Find answers to all your questions about iTunes 10!

Take Control of
iTunes 10: The FAQ

Second Edition
Kirk McElhearn

In this FAQ-style ebook, iTunes expert Kirk McElhearn explains importing, tagging, organizing, playing, sharing, and more so you can get the most out of your audio, video, and book collections in iTunes 10. You’ll also learn the best way to transfer media to an iPad, iPhone, or iPod. Covers iCloud and iTunes Match!

This product has been discontinued.

Join iTunes expert Kirk McElhearn as he helps you become an iTunes 10 power user so you can get the most out of your audio, video, and book collections. You’ll also learn the best ways to transfer media to your iPad, iPhone, or iPod.

In this question-and-answer format title, Kirk helps you appreciate and understand the process of bringing media into iTunes, tagging it, adding album artwork, and organizing it into playlists. Once you’ve become an import specialist and tagging genius, you can enjoy your music, movies, audiobooks, and ebooks, and more without hassles when it’s time to find a particular item or when you want to do something special like sync a select subset of music to your iPod, create a party playlist, identify music you haven’t heard in a while, listen to the chapters in an audiobook in the proper order, or get the most out of iTunes in the Cloud features, including iTunes Match.

Coupons in the back of the book help you save $5 off Equinux’s SongGenie tool for adding missing metadata and $3 off Rogue Amoeba’s Airfoil wireless audio streaming software.

Questions answered include:

  • How can I use iTunes Match to share music with my family?
  • How can I create a separate, smaller iTunes library for use with iTunes Match?
  • How can I put an audiobook into my iTunes Match setup?
  • How do I control sound quality when I import (rip) a music CD?
  • What should I consider before I rip an audiobook CD?
  • How do I turn on Genius?
  • Where are good places to shop for digital music besides the iTunes Store?
  • Which tags should I consider adding?
  • How do I add lyrics to my tracks?
  • How can I locate music that I haven’t listened to in a while?
  • What special things can I do with smart playlists?
  • What AppleScripts can I use to extend iTunes?
  • How do I share my iTunes library over a network?
  • What can I print with iTunes?
  • What’s the best way to deal with my huge music library?
Kirk McElhearn

About Kirk McElhearn

Kirk McElhearn writes about Apple hardware and software, books, music, and more. As a Senior Contributor to Macworld for more than 15 years, he wrote hundreds of articles, including the Ask the iTunes Guy column. He is a regular contributor to The Mac Security Blog, the Literature & Latte blog, where he writes about their writing app Scrivener, and TidBITS, as well as several other websites and magazines. He is co-host of several podcasts, including The Next Track, a podcast about how people listen to music today, and Write Now with Scrivener. Visit his website Kirkville.

What’s New in the Second Edition

Changes between the first and second editions of this ebook are aimed at discussing new features added after iTunes version 10.0.1 through 10.5.2. Altogether, this update includes about 30 pages of new content. Here are the highlights of what’s been updated:

  • A new chapter describes Apple’s new iTunes in the Cloud features, which are part of iCloud. There are three elements: automatic downloads of new purchases; the ability to download previous purchases from the iTunes Store; and iTunes Match, which lets you put your iTunes music library in the cloud. See Cloud.
  • A new tip, Choosing a Sync Method, discusses the Wi-Fi syncing feature that Apple added in iTunes 10.5.
  • In What Interesting Things Can I Do with Smart Playlists? I’ve added a bullet item to the end about conditions for creating smart playlists matching an iTunes Match status or location.
  • The last two bullet items in How Do I Make My iTunes Music Sound Better? offer new tips for using high-end audio to improve sound quality from iTunes.
  • In Where Else Can I Buy Music Online?, I’ve significantly downgraded my recommendation for the eMusic online music-subscription service and added more information about additional online music dealers. 
  • A new topic discusses Where Can I Stream Music From?.
  • What’s the Best Way to Back Up Media Files? is updated to note that Apple removed the backup feature from iTunes with the release of iTunes 10.4.
  • Sprinkled throughout the ebook are additional tips and information that I have gleaned since the first edition was released, in part thanks to questions and feedback from readers like you.
  • Because the Take Control series has begun producing EPUBs in-house, the EPUB version of this edition has an improved layout and looks more like a Take Control ebook.

What Was New in Version 1.1

Changes between the 1.0 and 1.1 versions of this ebook are aimed at making the text accurate for iTunes version 10.0.1, which shipped shortly after version 1.0 of the ebook was published. Here are the highlights of what’s been updated.

  • I deleted “How Do I Find Recommendations in the iTunes Store?” because Apple removed the Genius sidebar, which offered real-time recommendations based on music you were playing or that you had selected in your iTunes library.
  • I updated How Can I Discover New Music That My Friends Like? to describe using Ping in iTunes 10.0.1, and especially the Ping sidebar that replaces the Genius sidebar. The topic also now links to an AppleScript that you can use to hide the new Ping buttons in iTunes 10.0.1.
  • This version of the ebook also includes a link to a TidBITS article about the wide world of iTunes library sharing. See Can You Tell Me More about iTunes Library Sharing?

Does this ebook cover iTunes on the Macintosh? In Windows?

Kirk created this ebook using a Macintosh, but with Mac and Windows users in mind. With the exception of a handful of small points and the “bonus” chapter at the end about AppleScript, everything in the ebook applies to both the Mac and Windows versions of iTunes. Windows users who like to use keyboard shortcuts will want to keep in mind that some keys will be different in Windows. A sidebar in the Read Me First chapter points out the specific differences—Command on the Mac maps to Control in Windows, and Option (in iTunes) maps to Shift.

I know this ebook is about iTunes 10. Even so, what are the hardware and software minimums for running iTunes 11?

According to Apple, here's what you need:

  • Macintosh: To run iTunes 11 on a Mac, you need to have 10.6.8 Snow Leopard installed, or be running a newer version of Mac OS X, such as 10.7 Lion or 10.8 Mountain Lion. (If you are still running 10.5 Leopard, you can't run iTunes 11, but you can run iTunes 10.)

  • Windows: To use iTunes 11 in Windows, your computer should have at least a 1GHz Intel or AMD processor and 512 MB of RAM. Your operating system can be Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later, or Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8.

To learn more about the version history of iTunes, including which versions of iTunes are required to sync different older Apple mobile devices, consult Wikipedia's iTunes version history article.

  • Read Me First
  • Introduction
  • iTunes Quick Start
  • Play
  • Rip
  • Buy
  • Tag
  • View
  • Organize
  • Sync
  • Cloud
  • Share
  • Burn
  • Print
  • Back Up
  • Bonus: Extend iTunes with AppleScripts
  • Learn More
  • About This Book
  • January 23, 2013 -- We don't plan to update this ebook again. A new edition, <a href=/itunes-11>Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ</a>, is available.