While Apple makes great devices that have achieved dedicated Phantom, the same cannot be said about the software that stays. Or maybe?
With the last few iterations of iTunes, Apple has been accused of trying to fix things that weren’t broken in an effort to ‘beautify’ and ‘simplify’. Love it or hate it, in true Geek consciousness we show you how to make the best of what you have!
Free the sidebar
The new multi-color logo looks jazzy but some other aspects of redesign are a pain, especially the absence of sidebars from the main screen. Although it’s not completely gone, the sidebar only shows up under the Playlists tab. If you consider it a pain, feel free to write an e-mail to Apple. Enough opinions seem dissenting and they can actually start listening!
Switch to mini mini player
The latest redesign has made the Mini Player easier than ever, but if you’re confused about how to access it other than working hard on the menu, don’t bother! Just click on the album artwork next to ‘Now Playing’ at the top of the screen. The mini player will appear floating above your window (don’t forget to check the box next to it) ITunes> Preferences> Advanced> “Put Miniplayer on top of all other windows”) For easy control over what happens to your ears while you work. Note: If you want a mini player above the iTunes window, go for it Menu Bar> Window> Mini Player.
Switch to a micro mini player (fun)
If you don’t find the mini player short enough, download a great (and still free) iTunes plugin called Muzzy. It moves from the menu bar and allows easy and intuitive control over song playback, especially if you have to use the full screen and you don’t want to keep switching to iTunes. Adjusting the playback position of currently played songs is as easy as clicking / dragging across the album artwork drop-down. It will also interrupt playback once your headphones are plugged out!
Muzzy – minimalism in action
Capture the heat of the moment – in a playlist
Want to hear a song that just came to your mind, but you like what’s playing now and so you don’t know what to do? Right-click any song and select “Add to Up Next”, a temporary on-the-go playlist that changes as easily as your mood.
Save space: Turn on home sharing!
If you have multiple devices running iTunes on the same WiFi network, you can use this Nifty feature to access a common library across all devices. Select File> Home Sharing> Turn on Home Sharing from the menu bar. Do this and log in with the same Apple ID on all different devices. You can save as much space as the number of copies in your library!
Apple Music – Buy Free!
If you haven’t already noticed, Apple Music is promoting itself with a 3 month free trial subscription. However, you will need a credit card enabled Apple account to access it. Click the “For You” tab in the top center of the iTunes window and follow the instructions to activate your free
Be sure to disable it before the end of your trial to avoid being charged!
You should check out Apple Music for a 3 month trial
Discover great music
If you don’t agree with the marketing strategy of the big corporation, click T • on iTunes and turn on Internet Radio. You can edit the menu while you’re at it, and check the box next to it for easy access. There are literally hundreds of great stations to stream from all the audio genres you can think of, except for the dinosaur reunion. Jokes aside, Internet radio is better than the radio tab which is a part of Apple Music. As long as you have a decent internet connection, you can go!
Study for an exam, or just for it
ITunes University existed long before the MOOC came and is still gaining strength. Access it by rotating the cursor at the three points (•) in the upper left corner of the main screen and selecting iTunes U from the drop down menu. The best universities in the world (MIT, Harvard, Stanford and the like) have different types of classes for different courses. You can sync them to your iPod to save them to your library and then kill them on the subway or bus.
Create your own audiobook
This is another one for Mac users only. Click iTunes next to the Apple logo in your menu bar and go to Services> Service Preferences. Alternatively, you can access it from System Preferences> Keyboard> Shortcuts> Services. Under the text, in the list on the right, add your preferred keyboard shortcut for “Add to iTunes as Spoken Track” and make sure the box is checked. Restart your Mac and the next time you open a text file or PDF, use the shortcut you saved earlier. Voice preferences (many to choose from!) And a window will appear to confirm the location to save the file. Scary! Your favorite text is now an audiobook on iTunes!
Sing with the lyrics of your favorite songs
Do an internet search and copy the lyrics of your favorite songs to the clipboard. Right-click the song on iTunes and select Get Info (or press Command + I). Go to the Lyrics tab and paste. The next time you play the song on your iPhone or iPod, click on the album artwork in the middle of the screen so you can read the words you hear. Or if you are in a dilemma, sing loudly!
Add lyrics to your favorite songs
Add time to your life
Managing an impeccably curated library with well-referenced ID3 tags can be quite a task. Add keyboard shortcuts for most used tasks, if they don’t already exist. In addition, you can download AppleScripts that will make your life easier, as many are freely (but not easily) available on the Internet. Open the terminal and type “cd ~ / Library / iTunes” without quotes. Return hits. Type “mkdir Scripts” and re-enter. You have just created a folder where you need to keep your downloaded scripts If you think it was fun, make it a notch and teach yourself to use AppleScript. It’s a lot like English.
Alloy iTunes completely!
If you think iTunes is the next MS Internet Explorer, then avoid headaches! The only reason many people use it is because it is the recommended and default media manager for your iDevice. There are some great alternatives that can do the same thing at no cost and are not created by capitalist corporations that can care less about their users. For a complete iTunes replacement, try using Songbird, Foobar2000 or MediaMonkey. If you want a no-frills media manager dedicated to syncing your device, try CopyTrans Manager.