Ask the iTunes Guy

Kirk McEl­hearn an­swers your iTunes ques­tions

Macworld - - Contents -

The re­cent re­lease of iOS 10.2 saw a num­ber of changes to Ap­ple’s mo­bile op­er­at­ing sys­tem, as well as some tweaks to the iOS Mu­sic app. In this week’s col­umn, I tell you what’s changed, so you can be up to date: I ex­plain the

new way to sort al­bums and songs by artist or ti­tle, and I show you how you can (fi­nally) rate your songs again on your iPhone or iPad. I then an­swer a ques­tion about mu­sic dis­ap­pear­ing from the iTunes Store, and dis­cuss what to do if you’re tired of rent­ing mu­sic from Ap­ple.

Sort­ing songs and al­bums

Q: I just up­dated my iPhone to iOS 10.2, and there isn’t an op­tion to sort mu­sic in the Set­tings. How do I al­pha­bet­ize my mu­sic by song ti­tle now?

A: When iOS 10 was re­leased, Ap­ple made a num­ber of changes to the Mu­sic app. One of th­ese changes af­fected the way songs and al­bums sorted when viewed in the app.

The re­lease of iOS 10.2 this week has changed this again. You still have the same op­tions, but the way you ap­ply them is dif­fer­ent. This time, the change is pos­i­tive, since you can now ac­cess this set­ting di­rectly from the Mu­sic app.

When you view your mu­sic by Songs or Al­bums, you’ll no­tice the word Sort at the top right of the screen. Tap this to dis­play a menu, which then al­lows you to choose which cri­te­ria you pre­fer.

Note that this is no longer a global set­ting; you can have, say, al­bums sort by ti­tle and songs sort by artist.

Rating songs in iOS 10 (fi­nally)

Q: I’ve heard that I can rate my songs again in the Mu­sic app in iOS 10.2. How can I do this?

A: Star rat­ings have in­deed re­turned to the iOS Mu­sic app. But it’s a bit tricky to find them. You first need to go to the Set­tings app, then the Mu­sic set­tings, and tog­gle Show Star Rat­ings.

Next, to rate a song, start play­ing the song, tap the ‘...’ but­ton at the bot­tom right of the dis­play, then tap Rate Song in the menu that dis­plays. In the dia­log that pops up, tap a rating, then tap Done. You can also rate a song that you’re not cur­rently play­ing. Tap and hold a song name, and you’ll see the same menu that of­fers a Rate Song op­tion.

Where did my mu­sic go?

Q: I re­cently re­al­ized that I no longer have a song that I bought from the iTunes Store sev­eral years ago on my iPhone, or in my iTunes li­brary. When I search the iTunes store, the song and al­bum are

not even there any­more. Can Ap­ple just ran­domly delete pur­chased mu­sic?

A: It’s not Ap­ple who does this, it’s the record la­bels. It’s pretty rare in my ex­pe­ri­ence, though I have a cou­ple of al­bums, or even tracks on al­bums, that are no longer avail­able. You should al­ways back up the con­tent you buy from the iTunes Store, be­cause there is a small chance that, for some rea­son, a record la­bel or movie stu­dio may re­move some items from sale.

I want to buy, not rent my mu­sic

Q: I can­celled my Ap­ple Mu­sic sub­scrip­tion, and it ends in a cou­ple of weeks. But there are plenty of al­bums I want to buy. Is there an easy way to view mu­sic that was added by Ap­ple Mu­sic but not pur­chased?

A: Yes, there is. All you need to do is make a smart playlist with the fol­low­ing con­di­tions: Match mu­sic for the fol­low­ing rules and iCloud Sta­tus is Ap­ple Mu­sic. You can then check the playlist to see what you may want to buy. If you click the ‘...’ icon next to an al­bum or track, you can choose Go To > Show > Song in iTunes Store, and buy it eas­ily.

Tap Sort, then tap Ti­tle or Artist to choose how songs or al­bums dis­play

View this playlist to see which tracks in your iTunes li­brary come from Ap­ple Mu­sic

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