Wednesday, 2 November 2016

iTunes - “Up Next”

Those of you who have used the iTunes “Up Next” feature may find yourself frustrated by its limited behaviour.

If I initiate playback of an album, playback starts at the first track and proceeds through the album.  If you click on the “Up Next” drop-down button you will see the remaining tracks in the album listed.  To add music to the “Up Next” playlist, you would right-click on it and select “Play Next”.  This works regardless of whether the selection comprises a single track, a selection of multiple tracks, an album, or even a selection of multiple albums.  The problem is, though, that this has the effect of inserting the added track(s) immediately after the currently playing track.  This may not be what you want.  It’s certainly not what I normally want.  Often, what you really want is for the tracks to be added to the end of the “Up Next” playlist.  Unfortunately, iTunes 12 does not seem to offer that option.

Except that it does.  It is just very well hidden, in the sense that I don’t find it to be intuitively obvious.  What you have to do is drag the selection of tracks and/or albums that you want to add and drop them on the rectangular area at the top of the iTunes window that contains the track progress bar.  When you mouse-over that area immediately before dropping, you will see that the whole rectangle acquires a blue border around its edge.  When you drop the tracks, they will be added to the end of the “Up Next” playlist.  I find this useful to know, although I’m pretty sure most people would have preferred having it as an option in the right-click menu.