Welcome to iTunes Support 101

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  1. #1
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    Welcome to iTunes Support 101




    iTunes Support 101

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    Automatically Add Songs & Movies to iTunes




    Using a little known folder buried within the iTunes directory, you can automatically add any compatible media to iTunes, be it songs, music, movies, just by placing files into the directory. This gets even better when you point downloads to that directory, because all downloaded media is then immediately synced to iTunes with no user interaction. It’s extremely easy to set up, here is how in two simple steps:

    Navigate to your home folder ~/iTunes/iTunes Media/ and find the “Automatically Add to iTunes” folder
    Select “Automatically Add to iTunes” and hit Command+L to make an alias of it, drag that alias to either the desktop or to the downloads folder
    Anything dropped into that folder imports into iTunes immediately.

    Next you will want to point downloads to that aliased folder, so open your torrent clients, SoundCloud, web browsers, or where ever else you are getting media files from, and change their respective download directories. You can also change the name of the user ~/Downloads directory and move the aliased “Automatically Add” folder in it’s place, but that isn’t the best idea if you download other files too.

    Once you have apps pointed at the folder, all completed media files will now go directly to iTunes with no user involvement, copying, clicking, nothing, everything is automatic. This is an excellent way to have files downloaded from the web, newsgroups, torrents, etc, synced directly to your iTunes library, which can then go right to iOS devices.

    This should work with nearly all versions of iTunes and all versions of Mac OS X. While the guide is geared towards Mac users, the folder probably exists and works the same in Windows too, though you’ll have to make a shortcut instead of an alias. Enjoy!


    3-21-12

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    Enable Half-Star Ratings in iTunes




    iTunes allows users to rate songs on a 1 star to 5 star basis, song rating data can then be used for a variety of purposes, either for your own reference or for creating custom play lists that only include songs rated over a certain star value. But what if a song is somewhere in the middle of the rating scale, not quite worthy of 4 stars but not a 3 star song either? For more precise personal ratings, enable the half-star rating option in iTunes.

    Launch the Terminal, found within the /Applications/Utilities/ directory, and enter the following defaults write command:

    defaults write com.apple.iTunes allow-half-stars -bool TRUE

    Quit and relaunch iTunes for changes to take effect. To give something a half star, click and slide the star rating scale until the 1/2 value shows.

    To remove the half-star rating option use the following defaults command and then relaunch iTunes again:

    defaults delete com.apple.iTunes allow-half-stars

    Removing the half stars moves the song rating to the star below it, so a 3 1/2 star song would turn into a 3 star song, and so on.


    4-9-12

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    Delete iPhone & iPad Backups Easily Within iTunes




    Without using iCloud, the iPhone, iPad, and iPod backups can take up a lot of local disk space on a computer. If you’ve moved the iPhone/iPad to sync with a new computer, sold an iOS device, or just want to potentially free up some disk space, you can easily delete these backups directly from iTunes.

    Launch iTunes and open iTunes Preferences

    Click the “Devices” tab to find the backup list

    Select the backup(s) you wish to delete and click “Delete Backup”

    This only removes the backups that are stored locally on the computer and it will not impact iCloud backups, which won’t even show up in the list. It’s generally a good idea to leave the most recent backup intact, in the event you need to restore and don’t have fast internet access.

    Only do this if you have a recent backup available somewhere. You can make a quick manual iCloud backup directly on the iOS device itself or sync it with iTunes.

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    How to Disable the iTunes Backup For iOS Devices Completely




    Anytime an iOS device is connected to a computer it will sync and backup the device, and though the syncing process can be annoying sometimes, the backup process should be considered crucial so that you always have a way to restore your iPhone, iPad, or iPod should anything go wrong.

    With that said, there are a few limited situations where some users may want to disable the iTunes & iOS backup process completely, which is different than stopping iTunes from automatically syncing because it continues to allow for device syncing but minus the backing up aspect.

    We’ll show you how to turn off backups, but we want to warn everyone this is not a good idea unless you know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, leaving this option best for select jailbreakers or just for demonstration purposes.

    Disable iTunes Backups for iOS Devices

    Quit out of iTunes and launch the Terminal, then enter the following defaults write command:

    defaults write com.apple.iTunes DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool YES

    Relaunch iTunes, connecting iOS devices will sync but without a backup copying over

    With backups disabled nothing will be added to the local directory or iCloud, and anything already there can be deleted through iTunes or manually. Remember, disabling this feature removes the ability to restore an iOS device should you need to, which for 99.9% of people is a bad thing.

    Re-Enable iTunes & iOS Backups

    Quit iTunes again and launch Terminal, entering the following defaults command:

    defaults delete com.apple.iTunes DeviceBackupsDisabled

    Relaunch iTunes and connect an iOS device to confirm backups are working again

    The instructions above are intended for Mac OS X, but Windows users can disable the device backups by launching iTunes with a flag attached to it, this can be executed from the Run menu or by right-clicking iTunes:

    "%ProgramFiles%\iTunes\iTunes.exe" /setPrefInt DeviceBackupsDisabled 1

    To reenable backups with windows, change the 1 to a 0 and run iTunes exe again.

    5-15-12

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    Enable Half-Star Ratings in iTunes




    iTunes allows users to rate songs on a 1 star to 5 star basis, song rating data can then be used for a variety of purposes, either for your own reference or for creating custom play lists that only include songs rated over a certain star value. But what if a song is somewhere in the middle of the rating scale, not quite worthy of 4 stars but not a 3 star song either? For more precise personal ratings, enable the half-star rating option in iTunes.

    Launch the Terminal, found within the /Applications/Utilities/ directory, and enter the following defaults write command:

    defaults write com.apple.iTunes allow-half-stars -bool TRUE

    Quit and relaunch iTunes for changes to take effect. To give something a half star, click and slide the star rating scale until the 1/2 value shows.

    To remove the half-star rating option use the following defaults command and then relaunch iTunes again:

    defaults delete com.apple.iTunes allow-half-stars

    Removing the half stars moves the song rating to the star below it, so a 3 1/2 star song would turn into a 3 star song, and so on.

    6-13-12

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    Change the Font Size of the Track List in iTunes



    The iTunes track list has a fairly small default font size, it works fine on displays with lower resolutions but if you’re using a higher resolution screen the text of song and artist names can be annoyingly small. Fortunately it’s easy to change and make larger:

    Open Preferences from the iTunes menu

    Under “General” look for “List Text” and select “Large” (or Small) from the pull-down menu




    Click “OK” for changes to take effect

    Other than preventing you from squinting at the small text, it’s also genuinely useful for social gatherings if you want to give people an easier time to adjust playlists and music. Increase the font size and throw iTunes in full screen mode and enjoy your BBQ.

    Similar font size adjustments can be made with a right-click from within Cover Flow album art view as well.


    7-1-12

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    Disable the iTunes Store to Prevent Unwanted Purchases



    One of the best ways to kid-proof (and generally fool proof) an iPhone or iPad is to turn off in-app purchases. That’s great for the iOS world, but for the desktop you can do something similar by disabling access to the iTunes Store completely, this will prevent unintended purchases of apps, music, movies, books, or anything else, by blocking access to the entire store.

    From iTunes in OS X or Windows, open Preferences via the iTunes menu

    Choose the “Parental” tab and under the “Disable” section check “iTunes Store”

    Optionally for student usage, leave “Allow access to iTunes U” unchecked

    All access to the iTunes media stores is now blocked, either through iTunes, the iTunes sidebar, clicked App Store links, or any other method you’d usually use to get there.




    If you do find yourself in a situation where someone bought a bunch of apps or content you didn’t intend to happen, you can try to get a refund from iTunes and the App Stores. As long as you provide a genuinely valid reason, they typically follow through with the request without incident.


    8-29-12

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    What to do When iTunes Won’t Detect an iPhone, iPad, or iPod



    You’ve plugged an iPhone into a computer, and nothing happens. You look in iTunes, and the iPhone, iPod, or iPad isn’t there. Great, now what? What in the heck is going on? Don’t worry, there are usually a few simple solutions that will resolve the problem, try these tricks first in any whatever order works best for you.

    5 Simple Tricks to Get iTunes to Recognize an iOS Device

    Quit and relaunch iTunes
    Connect the iOS device to a different USB port on the computer
    Reboot the iPhone, iPad, or iPod
    Reboot the computer
    Use a different syncing cable (if possible)

    The last option is most relevant for torn and frayed cables and for those using the cheapy third party cables that seem to fail.

    The iPhone/iPad/iPod is Still Not Detected, Now What?

    If the iPhone, iPad, or iPod is still not recognized by iTunes, the next thing you should do is delete iTunes and reinstall it with a fresh version from Apple. That process is going to be different whether the computer is a Mac or Windows PC.

    Uninstall iTunes: In OS X, iTunes is a protected app and must be uninstalled from the Terminal, in Windows it will be uninstalled through Control Panel
    Download and reinstall the latest version of iTunes from Apple
    Reboot and try again, it should be detected now.

    Still Not Working?

    If you’ve done all the troubleshooting tricks above and the iOS device is still not detected, try connecting the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to a different computer and see if it’s identified. This can help rule out if the problem is with the original computer, or if it’s a problem with the iOS device itself. If it’s connected to another computer and still won’t be recognized, there could be a problem with the physical connector port on the iOS device itself, or some other hardware related issue, and you’ll probably want to call Apple to sort it out. Before doing so, be sure to back up the device manually with iCloud, since iCloud will be able to backup important data in iOS even if the device can’t connect to a computer.

    11-20-12

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    Improve Listening to Music in iTunes with 3 Quick Preference Adjustments



    Listening to music in iTunes can be improved significantly by taking a moment to make three quick adjustments to preferences. Enabling these options takes a few seconds and will be valid for both Mac OS X and Windows:

    Open iTunes preferences from the iTunes menu
    Choose the “Playback” tab and check the box to enable “Crossfade Songs”, “Sound Enhancer”, and “Sound Check”
    The names are fairly description but if you’re wondering what each option does a quick run through is below:

    Crossfade Songs makes each song slowly fade into the next song, eliminating any gaps between song playback and providing for a nice continuous stream of music.

    Sound Enhancer makes automatic adjustments to bass and treble that can have a really nice effect, particularly for those of us with cheaper computer speakers and not something like AudioEngines. Take the time to carefully adjust this based on speakers in use for best results.

    Sound Check will adjust song playback so each song is played at the same volume level, a hugely important feature for anyone who has ripped older CD’s that have a tendency to play softer than newer albums downloaded from iTunes or elsewhere. This can also be done further on a per-song basis if need be.

    For best results, spend a few minutes listening to music, listen for the differences with Sound Enhancer, and adjust the sliders accordingly. The Crossfade slider is set at a pretty good setting by default, but it can also be fun to go the full 12 seconds if your music collection is similar enough to not sound out of place blending each song into one another. It’s also worthwhile to adjust the iTunes equalizer to settings that are fairly neutral across all songs.

    11-26-12

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