15 iTunes tips and tricks

Get the most out of iTunes 12 with these 15 tips and tricks.

By

  • Sidebar Show Sidebar
  • Up Next Up Next
  • Home Sharing Home Sharing
  • Family Sharing Family Sharing
  • Siri iTunes What is this song?
  • iTunes U iTunes University
  • Album artwork 2 Album Artwork
  • Manual Artwork Manually add artwork
  • iTunes Match iTunes Match
  • iTunes Match playlist Smart Playlists
  • show duplicates Show Duplicate Items
  • Changing media kind Change Media Kind
  • Mini Player Mini Player
  • 2 AirPlay Multiple Multiple AirPlay
  • iSight iTunes Redeem with iSight
  • More stories
Next Prev

Show Sidebar: get the side menu back in iTunes

Apple has been hiding the sidebar in recent versions of iTunes. To get it back in iTunes 12 simply select the Playlists options at the top of the screen and it will appear on the left.

Next »

Next Prev Sidebar

Apple has been hiding the sidebar in recent versions of iTunes. To get it back in iTunes 12 simply select the Playlists options at the top of the screen and it will appear on the left.

 

Create temporary playlists on the fly

Playlists are a great feature in iTunes but there is also something similar called Up Next which allows you to create a temporary playlist while listening to your library. All you need to do is right click (or ctrl+click) on a track and select the option Add to Up Next, and the song will be placed in the queue. To see what songs are lined up, go to the play windows at the top of iTunes (where the name of the current track is displayed) and click on the three horizontal lines to see the playlist.

 

Use multiple iTunes libraries with Home Sharing

One helpful feature that's been in iTunes for a while is that of Home Sharing. This is different to Family Sharing in that your libraries remain separate, and you buy your content separately, but with Home Sharing you can stream content from up to five iTunes libraries on the same WiFi connection. This is great if you use a few different machines but don't want to install your entire library on all of them.

To set it up go into iTunes and select File>Home Sharing>Turn on Home Sharing and enter your Apple ID.  Now repeat the process on your other machine, then you'll see a little house appear in the top left of the main iTunes window. Click this to see the content on other machines.

 

Share content and purchases with Family Sharing

With the release of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite it is now possible to share content (including purchased music, movies, and apps) between six family members by using the Family Sharing feature.

To set this up go to System Preferences on your Mac, choose iCloud>Set up Family and follow the instructions. Then you can add the Apple IDs of your loved ones and make the each others content available to your Mac or iOS device.

 

Use Siri to find out what song is playing

If you're out and about and suddenly hear a song that you must have, but don't know what it's called, Siri can help you. Simply say to it 'what song it this' and the digital assistant will search its data banks and return with the results. Then you can click on the iTunes store link and the track will be purchased and added to your library.

 

Learn something new this year with iTunes University

While most of us associate iTunes with music and movies, one of the real jewels in Apple's crown is the iTunes University. In this separate store you'll find a wealth of courses from renowned educational bodies including Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, and Yale. Each course is broken into several lectures, with many including notes that you can read on your iPad or print out. The best part is that they are all completely free. So this year you can learn Statistical Probability, Philosophy, Advanced Mathematics, or all of them, without it costing you a penny.

 

Get album artwork to make iTunes look great

You can get album artwork for any songs in your library.

Click Store > Sign and enter your Apple ID and password.

Now click iTunes > Preferences > Store and ensure there is a tick in the ‘Share details about your library with Apple’ option.

Now Control + Click any album and choose Get Album Artwork.

Alternatively click File > Library > Get Album Artwork to artwork for all the albums in your library.

Read: Move your iTunes library to a new Mac or external drive

 

Manually enter album artwork from Google Image search

You can manually add artwork to iTunes.

Click an album cover and select all the tracks in this list beneath it.

Now choose File > Get Info (or press Command + I).

Open Safari and search for the image in Google Image Search.

Drag the image directly from Safari to the Artwork box to add it to iTunes.

Read: Get music on to and off of your iPhone without using iTunes

 

Upgrade music quality with iTunes Match

If you have iTunes Match you can use it to upgrade music you have imported from a CD.

iTunes Match has a high bitrate of 256 kbps, which is typically better than your regular music.

Make sure you have set up iTunes Match first (Store > Update iTunes Match).

Now delete a track but don’t click the Also Delete This Song from iCloud button.

The song will still be in your iTunes library. Click the iCloud icon to re-download it. The download will be at the full quality. Read: How to create playlists on your iPhone or iPad

 

Create a playlist to update iTunes Match

You can create a couple of Smart Playlists to find all the music in your library that can be upgraded with iTunes Match. Click on File > New > Smart Playlist. Then set Match to All of the Following rules:


        Bit Rate is less than 256 kbps.
        Media Kind is Music.
        iCloud Status is Matched.
        

Click OK and this playlist will now display all of the music in your library that can be upgraded with iTunes Match.
Now repeat the process but replace the last line with the following:
      

         iCloud Status is Purchased.

 

Clean up iTunes with Show Duplicate Items

Over time your iTunes library may have become cluttered with multiple copies of the same file. This can cause trouble in albums, because each song plays twice. There is a way to clear out any dopplegangers though.
Choose My Music and click on the drop down menu on the right side of the screen, just beneath the Search Library box, then select Songs. Now choose View > Show Duplicate Items, to see just the songs of which there are more than one copy.

Now you can go through and manually delete the unwanted tracks.

Read: Tidy up iTunes by removing duplicate songs

 

Changing Media Kind from Home Movies to Television or Movies

If you add movies to iTunes to watch (in iTunes or on your Apple TV or iOS device), then you’ll no doubt be a bit perplexed at why they’re always added to Home Movies.

You can change them to the Films or TV Programmes by clicking on the file and choosing File > Get info (or Control + I).

Choose Options and use the Media Kind window to move it over to Movies (for Films) or TV Shows.

 

Use the Mini Player

iTunes has always had a handy little feature called the Mini Player. This, as the name suggest, is a small control panel for your music.

To enable it you'll need to ensure that the iTunes app isn't running in full screen mode. Then either go up to the artwork displayed in the play window at the top of the iTunes app (where the name of the current track is shown) and you'll notice a couple of small squares appear, click on this to switch to the player.

Otherwise you can go in iTunes to Window>Switch to MiniPlayer, or use the keyboard short cut Shift+cmd+M.

 

Use Multiple AirPlay devices to play music all over the home

If you have multiple AirPlay devices (such as an Apple TV and AirPlay speaker) you can play music through all devices at once.

Click AirPlay and Multiple and tick all the devices you want to use.

 

Redeem a payment card with iSight instead of tapping in the code

If you have an iTunes store card, you can redeem it by holding up the card to your iSight camera (instead of tapping in the code).

Apple iTunes will scan the card using the camera and redeem it for you automatically.

Open the iTunes Store and click on Redeem and select Redeem with Camera.

Elsewhere on IDG sites
Galaxy Note 8 vs iPhone X

Galaxy Note 8 vs iPhone X

Procreate 4 is out now

Procreate 4 is out now

How to update iOS on iPhone or iPad

How to update iOS on iPhone or iPad

Les meilleures applications pour enfants 2017

Les meilleures applications pour enfants 2017