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iTunes update may add a sidebar for quicker navigation

Some minor changes expected in the next edition of Apple's desktop music software could make a major difference in terms of ease of use.


The next version of iTunes will reportedly offer some navigation improvements.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Apple is reportedly planning a few tweaks to the next iteration of iTunes that will make it easier to get around.

Version 12.4 of Apple's music player, store and syncing software will add a new sidebar on the left to provide access to specific items, such as songs, albums, artists and genres, MacRumors said, citing an unidentified source. You'd be able to edit the menu with your own selections and drag and drop songs to playlists.

While Apple's music business has never been a moneymaker, the company sees that changing with the addition of its popular Music streaming service. But competition in streaming music is fierce. Spotify and Pandora, for example, have caught on with users who'd rather subscribe than buy their favorite tunes. A simpler and easier way of navigating iTunes could help the service retain and draw in more customers.

Another likely tweak in iTunes 12.4 is a revamped "media picker," which would use a drop-down menu to bounce between Music, Movies, TV shows and other content, MacRumors said. The current version of iTunes uses a single toolbar to switch among the various categories. In 12.4, you'd be able to customize the new menu to add or remove specific categories and use back and forward buttons to jump from to another.

The top pull-down menus will include new navigation options, making them "easier to use," according to MacRumor's source. Based on a leaked screenshot, the current View menu, which is long and cluttered, will be redesigned with fewer options and greater customization. Finally, the iTunes mini player, a small window that displays just the basic controls, will reportedly move the "Up Next" song selection to the right where it's easier to see.

iTunes 12.4 should debut in late May or early June, according to the source.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.