Now, the real news. It is not a complete redesign until you make a separate, decent application to sync with iOS devices. The navigation when I plug the iPhone is still the same, and it sucks.
Also, how does it make any sense that iPhone apps are still managed by iTunes, not the App Store, when on the iPhone itself iTunes and App Store are clearly different apps? Come on Apple, you can do better than rely on fanboys praising everything you release on their blogs.
Something still feels a bit unpolished about it as well.
You can try creating a Smart Playlist with everything (only rule being "Media Kind: Music"), maybe that will give you what you want...
1) The option of a dark background in grid view has been removed; the white background is horrible;
2) Sometimes the expanded view works well (the algorithm is clearly quite clever, zooming in to remove borders, etc.), other times it looks atrocious; it's around half and half; I've now spent hours debating whether to turn it off or keep it on;
3) Track lists in columns, everywhere, often inexplicably (e.g. on an artist page with no other albums); I know there's a bunch of horizontal white space to fill, but this is an ugly way to fill it;
4) With the new grid view and 'expanded view' there is no longer a quick way to view useful metadata about tracks (e.g. last played, number of plays, etc.);
5) Previously track lists formed 'rows' that had alternating background colors (I forget the name for this) that made it easier to follow; this is no longer the case, and for some reason looking at track lists in iTunes 11 makes me want to break things;
6) The new status bar no longer allows one to toggle the unit of measurement for the amount of music in the library; previously you could toggle hours, minutes, etc. now all it shows for me is days;
7) There is no longer an easy way to copy album artwork out of iTunes; previously you could have a preview up in the sidebar, right click -> copy; now one has to select an individual track (inexplicably, doesn't work for entire albums), right click -> get info -> artwork -> copy;
8) The album artwork thumbnail at the top of the window (in the little dialog showing the track, etc.) looks ugly and can't be removed;
9) The sidebar in the old version used to match the sidebars in other OS X apps (Finder, Mail, etc.); now the font has changed to Helvetica (bold, for that matter) it doesn't match anything;
10) The coloured sidebar icons that got ditched with OS X Snow Leopard and iTunes 10 are back; I really hope this isn't a sign of things to come elsewhere in the OS;
11) The option to change the size of album artwork in grid view has been removed; it's now one size, take it or leave it. This is excruciatingly irritating;
12) Still no FLAC support; this is beyond a joke now;
That is not to say that anything you mentioned isn’t a valid point, they clearly all are. I have often thought that as comprehensive as possible lists of grievances (created by more than one person – you didn’t mention a single thing I hate about iTunes and immediately noticed) might be the ideal way to review things. When you read the review you can then just discard all the grievances you don’t care about and use the rest for your decision making.
† The App Store one is the lone exception.
I'd love to be able to relegate iTunes to its own Space and have the MiniPlayer float around the Space I use for development, etc. When I want to do basic navigation (beyond what I can do with my keyboard), I'd use the MiniPlayer; when I want something more, I could swipe over to the fullscreened app.
Maybe in 11.1.
Cohesion is a bit lacking and there are many small bugs, which is probably inevitable given the rushed release. I hope whoever worked on iTunes during the last two months (which must no doubt have been hell) gets a few days off and can then work on polishing and fixing those little bugs.
I absolutely disagree with "Moving away from the sidebar design pattern really works here" though.
What is Gruber talking about? The "Preferences" dialogs in Pages, Keynote and iBooks Author work exactly the same way as the one in iTunes.