

The iTunes window on a PC in Browse view.
The iTunes window on a PC in Browse view.

This figure shows the iTunes window on a Mac with the cover browser open, displaying the cover art for albums.

The iTunes window on a Mac with the cover browser open.
The iTunes window on a Mac with the cover browser open.

The components of the iTunes window are as follows:

  • Source pane: Displays the source of content, now handily divided into four sections: Library, Store, Devices, and Playlists.

  • Cover browser: Also called Cover Flow, the cover browser lets you flip through your cover art to choose songs.

  • List pane: Depending on the source that’s selected in the Source pane under Library, Store, Devices, Shared, Genius, or Playlists, the List pane displays the content from that source.

  • Column Browser and Artwork Column: To see these views, click the leftmost View button for List view, and then choose either View→Show Column Browser or View→Show Artwork Column. To hide the Artwork Column, click the tiny arrow to the left of the Artwork Column heading or choose View→Hide Artwork Column; to hide the Column Browser, choose View→Hide Column Browser.

  • View buttons: The three buttons in the upper-right corner change your view of the List and Browse panes to show items in a list, grouped with cover art, or displayed with the cover browser.

  • Status pane: When digital media is playing, the artist name, piece title (if known), and elapsed time display in this pane.

  • Search field: Type in this field to search your library. You can also use the Search field to peruse a playlist or to look within the iTunes Store.

  • Player buttons — Forward/Next, Play/Pause, and Previous/Rewind: Use these buttons to control the playback of content in iTunes.

  • Playlist buttons — Add, Shuffle, and Repeat: Use these buttons to add playlists and shuffle or repeat playback of playlists.

  • Volume control: You can change the volume level in iTunes by dragging the volume control slider in the upper-left section of the iTunes window.

  • Show/Hide Artwork button: Use this button to display or hide artwork (either your own or the artwork supplied with purchased songs and videos).

  • Eject button: Clicking the Eject button ejects a CD or an iPod or iPhone.

  • Speakers pop-up menu: Use this pop-up menu in the lower-right corner to select a different speaker system than the computer’s speakers.

  • Genius button: The Genius button, located in the lower-right corner, to the left of the Show/Hide Genius Sidebar button, generates a Genius playlist of songs from your library that goes great with the song you select. The Genius button appears gray unless you select a song.

  • Show/Hide Genius Sidebar button: Use this button to display or hide the Genius Sidebar.

  • Genius Sidebar: The Genius Sidebar makes suggestions for what to get from the iTunes Store based on what you select.