iTunes. It’s the undeniable standard for music playback and management on computers. It’s not a one-trick pony though, as its capabilities enable an entire eco-system of products to obtain content. If a (wagon) wheel in the sky keeps on turning, then iTunes is the hub to which all of the spokes connect.
For being such an important software package, it’s surprisingly light on user customizable features. For example, way back when iTunes 4.5 was released (>5 years ago), a small arrow showed up next the songs in your Library. It looks like this:
Those arrows have, and very well always will, take you to that content in the iTunes Store. Personally, I don’t find that useful. I already have that song in my Library, and would rather see similar content I already have. For example, if you were to click on the arrow for the artist Rush, you would be taken to all of the Rush music in your Library.
The arrow doesn’t behave in a manner that provides the best user experience, but it does behave in a manner that ensures the most user exposure to the iTunes Store. It’s not a show-stopper, but it’s a nuisance.
Thankfully, there is a very unintuitive way to make the arrows capable of working for you. Simply Ctrl-Left click the arrow and it takes you to similar content in your Library. It makes getting around your music Library much easier.
I don’t know of a method to make this the default behavior with iTunes for Windows. If I ever discover one, I’ll be sure to share it here. It would also be great if this could become a preference, but I won’t hold my breath.
Happy Ctrl-Left clicking your way to a more enjoyable iTunes experience!
Addendum on November 14, 2010: iTunes 10.x versions do away with the arrow and replace it with a Ping button. Ctrl-Left Clicking this button offers you the option to jump to various points in your library. Nice improvement on this already useful feature!
Addendum on December 1, 2012: iTunes 11 finally brings sensible UI/UX to market. The arrow now shows you what it should without any additional effort from the user.