In this week’s column, I look at four interesting questions. One about setting the start and end time for tracks in the cloud, another about shunting some or all iTunes media files to another location, and two about smart playlists.
Q: I bought an iPad Air, and I don’t plan on syncing it with my desktop computer because I download all of my iTunes music from the cloud. But there were a number of songs that I have edited to be shortened. Some of them have a minute of banter at the beginning or end from the musician at a live show that I don’t want to hear every time (and a couple with “colorful” language banter I don’t want my kids to hear when the song comes up on random play). As far as I can tell, I can’t edit the track length on the iPad. Where is this simple feature?
What you’re talking about is a useful feature that lets you tell iTunes to either start or end any track at a specific time. It’s accessible when you select a track, press Command-I, then click the Options tab. As you can see below, you then set a Start Time and/or an End Time, then click OK.
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In this week’s column, I examine two related questions about moving podcasts and music from one Mac to another while retaining metadata. I also look at a question about smart playlists built around specific words, and explain an easy way to create a text file with a list of all your playlists.
Q: Can you tell me how to move podcasts from an old Mac to a new Mac without losing all of the important metadata: played status, time remaining, and so on?
While I have an answer to this question, I’ll couch it in multiple caveats. iTunes’ podcast management is close to being disastrous since iTunes 11. It is hard to understand—even for the iTunes Guy—and it’s unreliable. Some users find it works just as they want; others want to pull their hair out and switch to other apps to manage podcasts.
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In this first column of 2014, I address how to get a list of apps on an iOS device, show some tagging tricks for multidisc sets, and offer suggestions for iTunes controllers.
Q: Like many of us, I expect, I have a lot of apps in my iTunes library that I no longer need. I’d like to clean them out so I don’t waste time, disk space, and bandwidth updating them, and cut down on clutter and confusion. I have two iOS devices, and would like to know of a method to get a list of the apps on each, combine the lists, and toss out anything not on them. Do you have any suggestions for an easy way to do this?
You can see all the apps installed on a given iOS device in Settings > General > Usage, but I don’t think that’s what you want. I can think of two ways to get a list to determine which apps you can delete. The first is to back up your iOS devices; if you have them set to back up to iCloud, you need to do a backup to your Mac. Next choose Go > Go to Folder in the Finder and enter
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~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup. In that folder you’ll see other folders with long alphanumeric names; there should be one for each of your iOS devices. Look for an info.plist file inside one of these folders.
It’s the holiday season, and many of you may have new Macs, new iOS devices, or new content to add to your iTunes library. This week, I look at questions about poster art for movies, printing a list of albums, and the infamous “Other” content on iOS devices.
Q: I buy movies and download the digital copies into iTunes and normally it runs smoothly. However, I have a couple of movies that don’t show the poster in iTunes. I tried right-clicking and downloading artwork but that didn’t work. Any ideas on how to fix it?
As far as I know, the Get Album Artwork menu item you’re talking about only works with music. For movies, you need to find your own cover art.
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