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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Ask the iTunes Guy: Your questions about playlists

Playlists are one of iTunes’ most useful features, but they can be confounding. In this week’s column, I look at three questions about playlists. I discuss why playlists in folders are suddenly not staying in alphabetical order; I explain how to make a playlist to find all the songs and albums that you have “love” in iTunes; and I show how you can add the same song more than once to a playlist, to hear your favorites more often.

My playlists are out of order

Q: I have several playlist folders in iTunes, each of which contains a number of playlists. I have recently noticed that when one of the playlists is edited (when I change or add a song, for example) the playlist automatically moves to the bottom of the playlist folder - i.e. it is no longer automatically sorted alphabetically within the folder. Is there any way to fix this?

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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?

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