Ask the iTunes Guy: Should you re-rip your CDs?

Kirk McElhearn Senior Contributor, Macworld

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) writes The Ask the iTunes Guy column and writes about Macs, music and more on his blog Kirkville. He's also the author of Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ.
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Sometimes, what seems like a good idea turns out to have unexpected consequences. One reader wrote in about album art that wasn’t syncing to his iOS devices, and had a surprise when he found out the reason. Another wonders whether it’s worth re-ripping songs ripped from CDs more than ten years ago. And another reader is looking for a way to save Internet radio stations in iTunes. In this week’s column, I have answers to all those questions.

Missing artwork on iOS devices

Q: I ripped a bunch of CDs of Bach cantatas, carefully scanning each of the CD sleeves to add the artwork to my tracks. It displays correctly in iTunes, but not on my iPhone or iPad. All my other artwork shows up on my iOS devices; what might be wrong?

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Inconsistent buttons and faulty gapless playback

Kirk McElhearn Senior Contributor, Macworld

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) writes The Ask the iTunes Guy column and writes about Macs, music and more on his blog Kirkville. He's also the author of Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ.
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iTunes has many quirks and inconstancies. In this week’s column, I look at a few of them. Why do Next and Previous buttons display only sometimes when you view track tags? Why does iTunes funnel videos into the Home Videos category? And why isn’t gapless playback working on iOS devices running iTunes Match?

Next and Previous buttons are inconsistent

Q: When I go to edit tags for a song in my iTunes library by pressing Command-I, sometimes Next and Previous buttons display at the bottom of the window; but sometimes they don’t. It seems random whether or not they show up. Can you tell me what’s going on?

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Changing tags and missing movies

Kirk McElhearn Senior Contributor, Macworld

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) writes The Ask the iTunes Guy column and writes about Macs, music and more on his blog Kirkville. He's also the author of Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ.
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Why on earth does iTunes sometimes change the tags of content in your library? Can you back up your iOS devices to a different folder than the default location? And if you accidentally delete all your movies, how can you get them back? Read on to discover the answers to these three questions.

Why the heck are may tags changing?

Q: I have a very specific way of tagging my music, and iTunes sometimes changes the tags of many of my songs back to the way they are in the iTunes Store. I’m not using iTunes Match, so why is iTunes changing my tags?

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Ask the iTunes Guy: When iTunes Match doesn't match

Kirk McElhearn Senior Contributor, Macworld

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) writes The Ask the iTunes Guy column and writes about Macs, music and more on his blog Kirkville. He's also the author of Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ.
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In this week’s column, I examine an iTunes Match problem that happens to some people, where their music isn’t available from a Mac. I also look at two questions which can be resolved using AppleScripts: One about queueing playlists, and another about exporting playlists to listen to on a USB stick connected to a car stereo.

Where are my matches?

Q: I have over 12,000 songs stored in iCloud with iTunes Match. For some reason, I cannot access them from my MacBook Pro. I can access all of them from my iOS devices, so I know they’re all still there. Is there any way I can fix this so I have access to iTunes Match on my laptop again?

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Special tagging issue

Kirk McElhearn Senior Contributor, Macworld

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) writes The Ask the iTunes Guy column and writes about Macs, music and more on his blog Kirkville. He's also the author of Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ.
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A few weeks ago, I wrote two articles about tagging media files in iTunes. The first was about how to tag, and the second about fixing poorly-tagged music files. In this week’s column, I address a number of questions about tags: fixing duplicate artists, adding Year tags, and correcting Genre tags.

When two is too many

Q: I have a number of artists in my iTunes library that show up twice in Artists view. In some cases, a few songs from one album are under one occurrence of the artist’s name, and the remainder are under a second occurrence. How can I fix this?

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Mass-deleting iOS music, tracking playlists, and an empty year

Kirk McElhearn Senior Contributor, Macworld

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) writes The Ask the iTunes Guy column and writes about Macs, music and more on his blog Kirkville. He's also the author of Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ.
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In this week’s column, I take a look at a number of questions covering the full range of iTunes conundrums. How do you mass-delete music on an iOS device? What playlist is a song in? Why aren’t my Harry Potter movies in order? And how can I find tracks where the Year tag is empty?

Can’t delete, won’t delete

Q: I use iTunes Match and I want to delete music from my iOS device to clear up space. I can’t seem to do it from iTunes, and on my iPhone I’m only able to delete one track at a time. It there a way to delete whole albums or multiple tracks?

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Locating unique playlist tracks and the perils of the 25K track limit

Kirk McElhearn Senior Contributor, Macworld

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) writes The Ask the iTunes Guy column and writes about Macs, music and more on his blog Kirkville. He's also the author of Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ.
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iTunes is, in part, a database, and its smart playlists are just like database queries. In this week’s column, I look at an interesting question, which can be resolved with multiple smart playlists. I also discuss what happens when you break through iTunes Match’s 25,000 track limit, and answer a question about gifting content to people in other countries.

Smart playlists find unique tracks in two different playlists

Q: I have two very long playlists, and I want to find out which tracks are unique in each of them. In other words, I know that a number of songs are in both playlists, but I want to find the songs that are only in one playlist, without having to check each track individually. Is there an easier way to do this?

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