With a new iOS version and new iPhone hardware comes an updated version of iTunes. This week’s column covers a problem with missing podcasts in iTunes 11.1 and explains how to change the names of iTunes Radio stations. And because the best way to keep your iTunes library organized is to make sure your tags are correct—if they’re not consistent, you’ll have trouble finding music and other content when you want to play something—I also address a number of questions about tags.
Q: I like iTunes Radio, but I was wondering if it’s possible to change the names of any of the iTunes Radio stations?
You can’t change the names of the Featured Stations; these are the ones at the top of the iTunes Radio window that are programmed by Apple. But you can change the names of any stations that you created. If you create a station from a song with a long name, such as “Half-Step Mississippi Uptown Toodeloo,” you might want to shorten that name. To do this, click the radio station’s icon in the iTunes window to expand the view. Click the name, and you’ll see that it becomes highlighted. Type the name you want, and press Return. The new name will propagate to all your devices that are linked to your iTunes Store account.
I get lots of questions about playlists: how to create them, how to work with them, and how to organize them. In this week’s column, I look at several questions related to playlists, and I also tackle a bonus question about syncing music to an iPod shuffle.
Q: I listen to a lot of electronic music, and have various DJ sets and albums on my iPod, but I’d like to simplify the way they’re organized. For example, I have four Dave Seaman mix albums, and each album contains around 30 tracks, but at the moment they are all in the playlist “dave seaman.” Can I have a “dave seaman” playlist, and then within that playlist have the albums in separate lists so that I don’t have to scroll through 90-odd tracks to find the album I want to play?
Yes, you can do this with a playlist folder, which is similar to a folder in the Finder, in that it can contain other playlists and subfolders.
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.