Unfortunately the MiniPlayer lacks a progress bar. This is problematic for me in two ways. First, I sometimes want to see where I am in a certain track. Second, I often want to skip ahead in a track -- for instance, when I'm listening to a podcast or when I want to skip through a drum solo in the middle of a live song.
Clicking the album art in the MiniPlayer brings up the artwork player window, which shows the album art in a larger window with QuickTime-type controls at the bottom (when you hover your cursor over that window). I opened that window, moved it just above the MiniPlayer on my screen, and then closed it. Now any time I want to access its controls, I click the album art in the MiniPlayer -- and the larger control window displays in the same location.
To change the MiniPlayer's volume, you click the AirPlay icon and change the Master Volume, rather than using a volume slider.
I wish that Apple had put the MiniPlayer controls and access to Up Next in the menu bar, but I expect third-party apps to add such functionality if possible.
iTunes 11's new search feature dramatically changes the way you'll search for content in your iTunes library. Previously, when you searched for something, you could do so only for the currently active library. So if you were in your Music library, you could search for music, but not movies, TV shows, or other content.
Now, by default, the search field is set to search your entire library. If you click the magnifying glass icon in the search window, you can uncheck Search Entire Library, and search only the currently active library.
To select a result, click the item. At once, iTunes will take you to that item in whatever library it lives.
The new search has two serious problems, however. First, as I noted earlier, searches of my large library took an astounding 20 seconds of beachballing before the search results appeared. Second, clicking an item dismisses the search list, so if you want to find additonal items from the same search, I had to wait the full duration of the search before seeing the results again. (I performed my testing on a late-2010 Mac mini carrying a 2.7GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a solid-state drive.) In contrast, searching a small library of about 1350 songs on a Retina MacBook Pro produced instantaneous results.
Search speed is much faster from the iTunes window if you uncheck Search Entire Library.
Syncing iOS devices