Kevin Hunt: iTunes 11 Tricks


There's something for almost every traditionalist to dislike about iTunes11, introduced around Thanksgiving and updated for the second time in February.

I'm still boycotting it on one of my computers because Apple abandoned iTunes DJ. So here are a few tips for the perpetually stubborn to revive the old look, unearth some favorite features and discover some new tricks in the new iTunes.

Restore the missing sidebar

Remember how it conveniently listed your music/movie library, apps, playlists and devices? Apple didn't abandon the sidebar — it only hid it. From the iTunes menu (upper left), select View, then Show Sidebar.

Restore the status bar

Previous iTunes versions used a status bar to show how many songs or albums were in a library, the playtime and the storage space (usually gigabytes) it used. Return to the menu, select View and Show Status Bar. Your iTunes library is now accountable.

Restore the old-style search

A search request now scans your entire library rather than just the list you're currently using. It's more information, but sometimes too much. To search the old way, type in your request in the search field and hit Enter. That instructs iTunes to scan the current view.

Who wrote the song?

A Composer View was added in an iTunes update, but it's automatically set to Off. To activate it, go to View, then View Options and click on the Composer box.

I could then confirm the credits on Boy's "Little Numbers" belonged solely to the duo of Swiss singer Valeska Steiner and German bassist Sonja Glass.

Photos on AppleTV

To view photos on a television, you'll need an AppleTV on your home network. Go to File/Home Sharing/Choose Photos to Share with AppleTV.

Get album artwork

It's under File/Library. To have album artwork automatically added, go to Edit/Preferences/Store and click the box for: Share details about your library with Apple. While there, also check: Automatically download missing album artwork.

Showing duplicates

Many iTunes users activated the Show Duplicates function to trim from their music library. Perhaps not enough users, though: Apple eliminated it in the initial iTunes 11 release.

It returned in the 11.0.1 update. To find it, go to View, then Show Duplicate Items. As always, be careful. It's a crude tool that, in a music library, will list tracks with the same name and artist — it could leave some albums incomplete. So check before you delete.

Burning to disc

As Apple ushers mobile users into Cloud storage, some people still want to make a CD (or DVD). That's not what Apple wants, so it's cagey about the Burn Playlist to Disc feature. To find it, look under the File menu. It will only show up if the selected playlist is eligible to be burned. The Burn feature is also hidden under a drop-down menu at the bottom of the sidebar.

Keyboard shortcuts

Here are a few simple keystrokes for speedier iTunes navigation (in tandem with pressing the Control key on Windows computers or the Command key on Macs):

H (Hide iTunes), comma (Preferences), Q (Quit), N (New Playlist), O (Add File to Library).

khunt@tribune.com

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