How to Use the Old Get Info Window in iTunes 12

Apple’s changes to iTunes over the past few years have certainly been controversial, especially the recent jump to iTunes 12 in OS X Yosemite. Some users bemoan the limited sidebar functionality in the new version, others hate the album-focused and effects-heavy album views. Here at TekRevue, however, the thing we dislike the most is the new Get Info window. Apple completely redesigned it for iTunes 12, and we’ve found it to be buggy, less attractive, and overall just plain harder to work with.
getinfo-itunes-12Thankfully, there’s still a way to get the old Get Info window back in iTunes 12. As noted Thursday by writer and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, users can view the old Get Info window by highlighting a track or album, holding the Option key, right-clicking on the track(s) and selecting Get Info.
The old iTunes Get Info window will appear, fully functional just as we remember it, with a bit of styling to match the new look in OS X Yosemite. One caveat, however, is that you must perform these steps with the mouse. Longtime iTunes users know that you can normally open the Get Info window by pressing Command-I, but adding the Option key to that shortcut doesn’t work in iTunes 12. In fact, nothing happens at all. You need to use the right-click menu and select Get Info to see the traditional Get Info window. Of course, pressing just Command-I works in iTunes 12, but it brings up the new Get Info window.
It’s not clear why Apple preserved the old Get Info interface in iTunes 12, although Mr. McElhearn proposes that it might be an indication that Apple isn’t entirely set on the new design, and may return to the old design as the default in the future. Until then, users who prefer the traditional Get Info interface will have to use this (admittedly inconvenient) workaround. We’re still hoping that a hidden preference file or Terminal command will let users choose the old window design by default, but we haven’t seen any progress there just yet. We’ll be sure to update this article if another workaround is found.

12 thoughts on “How to Use the Old Get Info Window in iTunes 12”

Avatar Joanna Gottlob says:
not working for me. Any idea why?
Avatar 1watching1 says:
Some people at Apple just sit around trying to annoy ITunes users. Song lists is gone. ITunes 12 sucks.
Avatar steveh46 says:
No longer works at all, the old style window is gone for good. Thanks Apple! In order to improve the User Experience they have removed features users liked.
Avatar Johnny Dangerously says:
Well, apparently Apple “fixed” this, too, so there is now NO WAY to get to the old GET INFO menus.
Avatar Em Garlick says:
The Option/alt Key didnt make the old Get info appear? Ive been trying for ages to find a way. Please Help! 🙁
Avatar TekRevue says:
Are you using Windows? As far as we can tell, this only works in OS X.
Avatar Morogth Xavier says:
It used to work. I have Windows 8.1 (for my sins) and iTunes 12.1, the latest update which came out today. In 12.0 holding down [SHIFT] when you select Get Info brings up the old Get Info window.
In 12.1, they appear to have killed the old window off altogether. Which is frustrating as hell for me because I have a particular way of sorting and grouping my movies that I now can’t do in iTunes. Bottom line: if you want the old Get Info window, DO NOT DOWNLOAD ITUNES 12.1
Avatar lasvegascolonel says:
In Yosemite, after you get to the old Get Info windows, editing the artwork or pressing the Previous and Next buttons often results in a crash. For older systems (Maverick, Mountain Lion) it might work but it doesn’t work well with Yosemite.
Avatar johnsandiego says:
This is just one more depreciation of iTunes functionality, at least as far a music goes. I also miss 1) the ability to playlists in multiple windows for juggling songs about and 2) Shuffle, it used to be when you turned shuffle on, the tunes in the playlist would also “shuffle” so that you could always see the new play order in the window.
Avatar johnsandiego says:
*open playlists
Avatar Major OMG says:
Apple is becoming more and more sloppy with those things. Why not option CMD+I? The new window is awful. I would like a hack that the old windows becomes the default info pane…. is there?
Avatar nicmart says:
When a major piece of software is updated the designers should come before the media to be grilled like a football team after a game. Unfortunately, the tech media are a lot more sycophantic than the sports media, so they probably wouldn’t ask any tough questions.
It’s fine for Apple to try new things, but it is not fine that Apple is as communicative and transparent as North Korea’s politburo.
Avatar Fofer says:
And you can add Command-Option-I as an App shortcut too, to System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts, and it works. Makes it a little bit more convenient, at least. It really is very strange, and wildly inconsistent. App shortcuts like this typically apply to existing menu items in the menu bar, not contextual menu commands. So seeing that a binding of Command-Option-I to the existing (new) “Get Info” command actually invokes the old (now hidden) “Get Info” command is a bit strange.
Also, I note that when I do this, I no longer can hit Command-I to pull up the new “Get Info” UI. I get a beep instead. (I can, however, still access it via the menus.)
The biggest issue I have found, however, is that editing some fields doesn’t work on the old “Get Info” UI as they used to, but DO work in the new one. I just tried to edit/delete lyrics I had in some tracks, using the old “Get Info” window thanks to this tip, and iTunes 12 promptly crashed on me, when I clicked “Next” to get to the next one. It’s a reproducible crash, too. I doesn’t crash when I click “OK” to save, instead of clicking “Next” to go to the next track for continued editing, as I always used to do. Meanwhile, the same edit in the new “Get Info” window works fine, when clicking “Next” or “OK.” Even though I don’t like how they’ve redesigned the new “Get Info” window, I’ll have to use it if I want to go on editing sprees like this, because I really don’t like to see iTunes 12 crash. I don’t want to introduce any corruption to my database if I can avoid it.
Sadly I don’t think that the discovery of the old window means this new change is tentative, or that there might be a return to the older window, even via more hidden/contextual UI. I think it’s a bug that these last remnants remain, and wouldn’t be surprised to see it completely go away, in iTunes 12.1 or later. Enjoy it while it lasts?
Avatar Me With Another Clown says:
Apple’s v12 is a total POS…I want my sidebar!!!
Avatar Jon says:
But what’s the difference between the old and new? Once you double-click in a field, you can tab through the fields just like the old version. Only the most essential fields are shown at first, but others can be added. Granted, I haven’t had to use the new window for anything yet, but I don’t foresee any problems from just playing with it. I don’t see Apple going back, but I can imagine them keeping the old for the sake of people who are very used to the old, and don’t feel comfortable with change–at least for now. 🙂
Avatar Dana Khoyi says:
I have two problems with the new dialog: 1) if you enter a new album name it autosuggests existing names, but the space bar accepts the top suggestion – I can’t enter a new album name that starts with the same word as an existing album 2) I cannot paste album art from the clipboard, only by selecting a file

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