Take your iTunes know-how to 11!

Take Control of
iTunes 11: The FAQ

Kirk McElhearn

In this FAQ-style ebook, iTunes expert Kirk McElhearn explains importing, tagging, organizing, playing, sharing, streaming, and more so you can get the most out of audio and video in iTunes 11, including podcasts and iTunes Radio. You’ll also learn techniques for transferring media to an iPad, iPhone, or iPod.

This product has been discontinued.

Let iTunes expert Kirk McElhearn help you become an iTunes power user and get the most out of iTunes 11 whether you want to enjoy your own media or try cloud-based options like podcasts and iTunes Radio.

With a question-and-answer approach, Kirk shares his love of music and helps you understand the process of bringing media into iTunes, tagging it, adding album artwork, and organizing it into playlists. You’ll also learn the best ways to transfer media to an iPad, iPhone, or iPod.

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

Find answers to questions about how to:

Play: This chapter covers how to play audio and video, and how to make quick playlists with Genius and Up Next. It also describes how to bring back the left-hand sidebar. Or, you can learn to love the new Source pop-up menu.

Rip: Add content to iTunes with detailed steps for ripping music CDs and audiobooks. (If you want to rip—or tag—audiobooks so they play nicely from iTunes, don’t miss this chapter!) Also, find general advice for ripping video DVDs and learn which file formats work in iTunes.

Buy: Become expert at managing and sharing iTunes Store media (including free podcasts and iTunes U courses), and understand what the iTunes Store does well—and not so well. Plus, discover other online music vendors, whether you want to download or stream content.

Tag: Kirk describes himself as tag obsessed. If that description fits you, or if you just want to take control of your tags, this chapter is for you. Tags are descriptive bits of information—known to geeks as metadata— that describe your media. You can sort and filter based on tags, giving you myriad ways to manipulate your iTunes library. Learn which tags to bother changing, how to tag a file to put it in a particular library, how to add lyrics and album art, and more.

View: iTunes has more views than flavors of ice cream at the corner grocery. Get the scoop on how to switch between views, where your album art is (or is not), and so forth. This chapter also discusses plain-as-vanilla contextual menus and Apple’s new menu flavor — the popover.

Organize: Make a simple playlist of romantic songs, workout songs, or whatever theme you like. Also, create smart playlists that, for example, comprise only your 5-star faves or tunes you haven’t heard recently. You’ll also find answers to questions about operational issues like dealing with a huge library, multiple libraries, and where iTunes puts your media files…including ebooks in 10.9 Mavericks.

Search: Find media in iTunes, plus learn tricks such as searching based on star rating or locating duplicates.

Sync: You’ve put all your media in iTunes… now, how do you transfer it to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch? This chapter answers questions about manually managing the transfer and has help for people who have too much music. It also notes options for playing media through a second- or third-generation Apple TV.

Cloud: Access content you bought from Apple even if you never actively downloaded it, from your computer or an iOS device. Plus, try iTunes Match, a subscription service that uploads your music to the cloud even if you didn’t buy it from Apple.

Share: Find answers to questions about sharing iTunes library media with others, primarily through Home Sharing on a local network.

Burn and Print: Learn how to copy music from iTunes to a CD. Also, get directions for printing a song list, for example, to include in the jewel case of said CD.

Back Up: This short chapter has tips and inspiration for backing up your (potentially irreplaceable) iTunes media.

Extend with AppleScript: Mac users can make iTunes do more with AppleScript. Learn about key AppleScripts that you can download to make iTunes jump through even more hoops.

Whether you are new to iTunes or a longtime user, I highly recommend Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ.
—Peter Bird, MyMac.com review

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 Version 1.3

Along with some incidental updates and revisions, the new content in version 1.3 of this ebook includes these items:

  • Wish list info: iTunes now has a Wish List that is visible in your music library, along with lists that show your recent listening and previewing history. See How Do I Use the iTunes Store Wish List?.

  • Mavericks info: New in OS X 10.9 Mavericks is iBooks for Mac. And iTunes for Mavericks no longer manages ebooks, because iBooks has taken over that job. You can read about it in Where Have My Ebooks Gone?.

  • Books vs. audiobooks: If you’ve not yet upgraded to Mavericks or you’re running iTunes for Windows, your copy of iTunes has a Books library, whereas in iTunes for Mavericks, the Books library is called Audiobooks and contains only audiobooks. I discuss both cases in the book.

  • Podcast-related help: I’ve added a substantial section about podcasts, which have become much more complicated to manage in iTunes 11. See How Do I Sample or Subscribe to a Podcast? and How Do I Manage Podcasts?.

    Because the Podcasts library has different views than the other libraries, I’ve added a topic, How Do the Podcast Library Views Work?.

  • Power Search: The iTunes Store Power Search used to be accessible from the footer of pages in the iTunes Store, but you can reach it now only if you know the secret link; see the first bullet item in How Do I Use the iTunes Store Efficiently?.

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 the 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.

  • Read Me First
  • Introduction
  • iTunes Quick Start
  • Play
  • Rip
  • Buy
  • Tag
  • View
  • Organize
  • Search
  • Sync
  • Cloud
  • Share
  • Burn
  • Print
  • Back Up
  • Bonus: Extend iTunes with AppleScripts
  • Learn More
  • About This Book
  • July 18, 2015 -- We don't plan to update this book to describe any small changes that Apple made toward the end of iTunes 11's life, but we have created a new edition — <a href=iTunes-12>Take Control of iTunes 12: The FAQ</a>. Published right on the heels of iTunes 12.2, this edition covers Apple Music and iCloud Music Library.