Display the Old-Fashioned Info Window in iTunes 12

I’ve complained about the new Info windows in iTunes; they’re ugly and hard to read. But there’s a way to use the old-fashioned Info windows. It’s well hidden though.

Select one or more tracks, press the Option key, then right-click and choose Get Info. You’ll see this window, the one familiar to iTunes users for many years, in the colors of Yosemite:


info-window.png

I’m told this works on Windows if you press the Shift key, then choose the contextual menu.

So, if you hate the new tagging window, you can still use the old one. I’d have expected this to also work if you press Command-Option-I, but it doesn’t; it only seems to work when you hold the Option key and use the contextual menu.

It’s interesting that Apple has kept this in iTunes, even if it’s hidden. It suggests that maybe, just maybe, the new window is tentative, and there might be a return to the older window.

H/t to Doug Adams, who passed this on from Paul J.

Update: as a commenter says below, you can apply a keyboard shortcut to this. In System Preferences, go to Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts, then click +. In the Applications menu, choose iTunes; for Menu Title, enter Get info; and for the Keyboard Shortcut, press Command-Option-I (or another shortcut, if you wish).


shortcut.png

One extra key to press, but you can display the old Info window as before without even using the contextual menu.

29 thoughts on “Display the Old-Fashioned Info Window in iTunes 12

  1. Thank you for posting this. I edit pretty much all my imports into iTunes and have really had a very difficult time trying to use the new info window. Glad to know how to find the old window. I hope they revert to the old window in a future update.

  2. Thank you (and Doug) for this – it’s been driving me nuts too. I’ve worked out a way to do it via a keyboard shortcut too.
    Just go to the Keyboard system prefs, select “Shortcuts” then “App Shortcuts”. Use the plus symbol to add iTunes to the list and enter “Get Info” as the menu item then press command-option-i as the shortcut. Even works on a single item.

    • Thanks for mentioning this. I only posted the article late last night, and didn’t think of trying to set a shortcut.

      What’s interesting is that the shortcut shows in the File menu, and should, theoretically, replicate what happens when you select Get Info from the File menu, but doesn’t.

        • It really is very strange, and wildly inconsistent. App shortcuts like this typically apply to existing menu items in the menu bar, not contextual menu commands. So seeing that a binding of Command-Option-I to the existing (new) “Get Info” command actually invokes the old (now hidden) “Get Info” command is a bit strange.

          Also, I note that when I do this, I no longer can hit Command-I to pull up the new “Get Info” UI. I get a beep instead. (I can, however, still access it via the menus.)

          The biggest issue I have found, however, is that editing some fields doesn’t work on the old “Get Info” UI as they used to, but DO work in the new one. I just tried to edit/delete lyrics I had in some tracks, using the old “Get Info” window thanks to this tip, and iTunes 12 promptly crashed on me, when I clicked “Next” to get to the next one. It’s a reproducible crash, too. I doesn’t crash when I click “OK” to save, instead of clicking “Next” to go to the next track for continued editing. Meanwhile, the same edit in the new “Get Info” window works fine, when clicking “Next” or “OK.” Even though I don’t like how they’ve redesigned the new “Get Info” window, I’ll have to use it if I want to go on editing sprees like this, because I really don’t like to see iTunes 12 crash. I don’t want to introduce any corruption to my database if I can avoid it.

          Kirk’s note here says that Paul J’s discovery “suggests that maybe, just maybe, the new window is tentative, and there might be a return to the older window.” I sadly disagree. I think it’s a bug that these last remnants remain, and wouldn’t be surprised to see it completely go away, in iTunes 12.1 or later.

    • Indeed. And Thank Doug Adams too – a real hero for me. I got the metadata editing back, but just for multiple tracks, with his “Multi-Item Edit” – 0nly $1.99 – such a deal. But this left me incapable of being able to edit single track info, and now that is solved, Thanks to this post.

  3. Thank you for this help, but I still have a related problem with MP3 format music downloads that have not been transferred into iTunes 12 but reside temporarily in my Music Files folder in Finder. While there I can preview them and decide whether to keep them or not, one of my criteria for that decision being their bit rate.

    In iTunes 11, a right click produced a menu with Get info, and the resulting info window (not the same one discussed above, of course) included the bit rate of the file. Get info in iTunes 12 does not include the bit rate, but has a completely pointless entry, Sample rate. (Pointless because – in my case at least – it is always 44 100.) Holding the Option key while clicking the music file simply changes the wording from Get info to Show Inspector, which then creates the identical info window still without any bit rate.

    Is there perhaps any way of customising this info window to include the same info all the iTunes previous to this new version did? My O/S is still Mavericks incidentally, but my iTunes is version 12.01.26.

    • I see the bit rate in both windows. In the new window, it’s on the File tab; in the old window, on the Summary tab. You don’t see the bit rate there?

      • No, they are only visible when the file has been transferred to iTunes. I could send a screenshot of the info window that I’m talking about, which is the one you get from the menu when you right click on a file that is in Finder or on the desktop, NOT in iTunes. It pops up in the shape of a long strip, depending how long some of the info like track title and path is.

        I can’t attach it here, so I’ll have to e-mail it to you separately – is there a way of doing this?

        • Right, that’s the Finder’s Info window. That doesn’t show bit rates.

          I would just create a new playlist in iTunes, add them there. View it in List view, press Command-J and click Bit Rate so you’ll see their bit rates in a column.

          • Thank you Kirk, I’ll have to do that now. I guess it’s another of those system changes made just for the sake of irritation and for turning one simple step into three or more….

            • As Kirk explains, that’s a Finder Info window, and not iTunes. But you’re say you’re still on Mavericks? So this isn’t a change with iTunes 12 or Yosemite. It seems to have been a system-wide change, at least starting with Mavericks and later.

              I wonder why Apple has deprecated this important metadata field system-wide? I no longer see bit rate in QuickLook (select track and hit spacebar) or the “Movie Inspector” of QuickTime Player either (I am now in Yosemite.)

              I’ve always set QuickTime Player as my default for music file-types so double-clicking lets me preview them without (accidentally or otherwise) adding them to iTunes. I only add them to my actual iTunes library when I decide they are “keepers.” So going along with that idea, so long as you’re dragging tracks into a temporary playlist to inspect them, you may as well also consider using a different music app entirely. VOX is a great one and I just checked, it does show the bit rate of the playing track: http://coppertino.com

            • fofer, sorry I just saw your reply now as I had left this thread. I did “up”grade straight from Snow Leopard to Mavericks, so the completely negative changes Apple made to the Finder Get Info may have actually been made in Lion or Mountain Lion, I can’t tell now.

              Interestingly, the track time (duration) has also been removed in Mavericks’ Finder, but only for MP3 (and FLAC) tracks, which Snow Leopard used to know the duration of with no problem. I’m afraid I see this as a deliberate political move by Apple to pretend it doesn’t recognise MP3 tracks in Finder, presumably to enforce the use of AAC for encoding. Agreed that is not a problem for me, as it is the non-proprietary codec of the two; but many sites only offer MP3 as their download format.

              When I convert a FLAC track to Apple Lossless (using Roxio Toast in my case), Finder is now immediately able to determine the duration of the track. Hmmm…

              I did look at VOX as you suggested but one or two aspects of this player looked a bit dodgy to me, but thanks, anyway.

  4. So now to do what used to be intuitive, since I have iTunes on a Windows laptop I also have to keep handy or memorize the corresponding special keys between the two. SIGH. One more thing to hate about iTunes 12 – cumbersome workarounds for what used to be so quick and easy. I’m starting to swear at Apple as much as I’ve ever done to Microsoft. At least I’m about to ditch my Android phone and go back to the iPhone! (6+ – like Phoebe, I’ll be very bendy :-D )

    • Not sure how much this might help people, but the old Get Info window can also be summoned by pressing Control Option & right clicking a track, then selecting Get Info from the right click menu. Admittedly cumbersome, but there it is …

      • FWIW, that is the exact same tip that Kirk shares in this article. The cCntrol key is what’s summoning the contextual menu (does the same as right-clicking) and the Option key held down while selecting “Get Info” is what summons the classic Get Info window instead.

  5. Unfortunately while this initially works for me, after I click next the first time I get the spinning beach ball, and after a few seconds when I click next to go to another track it completely crashes. Does this every time. I have a brand new iMac with 16 gb of ram.

    • iTunes 12 crashes and hangs on me (Win 7) all the time, and always has to be forced down. About half the time, it hangs on start-up due to the Accessing iTunes Store issues, and while I know that’s a Winsock problem, it’s never happened to me before this version. I’ve never had all these problems before. Figuring out how to use the new features (none of which I have any use for) is a moot point when the program won’t stay up long enough even just playing a playlist. Can’t get over the garbage Apple’s programmers are spewing out now. (I’m also suffering all the iOS 8 instabilities, too, on my Air.)

  6. Thanks so much. The new get info is terrible. I really regretted downloaded the new itunes, but was unable to revert. This solves the problem.

  7. Thank you for this. Like many others I’ve used the “Video Description” for additional metadata for songs. “Not video, not needed” wasn’t an answer I liked. Heh. Additionally, I’m so used to using keyboard strokes to get to the next and previous songs when editing and this functionality is gone with the new version. You’ve proven to be a life-saver.

    • I use the TV Show tags Season and Episode Number to sort music for TV shows with great music, like Breaking Bad. The Command-Option suggestions does not work in iTunes 12.1 on Mac OS X 10.9.5

  8. Sounds like some people are able to use the old Get Info window without crashing. If so, it would be nice to know what they’re doing to prevent if from crashing. I have a new Mac Retina 5K 27.5″ with Yosemite 10.10.1. I suspect those with older systems ( Maverick, Mountain Lion) can use the old Get Info window in iTunes 12 without crashing.

  9. This is great. Funny thing for me, this toggles the views. After inputting the Command Option Get Info shortcut, it gives the older window, and the right-click contextual menu “Get Info” gives the new window.

    @ Bob Foss
    This works fine for me on a MacBook Pro running Mavericks.

  10. I just downloaded the latest version of iTunes and the workaround you described in October (press “Option” key before going to Get Info) no longer works. I am still running Mavericks. Do you have an updated workaround?

    Thanks for your help.

  11. Thank you so much.
    I upgraded my iTunes to version 12 and LOST the ability to change the Track numbers in songs?
    I need that feature for the CDs and playlist I make. So of course as usual when I upgrade any Apple app I hold my breath and wait for the consequences :(
    I tried the SIMPLE get info short cut and it works, not sure why? oh and I can’t right click anything on my laptop without a mouse i assume? But now when I use the cursor on the get info menu on the main bar above it opens with the old prefs window :)
    I’m happy I HATE to upgrade!
    Thanks
    John

  12. All solutions to the new crap itunes have been blocked by Apple. There is NO WAY BACK.
    None of the workarounds I’ve read about work any longer.
    ALL have now been successfully blocked by Apple. Too many users jumping ship so they had to stem the flow.

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