In this week’s column, I answer just two questions, both of which require fairly long explanations. The first asks about consolidating iTunes libraries on two computers, and the second asks if a large iTunes library slows down the app. You may be surprised how easy it is to accomplish the first, and how quirky iTunes can be regarding the second.
Consolidating two iTunes libraries
Q: I have two laptops, and both have iTunes. About 95% of each library is the same songs; the rest are different. I want to consolidate the two libraries into one that includes all the songs in both libraries. Then, I want that one consolidated library to be shared by these same two computers. How can I do this?
I was chagrined to learn that Sal Soghoian, who was Apple’s Product Manager of Automation Technologies, was let go for “business reasons.” Mr. Soghoian had been with Apple for nearly 20 years, and was the keeper of the flame for technologies such as AppleScript, Automator, and more.
In my writings about iTunes, I have often explained to readers how they could extend iTunes’s feature set using AppleScripts. Most of these have been written by Doug Adams, proprietor of Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes, a site that started out as a repository of tools to extend iTunes, but has become an essential resource for iTunes users. [Full disclosure: Doug and I host a podcast together.]
Sometimes too much information makes things confusing; iTunes’ display of iCloud Status for movies and TV shows is one example. I explain what this means. I also discuss how to delete songs from a playlist on iOS 10, how to combine playlists in iTunes, and what happens when iTunes Match is turned off.
Cloudy iCloud Status
Q: A friend showed me his iTunes library recently. In his Movies library, he has a column called iCloud Status, which says something about each of his movies. In my iTunes library, if I display that column, everything is blank. Why is this?
Sometimes I long for the simpler days of yore. When iTunes was a music player and didn’t have all these complicated features, and perplexing clouds that make listening to music a chore. In this week’s column, I look at some irksome issues with iTunes 12. In same cases, you may not see all your playlists in the iTunes sidebar, and I explain why. I explain why you cannot sync videos to the cloud. I look at a question about sharing playlists that contain music that isn’t matched, but rather uploaded to iCloud Music Library. Finally, I look at a question about buying the contents of a playlist.
My last few columns have mostly dealt with problems with Apple’s iOS 10 Music app. There are plenty of these, and while there are workarounds for some of the changes, many of the missing features are just gone.
This week, it’s time to step back from what’s broken, and answer a few questions about how iTunes works: I look at file conversion, playlists, and album artwork.
My last two Ask the iTunes Guy columns have been about the iOS 10 Music app, and, well, the iOS 10 Music app. Lots of users are floundering in a ball of confusion with this new app that is supposed to let them easily play music. In this week’s column, I cover—guess what?—more questions about the iOS 10 Music app, but I look at some iTunes questions as well.
Q: How do I find the history of the songs I’ve listened to in the new iOS 10 Music app?
I usually receive about a dozen iTunes Guy questions a week, but following the release of iOS 10, my mailbox has been overflowing. More than 100 people wrote in with questions about the new Music app in iOS 10. I covered a number of issues with this app in last week’s column, but we’re running a special follow-up about iOS 10’s Music app this week because of, as they say, popular demand. Do have a look at last week’s questions and answers as well, as they may resolve some of your problems with this new app.
Sorting is wrong
Q: Help me! When I tap Songs, my music is sorted by artist, not by song as it was before. I have to search now to find a song to listen to. Is there any way to fix this?