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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Ask the iTunes Guy: Moving from Windows to Mac, downloading a playlist, and more

Could there be a new wave of switchers? I've gotten several emails recently from people asking how to move their iTunes library from a Windows PC to a new Mac. In this week's column, I discuss this move, particularly when iTunes media is stored on an external hard drive. I also talk about the "missing" Gapless Album tag in iTunes, and give a quick tip on how to download a playlist from the cloud to an iOS device.

Help me move my iTunes library to a Mac

Q: I'm currently using a PC, and I've been thinking of buying a MacBook for a while. I use iTunes to manage my music and other related media files, and all these files are stored on an external hard drive. I use the Z drive for this, so it won't be assigned to any random letter like D, E, or F by the computer. I think a Mac system is different, so I am not sure how to painlessly transfer all data to the new Mac computer and don't lose any information. If I copy all those .xml files and such, will it work?.

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Hide iTunes features, finding songs, and more

Sometimes, you want to use iTunes just to listen to music, and not be bothered by the app's many other features. In this week's column, I explain how you can make a minimal iTunes, hiding many of the features you don't use. I also look at what you can do when you've got too much media to fit on your hard drive; how you can find (or not find) which songs you've "loved" on Apple Music; and explain how to fast forward in Apple's iOS Music app.

Minimal iTunes

Q: I only use iTunes to listen to music, and I find that there are just too many buttons in its interface. Is there any way I can simplify this?

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