Your tricky iTunes questions answered

Kirk McElhearn Senior Contributor, Macworld

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) writes The Ask the iTunes Guy column and writes about Macs, music and more on his blog Kirkville. He's also the author of Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ.
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I’ve been getting a lot of interesting, if obscure, questions lately, including one—regarding adding album art to high-resolution AIFF files—that took me a while to solve. In this week’s column, I share that tale; discuss duplicating just the music part of an iTunes library; and tell you how to find your podcast playlists in the iOS Podcasts app.

Q: Is there a way to sort music on an iPod classic by date added?

No, you can’t actually sort the music on the iPod in that way, but you can create a smart playlist in iTunes that will let you view it by date added, and sync the playlist to the iPod.

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Deal with WAV files and combine random tracks into albums

Kirk McElhearn Senior Contributor, Macworld

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) writes The Ask the iTunes Guy column and writes about Macs, music and more on his blog Kirkville. He's also the author of Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ.
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In a grab-bag column this week, I answer some questions about tagging a bunch of singles as an album, and I discuss tagging WAV files in iTunes. I also take on the HD-versus-SD debate—as in, is it worthwhile to pay more for HD video content?

Q: I’ve got a number of singles that are tagged individually, but I’d also like to group them as an album. I don’t want to make a playlist, but I do want them to show as an album in all views in iTunes. How can I do this?

You can’t tag the same songs in two ways, so what you need to do is duplicate the tracks. Start by making a new folder on your desktop. In iTunes, select the tracks you want to “albumize,” and then drag them to that new folder to copy the tracks.

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Restore album art on iOS devices, and get the iTunes Store app to work in iOS 7

Kirk McElhearn Senior Contributor, Macworld

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) writes The Ask the iTunes Guy column and writes about Macs, music and more on his blog Kirkville. He's also the author of Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ.
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This week’s column looks at some problems involving album art going AWOL on iOS devices, and the iTunes Store app having trouble getting up in the morning with iOS 7. I also answer a couple of iTunes Store questions related to gifting items and copying links to songs.

Q: I have a number of album covers that got scrambled in the move to iOS 7; some albums now show the wrong artwork. Any ideas on what happened and how to fix it?

Problems with album artwork on iPods and iOS devices are common. Sometimes nothing displays at all; other times the wrong artwork appears. The only solution I’ve ever found to such troubles is a bit radical: Delete all the music on the iOS device and resync the music.

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Rename iTunes Radio stations and find missing podcasts

Kirk McElhearn Senior Contributor, Macworld

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) writes The Ask the iTunes Guy column and writes about Macs, music and more on his blog Kirkville. He's also the author of Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ.
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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.

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More on playlists and syncing music to an iPod shuffle

Kirk McElhearn Senior Contributor, Macworld

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) writes The Ask the iTunes Guy column and writes about Macs, music and more on his blog Kirkville. He's also the author of Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ.
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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.

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Sort artists by last name and find missing digital booklets

Kirk McElhearn Senior Contributor, Macworld

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) writes The Ask the iTunes Guy column and writes about Macs, music and more on his blog Kirkville. He's also the author of Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ.
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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.

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Solving Apple ID frustrations

Kirk McElhearn Senior Contributor, Macworld

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) writes The Ask the iTunes Guy column and writes about Macs, music and more on his blog Kirkville. He's also the author of Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ.
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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.

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