When I play music in iTunes I generally choose an artist or playlist and set it to shuffle and repeat. After I installed iTunes 12, though, I could select shuffle but the familiar repeat icon—the double arrows in a loop—was nowhere to be found. I did a little digging and found out how to find the repeat function in iTunes 12.
Apple didn’t get rid of the repeat feature. It’s just buried. I’m still not clear on whether this is a bug or an intentional change to the user interface by Apple. I can’t fathom what the motive would be for Apple to intentionally hide or remove the repeat capability, so I’m assuming it’s a glitch of some sort. If you like to have your songs repeat like I do, here is how you get the repeat icon back where it belongs.
1. Right-click the Shuffle icon
iTunes displays information about the currently playing song at the top of the window. In the top middle next to the album artwork thumbnail you should see the shuffle icon (the two crossed arrows). It will be gray if shuffle is disabled and blue if the feature is enabled. Right-click on the shuffle icon.
2. Enable Repeat
A contextual menu will appear with options to enable or disable the shuffle and repeat functions. Repeat is disabled by default so you should see that “Off” is the current selection. Select “One” if you just want a single song to play over and over (and over and over), or select “All” if you want to shuffle all of the songs from the given artist, album, or playlist.
3. Voila! Repeat icon is back
Once you have enabled the repeat function you will find that the repeat icon is back where it belongs—at the top of iTunes next to the shuffle icon. Like the shuffle icon it will be gray when disabled and blue when enabled.
Note: if you turn off repeat the icon will disappear again. You can follow these steps again to enable repeat and bring the icon back. I don’t know what Apple was thinking, but I hope it gets fixed soon.
This is just one of the myriad issues, though. It’s always an exciting adventure with iTunes. The duplicate and triplicate (or more) entries of albums and songs is always fun, or having explicit songs converted to censored versions by iTunes Match, or mis-identifying albums, and all of the missing album artwork thumbnails.
Of course, all of the work I had done to correct Apple’s errors and properly categorize and organize the music was somehow lost and everything is a mess again. Apple has been doing iTunes for a while now, and it doubled-down on music with the acquisition of Beats and the launch of Apple Music. You’d think Apple—especially with its insane attention to detail—would be able to get the simple stuff right.
I guess I’ll save that story for another post.