iTunes Artist View Interface Adds Content, Obscures Music

iTunes has several ways of viewing your content. You can view by Songs, Albums, Artists, Genres or Composers. Most of these views are fine, and just present your music library in a different manner. But changes to iTunes in the latest update have made Artists view very hard to use.

Here’s one example. I’m looking at an album that has a single track in my iTunes library.

Itunes interface

The window isn’t very large, but it’s not that small either. On my Mac Book Pro, it takes up most of the screen, but not as much as if it were in full-screen mode.

The problem is, of course, the Biography and Similar Artists sections. I didn’t ask iTunes to display that information, and, frankly, I’d rather not see it, but there’s no way to turn it off. As such, and because the track is rated, there isn’t enough room to display the track name. If tracks aren’t rated, then you don’t see the stars, and you see a display like this:

Itunes interface2

This album contains three string quartets, but there’s no way of knowing which is which from the display.

Interestingly, if the window is just a bit smaller, then the Similar Artists section does not display.

Itunes interface3

There is no world in which this is good design. There should be an option to turn off this extra content.

12 thoughts on “iTunes Artist View Interface Adds Content, Obscures Music

  1. I have “Show Related Content” and “Hide Related Content” buttons, but I also have Apple Music disabled.

  2. Thanks, Kirk, for the article.

    On reading your article and checking it out in iTunes, I notice the following:
    – The related content only appears for tunes downloaded from iTunes Store, not music ripped from CDs.
    – Clicking on one of the Similar Artists albums changes the view to Albums but then does nothing when prefs:Show Apple Music is turned off. Kind of a PITA + when you return to Artist view, of course, you’re back at the top of the heap vs back to viewing the artist from whence you came.
    – There are View Menu items (“All Music” and “Only Music Available Offline”) that seem to have no effect on display of related content nor when using the “All” and “My Music” buttons appearing on the Artist’s page… whether or not pref:Show Apple Music is on or off.

    I’m little miffed there’s no way to turn this Bio/Similar Artist display off, since I’m on a limited bandwidth internet connection. With Activity Monitor in Network mode, I watched as 1.4 MB (Received Bytes) racked up after browsing thru just seven Artists!! regardless of Show Apple Music and Sign In status…. I’ll be “Providing iTunes Feedback” on this one :-)

    • I see related content for almost all artists, whether I have purchased music by them, or whether all the music I have is ripped from CDs.

      I agree it would be nice to turn it off; it is a hit if you have low bandwidth.

    • Most of my music is ripped too, but these headers display in all views, unless the Column Browser is visible.

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