Last week, Apple released iTunes version 10. Amongst the changes were a musical social network (Ping), a new view with your covers in list mode, the removal of the "make your own ringtone for .99 tool" (I'm guessing with all the free ways to do this no one was using the paid method) and…window Open/Close/Maximize buttons going vertically instead of horizontally, What the…?
Personally, I hate it when companies change the software "just because." Microsoft is great at doing that – just try and find half the configuration tools from XP in Vista or Windows 7. It drives me crazy (and I have to use these things for work so I have no choice). I suppose they might be more useful that way in mini player mode, but I never use iTunes that way.
So what's the answer (besides whining about it)? Well, Mac OS X Hints to the rescue! If you haven't been checking this site out, you should. They have answers to a lot of problems, going back several years, and most of them were submitted by other users like you. For example, it didn't take long for someone to find a hidden preference to restore the iTunes window controls to normal. The Cliff Notes version? Open a terminal (after quitting iTunes) and paste in the command line: defaults write com.apple.iTunes full-window -1
If you want it back to Apple's annoying (at least to me) default, then close iTunes again and paste this into a terminal session: defaults write com.apple.iTunes full-window -0
All you are doing is changing some of iTunes' preferences – you're not altering iTunes itself in any way.
Read the full hint though – then start searching the site for any other problems that might be bugging you. I use the site frequently and read the new hints every day (they have an RSS feed, so you can keep up with little effort).
Sometimes the hints posted are something already in the documentation (that I guess the poster and editor didn't read – to be fair to the editor, he doesn't always have the software involved). Some of them just don't work. But the vast majority of the hints do work as described and are pretty useful. I have found this to be one of the most important (to me) Mac sites around. By reading the hints every day, even if I don't need them, I at least have that planted in my head. So later on, I can usually remember that something *can* be done, and head on over to Mac OS X Hints to look up exactly how.