After delaying the release of iTunes 11 by a month, Apple has released the much-anticipated update for both Windows and Mac users. The new iTunes is redesigned from the ground up, with a completely new look and feel. Along with the new look comes some new features: deeper iCloud integration, a new MiniPlayer, and a feature called "Up Next."
Up Next is more or less a living playlist within iTunes. You're able to add, rearrange, edit, and delete songs from the Up Next queue at any time.
To get started with Up Next, update to iTunes 11 and then view your music library. When you hover your mouse over any artist, album, or song you'll see a small arrow icon appear. Click on the arrow to reveal a list of actions you can take.
Selecting Play Next will play that item (album, artist, or song) next. Or you can add it to the Up Next queue by selecting Add to Up Next.
To view your Up Next list, click on the three lines at the top of the screen. You'll see how many songs are currently in the queue and what order they'll play in. To quickly view your Up Next history, click on the clock at the top of the list. Clearing a list is as simple as selecting Clear.
When you mouse over a song, you'll see some additional icons appear next to the song. On the left you have a button to delete the song, and on the right you have that same arrow icon (complete with same actions) you encountered in your music library. You can also drag and drop songs to rearrange the list as you see fit.
When adding multiple items (albums, artists) to the Up Next list, iTunes will ask if you'd like to clear the list first, or simply add the new items to the current items.
Up Next is also available when using the new MiniPlayer. Here you can perform all of the same functions you did previously. Clicking on the Search icon will let you search your library and add it to Up Next, without the need for iTunes to be fully opened.
Apple also issued an update to the iOS Remote app, which can be used to remotely control your Apple TV and iTunes library. The update also allows you to view and edit your Up Next list from the device. You can download the Remote update from the App Store.
There are plenty more features included in iTunes 11. Up Next isn't revolutionary by any means, but it's a welcome feature for those who use iTunes as their main music player.