iTunes 12.6 Overhauls the MiniPlayer Window

You may be familiar with the MiniPlayer window in iTunes. This little window lets you control what you’re listening to, and view some information about the currently playing track. Here’s what it looked like in iTunes 12.5:


At the top is the MiniPlayer when you were playing a track; at the bottom when you hovered your cursor over the window.

You could resize the MiniPlayer, to what I called the Artwork Player:

Miniplayer large

All this has changed. If you choose Window > MiniPlayer, here’s what you see:

Miniplayer default

There’s no longer a header at the top of the window. The above screenshot was taken with my cursor hovering over the window, which displays the controls rather than the name of the track, artist, and album.

You can now resize the MiniPlayer much more than previously, but one of the biggest changes is what happens if you click the blue Up Next button at the right of the window, or if you drag the window from the bottom:

Miniplayer expanded

As you can see, you now have access to a full Up Next queue, your play history, and lyrics, in a clean display.

And if you liked that smaller window, just drag the bottom of the window as high as possible, and you’ll get this:

Miniplayer small

You can resize this window a bit, making it narrower or wider.

For many users, the MiniPlayer can now be a full control center for iTunes.

28 thoughts on “iTunes 12.6 Overhauls the MiniPlayer Window

  1. I like the look of this, but its now about 30 – 50% Taller at its most minimized size. Now interferes with too much chrome in other windows when miniplayer is set to ‘float on top of other windows’.

  2. It’s frickingHUGE.
    It was nice and slim now it’s big and stubby mini player.
    The fonts are HUGE, I am getting up there in my years, but you definitely don’t need readers for this mini player, one step forward, two steps backward seems to be the new Apple way.

  3. “As you can see, you now have access to a full Up Next queue, your play history, and lyrics, in a much easier display“

    This is not a new feature though, it has been there for a while (at least since 12.5, but i’d have to guess) – both on Windows and on the Mac. If you look closely at your very first screenshot, you’ll see the hamburger/list icon that opens Up Next :-)

    • I know, but it’s a much better display now. The hamburger menu has been there since Up Next was added.

      • Well, i haven’t updated yet, and when i bring up Up Next on the MiniPlayer, it looks exactly the same (remember, i’m on Windows). Well, except there is a “Clear” button, which seems absent in 12.6. Oh, and there seem to be track times now, so that is a nice change.

    • You mean when it’s vertically smallest? You can’t; there used to be a thumbnail, that’s not there any more.

      Or do you mean how do you switch from small to album artwork. Just drag down at the bottom of the window.

      • The top of this article shows an image with two examples of a “skinny” rectangle. My 12.6 MiniPlayer doesn’t look like that. The rectangle is less skinny and has more height. The only way I’m able to see album artwork is to click the three dots, select “Show MiniPlayer Large Artwork” and it’s shown above the MiniPlayer. And it’s huge, perhaps two inches square. :(

    • If you mouse over the name of the song at the top, next to the speaker icon there are 3 dots. click for a menu, at the bottom you can show/hide album art.

      I really like the new mini player; it is much cleaner and easier to grasp. And contrary to what some others here claim, the size has not changed at all.

  4. 12.6 sucks. Terrible huge “mini” window, bugs galore (like the close button in mini view that disappears even when hovering over the window until you resize the mini window), and now it just quit/crashed on it’s own without a message, and won’t reopen. Nothing in console. Never had a problem like this before.

    • I’ve had my issues with 12.6 as well – on Windows. After i updated, it immediately froze. Always needed a force-quit, but it wouldn’t launch. I tried creating a new Library, but even then it would freeze. I had to uninstall it completely, do a system reboot, and reinstall it. That’s what finally worked – but it cost me a few hours that i would rather have spent doing something else…

    • I may be doing something wrong, but on W10 my version doesn’t even display the track title. I mean, seriously, Apple? Worst. Update. Ever.

  5. Missing the thumbnail of the artwork in the minimised view. Have they given us something else in return? If so I can’t see it.

  6. Hate not seeing the album art in the smaller configuration. Also, the little “X” in the upper left corner (that you use to enlarge the window) disappears until I click somewhere in the player. I don’t think it’s supposed to do that.

  7. The new mini-player is hideous. Talk about a backwards step. Looks more like an oversized notification window than a mini-player.
    The previous mini-player was elegant, slim-lined, unobtrusive and functional. This one… not so much.
    Now nearly double the height it was. No longer displays a thumbnail of artwork so you have to read the album title of pull up the bigger artwork.
    Seriously. Just looks like a beta that they forgot about.
    As a very long-time Apple user I’m so sick of Apple changing stuff just for the sake of change and make no mistake, that’s all this is. No improvements in functionality, usability decreased AND it looks seriously ugly.
    Obviously some low-grade coder had the brief to make changes so needed to do something to justify their existence & they created this crap.
    I use the mini-player daily & need it unobtrusive especially while editing in FCP so I’ll be looking at going back to the older iTunes.

  8. I wasted a lot of time messing around and searching the settings until I saw someone else with my complaint. The new minplayer on Windows 10 does not display the artist and song playing! You can only see what is coming up or what you already played. Seeing the cover art of the album the song is from is simply not helpful.
    What fool did this to us?

    • This is my main issue with the stupid new mini player. It makes it easier to see useless information, and it makes it awkward to get to most of the useful information. Since when is seeing the album art preferable to seeing the artist, song, and album name?
      The new size constraints also detract from the whole purpose of the player. I’m a fairly new software developer and I can see crappy code in this UI that I could easily fix in under an hour. How is it that this got by the whole software team and still hasn’t been corrected? These aren’t hard problems to solve, what I see here is just unprofessional.

    • I have the same problem – and I’ve written to Kirk McElhearn, The Itunes Guy, about the issue, which cropped up last year when Itunes introduced 12.6. He pointed out that it appears that something is “hovering” over the pause button. You can see this because it is outlined in a square.

      Please check to see if your pause button is outlined in a square. According to Kirk this suggests Itunes is somehow seeing the cursor hovering over the pause button.

      Here was his statement to me:

      “I wonder if it’s a Windows thing. I see that, in your first screenshot, the play/pause button has focus; that means that – if it works the same on Windows – you should be able to activate it by pressing Space or Return.

      As that, perhaps, an accessibility setting on Windows? If so, that might be conflicting with the MiniPlayer’s buttons and making it think that the cursor is hovering over it.”

      Wish someone would provide an app to fix the problem. I’d even pay for that app!

  9. Kirk: Your column and info have been very helpful, especially to a very low-tech 70+ senior citizen (I don’t even have a smartphone). Since you seem to be a guy who knows a lot about album artwork, I wanted to ask you this, since to me album artwork is as important to me as my music. Sometimes I have to even go to a British site for high-def iTunes album artwork when I can’t get it from iTunes…usually because the songs are in a foreign language. But, last night I upgraded to iTunes 12.7…simpler for me as I only use iTunes as a music player—no podcasts, iBooks, sharing…strictly music to store my library and synch to my iPods. But in the 12.7 version, when you now click the mini-icon at the top while a song is playing (with the Command key) the picture comes up as before, but you have to right-click each time to size it larger. In 12.6, I set the size once and it was set for the thousands of songs in my library…and didn’t change when I exited iTunes. But no more. I came up with a workaround and wrote to Apple. I found by sizing the first picture, then yellow-buttoning or hiding that picture, then all others I bring up in the library are that size…but it goes back to default when I close out of iTunes. Don’t know if it is something I can fix or whether it is a bug. They did streamline iTunes to make it lighter and less bulky, but they took a convenient feature away. Gosh, it took me weeks to master navigating iTunes and getting hi-def artwork, and though I like the latest versions of Apple apps, this new version is a little more inconvenient. Thanks so much for any insight you might have.

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