Ask the iTunes Guy: Changes in iTunes 12.4

“iTunes keeps changing things...” I hear this a lot from readers who write in with questions about why a specific feature is missing, or why suddenly much of their iTunes library looks different. I discuss three such questions in this week’s column. One about finding the iTunes Store Wish List in iTunes 12.4, another about a change in the way you rate albums, and the third about the way playlists display. I also suggest a way to shuffle music on iOS by artist or genre.

Make a wish

Q: With iTunes making changes in how things are viewed, is there a faster way to view my Wish List, or is going to the iTunes Store front page the only way to do it now?

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Why does iTunes say some of my music is 'No Longer Available'?

What do Apple Music, network attached storage devices, and the iPod nano have in common? Well, they’re all topics of questions I examine in this week’s column. Why is some music in an iTunes library “No Longer Available?” I offer a fix for this issue. How can you ensure that iTunes works correctly with a NAS? Check out my advice. Does Apple Music work with the iPod nano? And how do you quickly get all of an artist’s music to a playlist?

Unavailable music

Q: I have about 100 songs in my iTunes library that show an iCloud status of “No longer available.” However, these are not songs I added from Apple Music; they are all either ripped from CDs or purchased from iTunes, and I have all the non-DRM files on my Mac. I am guessing that when I first signed up for Apple Music, these were “matched” by Apple Music, and were available for streaming on my other devices. Now, since these have been pulled from the Apple Music catalog, I can no longer play them on secondary devices. Is there a way to force Apple Music to upload these tracks, as it is supposed to do for tracks it cannot match in its catalog?

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Changes in iTunes 12.4

iTunes 12.4 is out, and there are lots of questions about the major and minor changes to this version of the app. In this week’s column, I discuss one question about a podcast view that has been removed from iTunes. I also look at a question about backups, and explain how I got my iPad Pro to load my iCloud Music Library library.

Where are my recent podcasts?

Q: There used to be a Recent Updates section for podcasts in iTunes. I could browse it and see which podcast episodes had been updated recently. Is this gone in the latest version of iTunes?

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Issues with managing iTunes files

I’ve gotten lots of interesting questions lately, many of which go deep into how iTunes manages files. The first one I look at asks about double entries for songs in iTunes. I also look at a possible way that Apple could add new, interesting smart playlist conditions, and I discuss holiday music, which you really don’t want to hear all year round.


Q: I moved some of my music files from the iTunes Media folder to an external hard drive. The tracks remained visible in iTunes, but unplayable (clicking on them prompted a dialog box asking to locate the tracks). I re-added the music files to my iTunes library, but now every track is listed twice. If I delete one of the listed tracks, the associated file gets deleted. How can I get rid of these double entries?

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Missing apps, accessing your Wish List, and duplicate playlists

iTunes evolves over time, and sometimes there are good reasons why features don't seem to work as they should. In this week's column, I discuss why apps don't transfer from iOS devices, and how to get them back. Yet some changes are inexplicable, such as one affecting an iTunes Store menu; I explain a workaround for this change. Finally, I look at a problem with duplicating playlists, and offer a possible fix.

Missing apps

Q: All my apps have disappeared from my iTunes library. iTunes also refuses to let me transfer the apps from my iPhone or iPad. The Transfer Purchases menu command is visible when I right-click on my iPhone, but nothing really happens. How can I get them back?

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Moving playlists, how to join tracks, and more

Spring is here, and we’ve all changed our clocks, and it’s time to get back to our iTunes libraries and do some spring cleaning. In this week’s column, I explain how to move a playlist from one computer to another, how to join tracks, and how to switch to a different country’s iTunes Store on iOS. I also discuss the distressing problem of more recent CDs being louder than older ones, and explain how to listen to music at different volumes in shuffle mode.

Moving a playlist

Q: I have an old iPod that needs replacing. My iPod contains music from a playlist that is on an old laptop. It contains approximately 2,500 songs out of about 60,000 in my iTunes library. I would like to transfer the playlist to a new computer or laptop and do not want to have to trawl through 60,000 songs again and pick out the ones I like. Is there any way to do this?

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Rating songs, music in the cloud, and more

When Apple updated iOS 9.3 recently, they made some changes to the Music app. One of these changes is the way you rate songs you’re listening to; I explain how you do this now. I also look at how you can show or hide music in the cloud on your iOS devices, and answer two questions about getting lost in iTunes.

How can I hide music in the cloud on my iPhone?

Q: In addition to music that I’ve synced from iTunes to my iPhone, the Music app displays everything I’ve bought from the iTunes Store. How can I make these songs go away?

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