Find iTunes con­tent

Music at your fin­ger­tips, if you can find it… Here’s how to lo­cate your miss­ing iTunes pur­chases

Mac|Life - - FEATURE -

With iTunes, all your music is at your fin­ger­tips – but some­times it’s not al­ways there! If for some rea­son newly pur­chased con­tent from the iTunes Store doesn’t ap­pear in your li­brary, it’s likely that the down­load has failed. The sim­plest rem­edy is to go to iTunes > Ac­count > Check for Avail­able Down­loads. En­ter your Ap­ple ID’s pass­word and press ® . If there’s any pur­chased con­tent avail­able to down­load, iTunes will re­trieve it for you – note that down­loads will start au­to­mat­i­cally when you choose this op­tion.

If you’d pre­fer to view what con­tent is avail­able before clog­ging up your Mac’s stor­age with music, apps, and videos, fol­low the steps in “How to re­down­load past iTunes pur­chases” later in this fea­ture to view me­dia you’ve pre­vi­ously pur­chased, so you can pick and choose what to down­load.

If you’re us­ing Ap­ple’s Fam­ily Shar­ing fea­ture (see­ing), not only can you down­load con­tent you’ve pur­chased us­ing your own Ap­ple ID,

you may pre­fer that your loved ones didn’t know you’re se­cretly a fan of trashy ’80s pop music, so you can hide it

but also most me­dia other fam­ily mem­bers have bought us­ing their per­sonal IDs. At the view of your past pur­chases, click your name at the top left of the win­dow and choose a fam­ily mem­ber, then down­load their con­tent just as you would your own. Hid­den pur­chases While shar­ing pur­chases with your fam­ily saves each of you from hav­ing to buy your own copies of music and movies, you may pre­fer that your loved ones didn’t know you’re se­cretly a fan of trashy ’80s pop music. In light of this, Ap­ple al­lows you to hide pre­vi­ous pur­chases, so that they don’t ap­pear in the Pur­chased sec­tion of iTunes, for you or other fam­ily mem­bers. Fol­low steps 1 and 2 of “How to re­down­load past iTunes pur­chases”, but in­stead of down­load­ing an item, click the “X” next to a pur­chase to hide it from view.

To make a hid­den pur­chase visible again, go to Ac­count > View My Ac­count, then en­ter your Ap­ple ID’s pass­word and press ® . Un­der the “iTunes in the Cloud” head­ing, click Man­age to the right of Hid­den Pur­chases, choose the type of me­dia you’re look­ing for at the top right, then click Un­hide next to an item to re­store it to your list of pur­chases. Re­mem­ber that if you’re us­ing Fam­ily Shar­ing, all fam­ily mem­bers will then be able to see and down­load the un­hid­den con­tent. Me­dia man­age­ment You may want to au­to­mat­i­cally down­load iTunes Store pur­chases in fu­ture, so that your Mac con­tains a copy of all me­dia that you pur­chase on any de­vices signed in to your Ap­ple ID. In iTunes > Pref­er­ences, click the Down­loads tab to view your Au­to­matic Down­loads set­tings. Make sure “Al­ways Check for Avail­able Down­loads” is en­abled. You have the op­tion to treat kinds of me­dia dif­fer­ently – on a por­ta­ble Mac with limited stor­age, say, you might want music you pur­chase on your iPhone or iPad to down­load au­to­mat­i­cally, but not movies. If space isn’t an is­sue, con­sider leav­ing “Down­load full-size HD videos” checked to ensure videos are re­ceived at the best avail­able qual­ity.

If you en­able au­to­matic down­load­ing of videos, though, there’s an easy rem­edy for en­sur­ing things you’ve watched don’t clog up your Mac’s stor­age. Go to iTunes > Pref­er­ences, click the Ad­vanced tab, and en­able “Au­to­mat­i­cally delete watched movies and TV shows” to have iTunes free up space for you.

If you’re a music lover, con­sider fol­low­ing the steps at­ple­mu­sic on how to sign up for the Ap­ple Music sub­scrip­tion ser­vice. Ap­ple Music in­cludes a fea­ture called iCloud Music Li­brary – also part of the older iTunes Match ser­vice – which en­sures a copy of the music on your Mac is stored on­line. Rather than man­u­ally sync­ing, tracks are streamed over the in­ter­net to your other de­vices, so they don’t have to take up huge amounts of space.

If you have a large amount of music im­ported from CDs, or lots of home videos, you may want to store your en­tire li­brary on an ex­ter­nal drive. Before and af­ter you mi­grate your li­brary to an ex­ter­nal drive, run List MIAs (do­na­tion­ware,­mias) to ver­ify that files for all items are where iTunes ex­pects them to be. Once that’s done, cre­ate an empty folder on the ex­ter­nal drive: in Fin­der, go to File > New Folder, and name it “iTunes Me­dia.”

Next, go to iTunes > Pref­er­ences > Ad­vanced and ensure “Keep iTunes me­dia folder or­ga­nized” and “Copy files to iTunes Me­dia folder when adding to li­brary” are en­abled. The for­mer causes files to be re­named and re­or­ga­nized; it’s not strictly nec­es­sary, but with­out it some peo­ple re­port find­ing bro­ken links in their li­brary, no­tably where me­dia was orig­i­nally stored out­side of the iTunes Me­dia folder.

Click the Change but­ton next to “iTunes Me­dia Folder lo­ca­tion,” nav­i­gate to the folder you just cre­ated, click Open, then click OK. You’ll be asked to con­firm that iTunes should move and re­name files in your new iTunes Me­dia folder. Click Yes.

Choose File > Li­brary > Con­sol­i­date Files to be­gin copy­ing from your Mac to the ex­ter­nal drive. Make sure the drive is con­nected to your Mac when you want to play con­tent in iTunes. Af­ter mi­grat­ing, use List MIAs, men­tioned ear­lier, to check for bro­ken links, and fol­low­loc to fix them.

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