Ask the iTunes Guy

Kirk McEl­hearn an­swers your iTunes ques­tions

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

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.

Fast for­ward

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.

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