Ask the iTunes Guy: Video imports, prevent accidental deletions, Home Video library issues, and more

In this week’s grab-bag column, I look at why you can’t import some videos into iTunes, how to protect yourself from accidentally deleting files from your library, a Home Videos library view glitch, and finally offer a way to view the iTunes Store and your music library in two separate windows.

Importing movies

Q: I have over a hundred movies stored on an external hard drive and have been unable to import any of them into my iTunes library. How do I do this?

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Managing and displaying playlists

Viewing the right information in playlists in iTunes can be complicated, in part because iTunes defaults to a specific display when you create new playlists. In this week’s column, I answer a single question about choosing which columns of metadata display in Music playlists. And I also discuss some other nuances about playlist views, and present a few tricks to make changing what information playlists display easier and more efficient.

Playlist columns

Q: When I create a new playlist, it displays with a default set of columns, such as iCloud Download, Rating, and Genre. I would prefer that different columns display in my playlists, and I have to do this manually. Is there any way of changing the default columns that display in new playlists?

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Managing your iTunes library

The bigger your iTunes library, the harder it is to keep it coherent. In this week’s column, I answer two questions about managing a library. The first asks how to sort artists by their last name instead of their first name, so it’s easier to find music in a large library, and the second discusses how to rip CDs when your main computer is a laptop without an optical drive.

Sorting artist names

Q: I would like to sort the artists and composers in my iTunes library by last name so they’re easier to find in lists. I know I can do this by entering the name in the Sort Artist tag, but this will take a long time. Is there any quick way to do this?

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Ask the iTunes Guy: iPhone auto-plays music in cars, varying volume levels, and audiobook sorting

Do you find it annoying that when you get in your car, start it up, and music starts playing from your iPhone? It’s not the iPhone’s fault. Some songs in your iTunes library are louder than others. It’s not iTunes’ fault. And if you download public domain audiobooks and want to move them to iTunes’ Audiobooks library, well that’s easily done.

Auto-play in cars

Q: As soon as I start my car, the first song on my iPhone starts playing. I know a lot of people have this problem; how can I fix this?

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Ask the iTunes Guy: What to do when iTunes goes wild

Some of the questions I get about iTunes issues are relatively easy to solve, but others require a lot of time and exploration. In this week’s column, I look at a single question about an iTunes library that seems to have gone back in time. There are important lessons to learn from a problem like this.

My iTunes library has gone crazy

Q: I launched iTunes recently, and the app displayed a dialog saying that it was “Importing iTunes Library.xml.” When this finished, I noticed a number of anomalies with my library. Some music I had ripped recently was no longer there, and some podcasts I had listened to and removed a long time ago were now showing up. I found old playlists that I had deleted long ago, and my newest playlists were missing. What’s going on?

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Album artwork, visualizers, and clearing the Up Next queue in iTunes 12.6

When Apple released iTunes 12.6 a couple of weeks ago, some new features were added to the app, which I discussed in this column. But there were also some minor changes, and I've been getting a lot of email asking about some of the smaller tweaks. In this week's column, I cover a number of questions about the quirks of iTunes 12.6.

Can I haz artwork?

Q: I'm pretty sure I used to be able to right-click on an album in iTunes and choose Get Album Artwork to download artwork from the iTunes Store. Now the only place I find that option is in the File menu, and that gets artwork for the entire library. What happened?

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Ask the iTunes Guy: A look at new features in iTunes 12.6

Apple recently released iTunes 12.6, and it addresses some issues that readers have been writing me about for some time. In this week’s column, I answer a couple of those questions and explain some of the changes in iTunes 12.6. Apple has—finally—brought back the ability to open playlists in their own windows. And the MiniPlayer, that small floating window that lets you control iTunes, has been updated. Read on to find out what’s new in iTunes 12.6.

Playlist windows

Q: I remember that, some time ago, I could open playlists in iTunes in their own windows. Will Apple ever bring that feature back?

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