If you’re like most Windows users, then you use iTunes to play your music.
iTunes may not be the best music player out there, but it’s good enough.
Are you tired of iTunes but not ready to make a switch? Well then I have some good news: you can easily customize iTunes with skins and new sorting options. By the end of this article, it will feel like a brand new program.
Changing sorting to provide a cleaner, simpler interface
Let’s start with something easy: changing the sorting options to create a better interface. First go to any window in your iTunes library – like “Music” – and press Ctrl+J.
A window will pop up with a bunch of different sorting options. You can remove things like “play count” and “rating” if you don’t care about those things.
Ultimately, this leaves you with a cleaner, simpler interface – if that’s something you like.
By default, iTunes 11 displays album artwork – something that can give your library a messy, confusing, and jumbled appearance. You can disable this from the Ctrl+J menu.
You can customize sorting options for every window on your iTunes – including different playlists. So if you want to see the bitrate in your main library but don’t care about that in your Top 25 Most Played, then you can easily do that.
Install a new iTunes skin
Yes, contrary to what many people believe, you can install skins on iTunes. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many skins available.
First, you need to check which version of iTunes you’re using. To do that, press Ctrl+B to reveal the top menu and then by clicking the “Help” > “About iTunes” links.
Your best bet is to use the latest version of iTunes. However, there are some skins for previous versions which may be to your liking.
I like Dusk, which is available from DeviantArt and designed for iTunes 11.3.
Estea is another popular option.
DeviantArt.com is really the only good place to get skins for iTunes. You can browse through skins by what’s been popular over the past week or by categories.
There are minimalistic skins, dark skins, and flashy skins. You download the skins as a .zip file. Those .zip files contain two applications: one application installs the skin and another application re-installs the default iTunes skin.
Here’s how you install iTunes skins:
Step 1) Extract the skin’s folder
Step 2) Drag and drop the skin’s “application” file to the iTunes folder found at C:\Program Files (x86)\iTunes\
Step 3) Close iTunes and run the application (right click to run as administrator)
Step 4) Click through the install process
Step 5) Open iTunes to check if your skin is working
That’s it! Unfortunately, Apple does not officially endorse skins for iTunes, so you don’t have a lot of options out there. But you do have some options if you’re sick and tired of the default iTunes appearance.
You also have to make sure you’re using the updated skin with the correct version for your iTunes – otherwise you may run into some compatibility problems.