The word iTunes became an everyday-use term, we always hear it everywhere we go. If you own any Apple device, then you must be familiar with it. Even if you are not an Apple user at all, you must have heard that word dozens of times. So let’s begin by knowing what is iTunes? Who uses it and why? Then we dive deep into it and learn how to use it properly.
iTunes is the software that every iDevice user uses to manage his device. Unlike any other device, you cannot use any Apple device like USB storage. For example, you cannot plug in your iPod to your PC or laptop; then transfer music files to it. To do so, you have to have iTunes installed and your device registered to it, and then you can transfer whatever you want. iTunes doesn’t only work as a middle-man transfer agent only, but it is also used as a management software for iDevices.
When you plug in your device and launch iTunes, you can manage almost everything regarding the device from your iTunes window. Device content can be managed; you can purchase anything from your iTunes store –which already has everything you might want-. The iTunes store allows you to get songs, ringtones, movies, eBooks and many more; you can also rent movies and TV shows.
iTunes is also used as a media player for your local contents, and it is a powerful media player as well and can replace whatever other software you are using. To sum up, you cannot live without iTunes with you; it’s your iDevice’s soul mate, they just complete each other.
iTunes is based on a famous software called SoundJam MP, the developers of this software were captured alongside with their SoundJam in 2000; and the name was changed to iTunes. Bill Kincaid and other developers are now working with apple as the original creators of the software. Many changes and improvements have been added to iTunes since its debut with iTunes 1.0 on January the 9th 2001. The latest version now is 12.0.1 which was released on October the 16th 2014.
It is believed that iTunes purchasing policy has changed the music industry in a huge way. By having the ability to purchase a single song, you don’t have to buy a whole album just because you like a song in it. So you are saving some cash, getting only what you want for what you pay. This has conclusively ended the Album Era in music industry.
iTunes is your media library. It means that you can add whatever you like to it; internally organize what you added in iTunes; then you synchronize what you did to your iDevice, this is how it works in a very simple way. On our PCs or laptops, we always organize our media to folders; you can add any folder or specific files to iTunes library by doing the following:
– Choose the “Add Folder to Library” or “Add File to Library” from the File menu in your iTunes.
– Browse to your desired folder or file and it is added to the iTunes library.
There is also an option for scanning your local drives for media files, so that iTunes will automatically add every media file you own to the library, and then you can organize it afterwards. After adding everything you want to include to your iTunes library, comes the fun part of organizing all these files into a comprehensive form, so that you can transfer exactly what you want to your iDevice.
Organizing your iTunes media library
There are many ways that you can organize your iTunes library in; let’s start by naming some of them:
This is the first and simplest way to organize your iTunes library, using playlists. When iTunes library is loaded with your media files, you can organize it in many ways; there are some built-in playlists that you can add your media files to like top rated or recently added or played, you can also create your own playlists and add whatever media files to them.
Playlists are a way to put songs in groups according to nothing but your own sense. You can choose to create a playlist containing songs of the same genre, same artist, year or your favorites. There are no rules when it comes to playlists, anything goes and it is totally up to you to decide.
Metadata is like the identity of the song, besides the name and artist that might be obvious to you in the music section. Metadata helps iTunes to organize the library; it includes track name, artist, year, album, genre and track number. The more trusted the source of a track is, the more accurate its metadata will be. You can edit the metadata of a song or an entire album, just right click the song or album; choose get info and by clicking the details tab; you’ll find many fields that you can change.
If you import some tracks from a CD, it will most probably have their own album artwork ripped from the original CD; but what about other tracks? iTunes is a great way of finding missing artwork for individual tracks or an entire album. First of all, you have to be signed in with your Apple ID and connected to the iTunes store. Just right click on the album or the track, choose “Get Album Artwork” and here it is, in just 3 or 5 seconds and you get the artwork you want.
Sometimes iTunes fails in finding artwork for some albums, in this case; you can do it yourself. Just go to any browser and search for the artwork yourself, open it in a browser window while still using iTunes. Right-click the album you want and choose “Get Info”, go to the “Artwork” tab; and then drag and drop the newly found artwork from the browser’s window to the artwork tab. If drag and drop didn’t work, just save the picture you got anywhere on your PC, then double click the empty space in the “Artwork” tab to add it manually.
Finding and deleting duplicates:
If you are cautious when adding new tracks to your iTunes library, you will hardly find any duplicates. But sometimes it happens, especially when multiple users use the same library. Having so many duplicates just jams your library and adds a lot of used space, so let’s get rid of these duplicates. In your iTunes windows, go the “View” menu and choose “Show Duplicate Items”; this will display any duplicates in your library.
You also have the option of “Same Album” in the duplicate search results, so that you can display duplicates of the same album. In this case, make sure that you put the bitrate as one of the display columns, so that you can keep the highest bitrate and delete the others.
Sometimes you may have a lot of artists with only one or two songs in your library, when you search by artist; it causes a massive number of artists in front of you and it is just frustrating. A small trick can make this headache go away, just right-click on an album and choose “Get Info”. Then check the box next to “Album is a compilation of songs by various artists”. By doing this, any artist that doesn’t have many albums or track will not be shown in the artist view. Instead, at the top of the artist view; you’ll find a list of compilations items for easy access.