Ask the iTunes Guy: Apple Music library, new releases, audiobooks, and more

It’s time for another grab-bag edition of this column. This week’s questions include one about adding music to an Apple Music library, getting information about all the new releases in a given genre, viewing lots of audiobooks from Audible and the iTunes Store, and more.

I want my CDs in my Apple Music library

Q: I have a family subscription to Apple Music. I have some music on CDs that I would like to listen to on my iPhone, music that I can’t find on Apple Music. In the past, I could just rip them on my iMac, and then sync them with my iPhone. I don’t seem to be able to do this since subscribing to Apple Music. How can I get this music on my iPhone?

Read more »


Ask the iTunes Guy: Understanding iCloud storage, issues with songs ratings

Apple gives you 5GB iCloud storage for free, but do you know what you can do with it? Does it have anything to do with music in the cloud, or on your iPhone or iPad? I ponder this question, along with a question about the needlessly complex issue of rating songs and albums in iTunes.

I don’t grok the cloud

Q: I bought a 128GB iPhone so I can store a lot of music on my device. But now, to listen to music on the iPhone, I have to use iCloud, and I only have 5GB free storage. Do I have to buy more storage to be able to listen to more music with Apple Music?

Read more »


Ask the iTunes Guy: iCloud Music Library, unwanted downloads, Apple Music subscriptions, and more

Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean that iTunes problems and questions have gone away. If anything, I get more emails around the holiday season as lots of people get new iPhones, iPads, and iPods. In this week’s column, I look at an issue with iCloud Music Library and unwanted downloads to iOS devices. I explain what happens when an Apple Music subscription ends. I tell you how to see play counts in your playlists. And more.

Too many downloads

Q: I’m an iTunes Match subscriber, and I’ve recently noticed that every time I add new music to my iTunes library, it downloads to my iPhone. I do want all my music to appear on all my devices ready for streaming from iCloud Music Library, however I don’t want it to be automatically downloaded to the devices. Is there any way to turn this off?

Read more »


Ask the iTunes Guy: How to set up a new iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas to all! Did Santa Claus leave an iPhone under the Christmas tree? If so, it may be an upgrade from an older device, or it may be your first iPhone. It’s simple to set up a new iPhone and migrate your apps, content, and settings from an old one, or even migrate from an Android phone. In this week’s column, I go over the process to set up a new iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

ios9 devices stock

Set up a new iPhone

Read more »


Ask the iTunes Guy: iTunes artwork, iOS Music backgrounds, larger fonts in iTunes Store

Occasionally, I get a number of questions that cover related topics around the same time. Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about seeing things in iTunes, and on iOS. One is about seeing artwork for different songs. Another is about seeing the names of songs in the iOS Music app, which isn’t always easy. And the third is about the small font size in iTunes; I offer a workaround that can make it easier to read these tiny texts.

I want to see all my artwork

Q: With older versions of iTunes, artwork for a selected song displayed in the lower left corner. I have a lot of albums that are collections of songs, where each one has different artwork. I noticed that when I view music in iTunes 12, it shows the first track’s artwork for all songs in that album. I know that the individual song artwork shows up at the top of the iTunes window, but it is very small. Is there a way to get iTunes to show each song’s artwork rather than the album artwork?

Read more »


Ask the iTunes Guy: Artist artwork, song scrubbing, and re-ripping CDs

One common complaint about iTunes is that it does things that you don’t want it to do. For example, when you view music by artist, iTunes applies album artwork to the Artists list, but you don’t get to choose which album gets picked. I discuss how to resolve this. I also look at how you can fast-forward and rewind a track in iTunes, and I examine a question about re-ripping music from CDs that were ripped a long time ago.

Changing Artist Images

artist list

iTunes chooses an album to illustrate artists when you view your music by Artist.

Read more »


Ask the iTunes Guy: iTunes Match metadata, playlist graphics, iTunes losing its place

It's been almost exactly 4 years since iTunes Match was introduced, and the service still has issues syncing metadata. I discuss this problem in this week's column, and I also explain how to customize the graphics that display in iTunes' Playlist view. And I present The Essential iTunes Keyboard Shortcut™, which every iTunes user should know.

iTunes Match not updating

Q: I’ve subscribed to iTunes Match for the last few years and I’ve been impressed with the service. However, there are problems with play counts updating (or not). Sometimes I’ll listen to a bunch of music on one device and play counts will sync instantly. Other times I can listen for hours and only the first song's play count will sync, and it can take several days before the rest are updated. This means that many smart playlists I have, which are based on play counts and last played dates, are different across my devices.

Read more »