My husband, my children and I all use the same iTunes account. I have a me.com email address. I would like to know if it’s possible to have a different password for my email, so I can keep my emails private.

Alas, no. While you could create an iTunes account with a different Apple ID, since you already have one, that would create problems when your children want to access the iTunes Store, update apps and so on. This is one of the problems with Apple’s ID system: you use your Apple ID for many things, from the iTunes Store and purchases from Apple’s online store to your email and iCloud account.

The best thing you can do is change your password and not give the new one to your children, and enter it whenever they need to get something from the iTunes Store. That way they won’t be able to access your email.

Can you have more that one Apple ID? Both my children’s iPods are linked to my iTunes account. Can they each have their own FaceTime address? At the moment both devices are receiving the same calls.

Yes, you can do this. Go to Settings > FaceTime on each iPod. In the section that says ‘You can be reached by FaceTime at’, tap your Apple ID to untick it. Next, tap Add Another Email, and add a new email address. This will take precedence over the Apple ID, which will no longer be active for that device.

I have my iTunes library on an iMac that I fear is getting ready to die. What’s the easiest way to move it to my MacBook?

This would be to use an external hard drive, if you have one. Find the iTunes Media folder on the iMac, copy it to the external drive, then connect the drive to the MacBook Pro, launch iTunes, and drag that folder on to the iTunes window. (If you were transferring between two Windows PCs, the procedure would be largely the same, except that you’d transfer your iTunes library into the My Music folder.)

If you haven’t got a hard drive available, iTunes has a Home Sharing feature that can do exactly what you want, although it will be much slower. In iTunes on each of the Macs (or PCs), choose File > Home Sharing > Turn On Home Sharing. You’ll be asked to enter your Apple ID on each computer.

Next, make sure both computers are on the same network. From iTunes on the new computer, click on the source pop-up menu at the top-left of the iTunes window – or if you have the sidebar displayed, look under the Shared section – and choose the name of the library on your iMac. (See the picture below right.) After the library has loaded, you should see Music, followed by the name of the library, in the source pop-up menu, and the Music library should be selected (or, if you have the sidebar displayed, you’ll see all the various libraries listed under the Home Sharing icon for your iMac).

To select everything in the library, click a track and press Command-A. Then click the Import button at the bottom-right of the iTunes window. Depending on how much music you have, and how fast your network is, this may take a while.

For the content of other libraries, do the same thing: select a library in the source pop?up menu, select all the content, then click Import.

When you’ve finished the Home Sharing transfer, you’ll want to copy other files over your network. Look inside your iTunes folder and copy everything other than the iTunes Media folder, making sure to put these files in the same location on the MacBook.

I store a lot of music in folders, each of which contains an album or live sets. I’d like to import these folders to iTunes as playlists, where each folder becomes a playlist. Is there any way to do this?

If you have the sidebar visible (View > Show Sidebar), you can drag individual folders to the right of the word Playlists in the sidebar. iTunes will then create a playlist with the name of the folder and copy its contents over.

A more robust option is Doug Adams’s Drop to Add and Make Playlists AppleScript (bit.ly/20O1Yk). Drag a folder containing an album or live show onto the applet, or double-click it and select a folder. (Alternatively, you can drop multiple folders, or a folder containing other folders, onto the applet.) At that point, you can choose to name the playlist after the folder name, or to identify it in Artist-Album format. The applet will then import the files into iTunes and create the playlist with the name format you’ve chosen.

I regularly purchase music content from iTunes and then convert the AAC files to Apple Lossless. I think I’m hearing a sound quality improvement on my home stereo system, but after doing a bit of research, I’m wondering now if the only thing I’m accomplishing by upsampling a purchased AAC audio file to Apple Lossless is using up more hard drive space.

Short answer: yep. Longer answer: lossless files are great for letting you retain full sound quality in a smaller file size than uncompressed audio would occupy. But you can’t get back any of the information discarded when encoding lossy audio files (such as AAC or MP3); consequently, as you suspected, converting them to Apple Lossless will balloon their file size without improving their sound quality.

Apple TV or Apple Express: which is best for streaming music from my iPod touch to my AV receiver, which doesn’t have built-in AirPlay? They cost approximately the same, and I don’t need video.

Both devices can handle streamed music, but also offer additional features, so we’d think about which features you might need in the future. The AirPort Express can serve as a router, or can extend a wireless network, and that may be useful to you at some point. On the other hand, the Apple TV doesn’t have these network features, but it does offer access to iTunes Match and other iTunes in the Cloud content via your TV and receiver.

I now rip CDs in Apple Lossless format, but prior to this I used AAC. If I bought AAC files on iTunes, then deleted them, and selected Store > Check for Available Downloads, would it find and download the songs as lossless files?

No. Apple only sells music in 256kbps AAC format. If you change the import settings (in iTunes General preferences, behind the Import Settings button), this will rip CDs in lossless format, but won’t have any effect on any content you download from the iTunes Store.

Is it possible to place one’s own tags or flags on songs? I would like to mark tracks that I’ve used for certain purposes, but I can’t find a way to do so.

You can do this in a couple of ways. If you don’t rate many of your songs, you can use ratings to flag them. For example, when we listen to music, we rate as one-star any tracks we encounter that have problems in them, such as ripping glitches.

Another possibility is to add comments to your tracks. Select a track and press Command-I, and a Comments field will appear in the Info window. You can put any text you want here; for example, you might add a keyword or tag that will serve to mark specific tracks.

After adding comments, you can search for tracks based on the text in the Comments field in a smart playlist. Choose File > New > Smart Playlist; select Comments Contains in the Smart Playlist window; and in the empty box to the right of your rule selections, enter the text that you want to search for.

You can also sort by comments, if you’re in Songs view. Press Command-J to display the View Options window, and tick Comments in the Personal section. A Comments column will appear. Click the column header to sort by comments alphabetically.

The smart playlist method is probably easier, since you can create a playlist for each specific tag you use.