This week’s column looks at some common problems with iTunes, some quirks with iTunes Match, and explains how to update smart playlists, among other subjects.
Q: I have a number of smart playlists but, after a month or so, they get stale. Is there any way to get them to refresh periodically and automatically with all new songs that fit the playlist criteria?
I don’t know of any way to do so automatically, but it’s easy to do so manually. Just select all the tracks in a playlist—click one track, then press Command-A—and press the Delete key. They tracks will be removed from the playlist, and iTunes will repopulate it using the conditions you set for it.
Do you wonder why you may have both an iTunes Music and iTunes Media folder on your computer? Are you curious where the Column Browser went in iTunes 11? Have you ever wondered how to make a smart playlist that that picks out music from other playlists? And have you ever wanted to copy music files from one computer to another? All this and more in this week’s Ask the iTunes Guy.
Q: I use iTunes 11 on an iMac, and my library resides on a networked Mac Pro. In my iTunes folder, I have a folder named iTunes Music that contains most of my iTunes library, but there is also an iTunes Media folder that contains some recent content. Is this normal?
There was a time when the folder containing the files in your iTunes library was called iTunes Music. When Apple released iTunes 9, in the fall of 2009, the company changed the name of the folder to iTunes Media, to more correctly reflect the fact that it didn’t only contain music.
The iTunes Guy gets all kinds of questions, and this week I look at some queries about printing playlists, which device to use for streaming music, displaying bit rates, playing music in shuffle mode, and more.
Q: When I print a playlist from iTunes, the name of the song is always in the first column, the album second, and the artist third. I do a radio show and have to record each song, and if the artist is in the first column, it would save me a lot of writing if I could print out my playlists in the order I have to record. Do you know a way of doing this?
iTunes’ print options are very limited, but you can print out lists of music in another way. Set up all the music you want in a playlist, and drag the columns to the order you want; in your case, drag the Artist column to the left. Hide any columns you don’t want to see (press Command-J to open the View Options window and uncheck the column you want to hide.)
In my last "Ask the iTunes Guy" column of the year, I discuss turning on Grid View in playlists, making playlists from folders of songs, adding tags to your tracks, and identifying the duration of selected tracks in iTunes 11.
Q: I use playlists to sort classical music—and when I click a playlist, I like to see its albums in Grid View. I could manually click through dozens of playlists and turn on that view for each one, but is there a way to turn this view on, all at once, for all of my playlists?
Unfortunately, no. iTunes assumes that you want playlists to appear in List view, which displays individual tracks. In addition, your playlists are at the left of the window, and the View button is at the right, so if your screen is big, you’ll have to do a lot of mousing to change it. I recommend that you make the iTunes window as small as possible while still showing playlists and the View button, and then go through all of your playlists and change views.
We’ve gotten a lot of questions about iTunes 11, since its release two weeks ago. In this week’s column, I address some of the most common questions about iTunes 11, about what’s missing, and what’s changed.
Q: I used to use the Column Browser to view my music, but I can’t see how to turn it on. When I look in the View menu, the Column Browser commands are all dimmed.
The Column Browser—which I, too, used regularly to drill down into my music library—is gone for the most part. You can only display it when you are in Songs view, or when you view a playlist and choose List from the View button at the top right of the iTunes window. In addition, you can no longer display the Column Browser at the left of the window; only at the top.
Editor’s note: This week's column addresses issues with iTunes 10. iTunes 11 was released on Thursday, and the iTunes Guy is hard at work on an in-depth review, which will post soon.
In this week’s column, we look at five very different questions. Read about sharing your iTunes library at home and splitting it when two people part ways. Find out how to add descriptions to TV episodes, sort iTunes U course and listen to podcasts on your Mac at different speeds.
Q: Is there a way to limit what is accessible to my iPad when using Home Sharing with iTunes? Our iTunes library is shared by the whole family but I have music I’d rather the rest of the family not be able to access.