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Apple updates iTunes to version 12.4, aims to simplify interface – has it succeeded?

Apple has updated its iTunes desktop software to version 12.4, the key intention behind the update being to simplify the program, which is often criticized for being too bloated and hard to navigate.

Apple has said the range of tweaks makes it easier for users to navigate the app and switch between different kinds of content like apps, movies, music and TV shows. In fact, users can now customize a menu Apple refers to as a ‘Media Picker’ so that it only shows the sections of Apple’s various media stores a user wants it to.

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Perhaps most significantly users will find that a full-time sidebar has now been returned to iTunes. When Apple removed this feature a number of updates before many users were displeased as navigating quickly between different types of music and playlists became cumbersome.

However, it’s now back for each different kind of content. It will include Recently Added (which also makes its return to the menu), artists, albums and songs, plus the users’ playlists. These sidebar elements can also be edited.

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Whereas elsewhere the sidebar menu is simple and uncluttered like in the Apps section.

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While the addition of the Media Picker and the return of the sidebar are significant changes, it isn’t the overhaul many users are waiting for in iTunes, though that may potentially arrive alongside a revamped Apple Music believed to be unveiled at WWDC 2016 in June.

iTunes can be updated to the latest version by selecting the “Check for updates” option in the Menu bar.