Ask the iTunes Guy

Our res­i­dent ex­pert an­swers your iTunes ques­tions

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

When Ap­ple up­dated iOS 9.3, it made some changes to the Mu­sic app. One of th­ese is the way you rate songs you’re lis­ten­ing to; I ex­plain how you do this. I also re­veal how you can show or hide mu­sic in the cloud on your iOS de­vices, and an­swer ques­tions about get­ting lost in iTunes.

How can I hide mu­sic in the cloud on my iPhone?

Q: In ad­di­tion to mu­sic that I’ve synced from iTunes to my iPhone, the Mu­sic app dis­plays every­thing I’ve bought from the iTunes Store. How can I make th­ese songs go away?

A: There used to be a set­ting in the Set­tings app, un­der Mu­sic, to show or hide mu­sic in the cloud. This set­ting af­fected mu­sic pur­chased from the iTunes Store. But when Ap­ple added Ap­ple Mu­sic and iCloud Mu­sic Li­brary, they moved this set­ting, plac­ing it in a pretty ob­scure lo­ca­tion. To tog­gle the vis­i­bil­ity of mu­sic in the cloud – whether it’s pur­chased tracks or mu­sic in your iCloud Mu­sic Li­brary – go to My Mu­sic, then tap on the red sort menu. It might dis­play Artists, Al­bums, Gen­res, Songs, or some­thing else. At the bot­tom of the menu that dis­plays is a tog­gle to show Only Down­loaded Mu­sic; tap this but­ton to ac­ti­vate this set­ting.

You may want to do this when you’re out and want to lis­ten only to mu­sic that’s on your iPhone, rather than stream mu­sic, if you don’t have enough data on your phone con­tract, or if you’re in an area with no cov­er­age. When you ac­ti­vate this set­ting, Ap­ple re­minds you by per­ma­nently dis­play­ing a line of text at the top of the app, when you’re at the top level of My Mu­sic, say­ing “Show­ing only mu­sic on this iPhone.” Tap Show All Mu­sic to tog­gle the set­ting back with­out go­ing into the menu.

How do I rate songs in the iOS Mu­sic app?

Q: The lat­est iOS up­date seems to have re­moved the abil­ity to rate songs play­ing on the iPhone as you de­scribed in a pre­vi­ous iTunes Guy col­umn Is there a new way of do­ing it I haven’t found?

A: In­deed, Ap­ple changed the way you rate songs in the iOS Mu­sic app in iOS 9.3. It’s not hard to find, but like many such fea­tures, you have to look in the right place.

Just tap the art­work while a song is play­ing. The art­work will blur, show­ing a se­ries of five dots, or stars and dots, if you’ve al­ready rated a track. Just tap one of th­ese dots to rate a track, or tap just to the left of the dots to re­move a rat­ing.

Note that if the song you want to rate con­tains lyrics, then the rat­ing dots and stars dis­play at the top of the screen, above the lyrics.

How do I go back from the iTunes Store to what I was lis­ten­ing to be­fore?

Q: Some­times I’m lis­ten­ing to mu­sic, and I won­der if the artist I’m lis­ten­ing to has re­leased any new

mu­sic. I go to the iTunes Store to check, I play some sam­ples, and then I want to go back to what I was lis­ten­ing to. Is there an easy way to do this?

A: Yes and no. If you lis­ten to sam­ples in the iTunes Store, then want to go back to what you were lis­ten­ing to be­fore, you can click the Up Next icon in the iTunes LCD (that’s the dis­play at the top of the iTunes win­dow.) At the top of the Up Next list, you’ll see Mu­sic Play­back is Paused, with a Re­sume but­ton next to it.

Un­for­tu­nately, this doesn’t re­turn you to the track you were play­ing, but to the next one in the queue: the next track in the playlist or al­bum you were lis­ten­ing to. So if you had just started lis­ten­ing to a song, and you want to go back and hear it, you’ll have to find it again.

How do I find which playlist is play­ing?

Q: I have way too many playlists, and some­times I can­not re­mem­ber which playlist is play­ing? Is there a way to iden­tify the playlist that I’m cur­rently lis­ten­ing to?

A: Press Cmd+L, and iTunes takes you to the cur­rently play­ing song, in the lo­ca­tion where you started play­ing it. So if you started play­ing a playlist, and for­got which one, iTunes will zap you back to that playlist and high­light the song. An­other op­tion is to click the Up Next icon in the iTunes LCD. The menu that dis­plays shows the name of the cur­rently play­ing playlist at the top.

Kirk McEl­hearn

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