Ask the iTunes Guy
Kirk McElhearn answers your iTunes questions
Sometimes, you want to use iTunes just to listen to music, and not be bothered by the app’s many other features. In this month’s column, I look at what you can do when you’ve got too much media to fit on your hard drive; how you can find (or not find) which songs you’ve
‘loved’ on Apple Music; and explain how to fast forward in Apple’s iOS Music app.
Lost loves Q: Is there a way to create a smart playlist for loved songs which aren’t added to My Music?
A: This question is a follow-up from a question about using ‘loves’ in iTunes, where I explained how to make a playlist of music you’ve ‘loved’. You may listen on the go, and tap the little next to a track or album but not think of adding it to your library, or not have the time to do so. Unfortunately, there’s no way for iTunes to create a smart playlist for music that’s not in its library. Your loved tracks are recorded in your Apple Music account, but if you haven’t added them to your iTunes library, then you may have trouble finding them.
Apple Music should have a way of showing you all the music you’ve loved that you haven’t added to your library so you can do so later. It uses these loves to fine-tune its recommendation algorithms, but it should also have a built-in playlist so you can go back and check which songs you rated.
Q: I recently switched to an iPhone. I am having a difficult time trying to find a good MP3 player that will let me fast forward through a song. Can you recommend something?
A: Pretty much every music player app on iOS, including Apple’s Music app, allows you to do this. Just press the button and hold it; at first, the
music skips ahead in small intervals, but if you keep holding, the scrubbing gets faster, and you can fast forward through a song a few seconds at a time. When you’ve reached the spot you want, just release the button.
Note that you can also manually scrub through a track by dragging the playhead just below the album artwork.
Too much stuff
Q: I’ve filled up my hard drive with music, podcasts, movies, and TV shows. Can I put additional files on an external hard drive yet keep them in my iTunes library?
A: You can, but the easiest way to do this is to move your entire iTunes library to an external hard drive. If you don’t fancy this, what you might want to do is simply move items you don’t currently need in your iTunes library to another drive. The files that take up the most space are movies and TV shows. Find the ones you don’t plan to watch in the near future, then drag their files from the iTunes window to a folder on an external hard drive. Wait until the copy has finished, then delete the files from iTunes.
This said, if your movies and TV shows are purchased from the iTunes Store, and your Internet bandwidth is fast enough, you might even want to delete them entirely from your iTunes library. You’ll be able to redownload them again when you want to watch them, or even just stream them.