This week’s column is a grab bag, where I look at a number of interesting questions about Genius, sorting albums by an artist’s last name, finding digital booklets in your iTunes library, and more.
Q: I use Genius quite often and wonder how it works. Is it similar to Pandora where music is analyzed and matched using computer algorithms, or is it “crowd sourced,” based on matches done by other iTunes Genius users?
Also, why is Genius “unavailable” for certain songs? I’m not referring to obscure songs but songs such as “Sympathy for the Devil” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones, or “No Sugar Tonight” by The Guess Who. I’ve run into quite a few other songs for which Genius is unavailable in my 7000-plus track library.
If you use the iTunes Store, or any other Apple online service such as iCloud, you have an Apple ID. This is the email address associated with your Apple account. I get lots of questions about Apple IDs, and in this week’s column I answer a number of them.
Q: My Apple ID is an email address that I used to use but that I recently changed. I won’t be getting email from it anymore, so I need to change it. How can I do this?
There are two types of Apple IDs, and the flexibility they give you depends on the type. The first is an Apple ID based on an Apple email address, such as @icloud.com, @me.com, or @mac.com. If your Apple ID uses this type of address, you can’t change it.
This week’s column deals with solutions to common (and some less common) problems that use little-known features of iTunes or third-party software. The questions this time can only be solved with a workaround, or by using iTunes in a way it’s not intended.
Q: I have some tracks on a CD that, when ripped with iTunes, have skips and clicks. I’ve tried ripping the disc on a different Mac, but I have the same issue. Is there any way I can fix this?
It’s entirely possible that there’s a problem with the CD itself; you can test it by playing it on a standard CD player. If it plays correctly, then the CD is fine, and your computer is just having trouble ripping it.
In this week’s column, I look at a few very different topics. One common question I get is about the iTunes Store and sending gifts to other countries; another concerns joining two music files to make one; and I also explain how you can cross-fade songs on an iOS device.
Q: I enjoy cross-fading when listening to my favorite songs. I can do this easily on my computer, but how is this possible on the iPod, iPad, or iPhone?
In a grab-bag installment of The iTunes Guy, I look at how to ensure that tags and metadata get retained when you re-rip CDs, how to deauthorize computers for iTunes Store accounts, and how to change the name of your iTunes library for Home Sharing.
Q: I have a standard-quality MP3 album on my Mac that I’ve listened to for several years, added lyrics to, and so on. Now, because I discovered the Apple Lossless format and still have a CD of that album in my house, I would like to rip the CD again in higher quality. However, I don’t want to lose any of the metadata, because I have smart playlists that rely on the songs’ play count. Is it possible to do this without too much hassle?
It is. There is an easy (mostly reliable) way and a slightly more complicated (but better) way.
It’s time for another grab bag, selected from the many questions I get from readers. In this week’s column, I look at some questions about font size in iTunes (spoiler: your options are limited), identifying music file types in iTunes, finding which tracks iTunes has lost track of (spoiler: there’s an easy way), and moving podcasts to another Mac.
Q: I’m having trouble seeing the type in iTunes. Is there a way to change the font and/or size in its display?
Many of the iTunes Guy columns focus on music, since the majority of the questions I receive are about that kind of media. But I get a fair number of questions about videos, and in this week’s column, I cover four questions dealing with videos: their formats and tags, and how to make smart playlists to group movies by title.
Q: I have several TV shows that I ripped from DVDs and put in iTunes. There are several episodes per season; what I want to do is have them all under the main title of the show, but by season. For example, Season 1, Episodes 1-8, and so on. I can’t figure out how to get this to work.
iTunes lets you set a tag for this, and this is a good time to remind people about the tags that are specific to videos. If you select one or more videos in iTunes, then press Command-I, you’ll see a Video tab in the Info window. Click this to see the tags that apply only to videos. If you’ve set the Media Kind (in the Options tab) to TV Show, you’ll see fields as in the screenshot below. If you’ve set the Media Kind to Movie or Home Video, the fields will be slightly different.