iTunes 5: Our Top Ten Requests | iLounge Article


iTunes 5: Our Top Ten Requests

It’s undeniable that iTunes is a best-of-show program: it does pretty much everything you need to do with music, and makes managing your music library and your iPod a snap. Recently, Apple even added video management and playback to its feature list.

But all is not perfect in the world of iTunes; while most users are delighted with iTunes’ feature set, some believe that iTunes is lacking certain newly essential functions. Steve Jobs has already demonstrated podcasting support, which will be included in the next version of iTunes, but what else does the program need? In cooperation with our readers, we’ve looked closely at what’s missing in iTunes 4, so here are ten ideas for new features in iTunes 5.

1. Multiple libraries. As the iPod’s popularity increases, more and more homes have multiple iPods - iLounge staff aside, we actually know someone who owns 14 iPods! Unfortunately, managing music for more than one iPod is a hassle: you can create separate user accounts, but then you must copy your music files to each account, taking up disk space. You can also manually sync one or more iPod, but that’s time-consuming. Multiple libraries would allow several iPods to contain different subsets of an overall music library, but allow automatic syncing.

Users would be free to create several libraries (there would probably be a limit), and when you create a second library, the Library item in the source list would change to a plural, and would have a disclosure triangle allowing you to expand the Libraries item and select specific libraries. You would then be able to link one library to each iPod, or even use multiple libraries for one iPod, changing when you want to listen to different music. This would be especially useful for the iPod mini, with its limited capacity.

2. Universal album art downloads. Some competing digital music management software, such as Musicmatch Jukebox 10, automatically downloads album art when you import music from your CDs. With iTunes, you have to fetch it yourself, except when you buy music from the iTunes Music Store. Apple should be able to easily provide album art, either through a link to graphics on the iTunes Music Store, or by creating or licensing a library of album art, so that when you rip a CD, the art is added automatically.

While there are third-party programs that do this, both for Windows and for Mac, it would be nice to have this as a built-in feature.

3. Separate groupings for videos and PDFs in the Source list. Now that iTunes can handle PDF files - including but not limited to those included with purchases from the iTunes Music Store - and videos, these files tend to either get lost in your library, or get filed with the album you bought them with. While there are special icons to indicate their file types, these icons can be hard to see when you are scrolling through a big library.


You can tag PDFs or videos to belong to a certain album, and you can create smart playlists to organize them, but it would make more sense to create specific groupings in the Source list.

4. Better organization for tracks by multiple artists. In the current version of iTunes, you have listings for each artist, as well as for each combination of artists. For example, if you import Johnny Cash’s Unearthed box set, you’ll find lots of tracks by Johnny Cash, but you’ll also find six other combinations: “Johnny Cash & Carl Perkins” and “Joe Strummer & Fiona Apple,” etc. Each of these combinations is listed as a separate artist, rather than all of them being listed as Johnny Cash, and each collaboration is listed under the other artist’s name as well.


Admittedly, this type of organization could take some getting used to, but it would make more sense; if you want to find all your Johnny Cash songs, you don’t want to scroll through a list of multiple artists. This would create duplicate entries in the iTunes library, but since iTunes is just a database, this is not hard to implement.

5. Bug fixes: guarantee the stability of the iPod-to-iTunes connection under all circumstances. Though some of these issues are “driver-related” or “iPod-related” as opposed to “iTunes-related,” we have heard about from our readers (and ourselves experienced) many connectivity glitches with both the PC and Mac versions of iTunes 4. Users sometimes find that iTunes will not recognize their iPods even when their computers can, and there are occasional problems - mostly with the iPod shuffle - in random disconnection of the iPod during synchronization. Next to hardware defects, these types of problems are the most frustrating ones iPod owners are dealing with today - and the ones that most remind them of their bad experiences with other companies’ products. Apple should make guaranteeing a stable connection between iTunes and the iPod a top priority in iTunes 5, and work to both improve and simplify their integration.

6. Allow iTunes “works.” Classical music fans know that playlists of their favorite music in shuffle mode sound like a drunken DJs took control of their music. Classical music, with its multi-movement works, does not lend itself to this type of playback. As iTunes works today, each movement of a work is a separate track, and is not in any way linked to other tracks. You can join tracks when ripping CDs, but that eliminates the information that you have for each movement.

The iTunes Music Store already uses the concept of “works:” a work being an entire symphony, sonata, or string quartet. As you can see here, each work is linked, and a disclosure triangle lets you collapse or expand the individual movements:


If the iTunes Music Store can do this, then iTunes and the iPod should as well. (Note that while you see music like this on the iTunes Music Store, purchasing the music downloads the tracks without these “links”.) This would help classical music listeners join the fold of iTunes and iPod users, since it would lead to organizing entire multi-movement works as single units, creating playlists with them, and playing them back without worrying about the different movements getting separated. If this were possible, you could create a smart playlist that plays all the string quartets in your library, and you wouldn’t have to worry about their movements getting out of order (you certainly don’t want one movement of Schubert followed by an Ives scherzo). You could even use the Shuffle Songs feature on your iPod to listen to classical music.

7. Nested playlists. This is a simple one: just give iTunes the ability to add folders to its Source list, where you name each folder (say by genre or artist), and move playlists into that folder. We’ve got multiple playlists for some artists, so it would be practical - and save space - if they could be grouped in such a way.

8. Improved smart playlists. Smart playlists are great; but they are limited. They only offer All or Any as selections. For example, you can create a playlist of music you’ve rated with 5 stars that is in the Jazz genre, but you can’t create one that gets 5-star music in the Jazz or Blues genre. There’s a workaround: create a first playlist that gets all your music from the Jazz or Blues genres, then create a smart playlist that looks for 5-star songs in that playlist. But that’s a hack, and an inelegant one. iTunes needs to provide more power to smart playlists: as users have more and more music in their libraries, they want finer control over it.

9. Provide an alternate browsing interface. The column interface of iTunes’ Browse mode is nice, but why not go further and provide an icon-based interface (using folders, or even album art to indicate specific albums) and a list-based interface as well? Or why not offer additional columns other than simply Genre, Artist and Album? Classical music might like to be able to use a Composer column in Browse mode, and DJs might like to browse by BPM.


10. An alert when burning CDs telling you what type of CD you are burning. iTunes lets you burn three types of CD: audio, MP3 and data. Unfortunately, there is no alert when you click the Burn CD button; a simple dialog telling you which type of CD you’re burning, with an option to change it, would be easy to implement and save on coasters.

Do you have other suggestions or requests for iTunes 5? Share them with us in the comments thread below. We’re looking forward to seeing your ideas.

picKirk McElhearn is the author of several books including iPod & iTunes Garage. His blog, Kirkville features articles about the iPod, iTunes, Mac OS X and much more. Thanks to iLounge reader Richardthomas78 for the fifth (concept) picture.

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Nice list; I would order them as follows:

1, 2, 5, 8, 4, 6, 7, 9, 3, 10

And what about seamless (gapless) playback (for both iTunes & iPod)??  That would actually be number 1 on my list.

Posted by Fangorn in Texas on June 14, 2005 at 12:20 PM (CDT)


Not an iTunes request per say, more of the iPod software itself.  When viewing playslists on the iPod it would be nice if they added one more heirarchal level in that you would select the playlist and then see the artists/albums within that playlist vs. just a song listing.

Posted by PinstripedLife on June 14, 2005 at 12:41 PM (CDT)



Posted by PinstripedLife on June 14, 2005 at 12:42 PM (CDT)


I created a very very similar list (in my head, if not written somewhere I can’t recall) not too long ago.

10 additions to Kirk’s items:

1) I think iTunes should include a built-in PDF viewer that takes up the top half of the content area in a wide format, much like the album art view above.  This would be used for #2.

2) Included 2-up wide format PDF booklets included with ALL full-album purchases on the music store.  Option to print jewel-case size.

3) A customizable home page on the iTMS, which only shows genres you’re interested in, artists you’ve bought from, artists you specifically ask for, etc. 

4) CoreImage/CoreVideo/OpenGL/Quartz visualizers.  I never use vis, but it’d be more impressive to play with if it weren’t so ugly.

5) A built in Library Migration Assistant for transferring a library to a (same-person) newly purchased PC.  Firewire or USB2.0 direct connect for ease of use… no network or external media.  This won’t happen, for RIAA reasons most likely, but it’d be nice to see, and would help a lot of confused people out a lot.

6) Ability to use the iPod as an automatic syncing media between home and work PCs.  Bi-directional changes. Again, hard to coordinate with RIAA.

7) User ratings & Comments (?) on albums (and/or songs?) on iTMS.

8) Gapless playback… sure.

9) Reduced background-play resource consumption.

10) eMail and/or iChat links associated with iTunes network-shared libraries.  Click to talk to the owner!

Gotta get back to work… but there’s a lot of room for improvement and enhancement despite how much I already *love* iTunes.

Posted by Jerrod H. in TX on June 14, 2005 at 12:49 PM (CDT)


Stats! like the ones you get by uploading your .xml to

I’d hate to put that site out of business, but I’ve seen other users request it…

and it would be nice to keep those stats to yourself, without having to have a webpage dedicated to your quirky taste in music. :)

and it’d also be nice to not have to upload that huge xml file…


Posted by Puck in washington dc on June 14, 2005 at 12:56 PM (CDT)


CROSSFADING ON IPOD! It’s not neccessarily an iTunes fix, albiet it could be implemented into iTunes to update iPod…

Posted by mongoos150 in Tucson, AZ on June 14, 2005 at 12:59 PM (CDT)


My biggest gripe is the lack of any flexibility with tagging in iTunes.  I have to tag everything in Tag&Rename; before thinking about putting it in iTunes.

From other users repeated questions on how to get music from their iPod back to their pc, I would have thought that was pretty high on a lot of wishlists, but you missed it completely.

Posted by snappy on June 14, 2005 at 1:06 PM (CDT)


1) Keywording for more advanced smart playlist based on mood, style within genre (ballad, heavy, etc.), tempo, and so-forth.

2) Option to make the Music Store links take me to that artist, album, etc. in my OWN library.  If I have a song in my library already, why on earth do I want a link to it on iTMS?

3) More advanced track transitions other than cross-fade.  If a song has a sudden ending or beginning, iTunes should account for that and create a more realistic mix, rather than just cross-fading everything.

4) Manual control over order of playlists unrelated to whether they’re smart or custom playlists.  Right now, all smart playlists are at the top of the list, all custom ones are below.

5) Playlist schedule integration with iCal (as in iCal Calling iTunes!)

Posted by Jeff Click on June 14, 2005 at 1:13 PM (CDT)


1) Improve Sound Check so that it stops degrading audio quality.
2) Alternatively, make iTunes pay attention to individual volume settings in tracks upon burning to CD.
3) Folders, yes, folders would be *very* nice.
4) Gapless playback for iPod, it’s about time!
5) Take care of the AirPort Express problem with some external DACs that are slow to sync by adding “dummy” pre-signal in certain situations (manual new track selection, skip).
6) CD-Text

I think Multiple libraries are pretty pointless - why not just use all music together and make a personal playlist for “your” stuff and sync that? I fail to see the problem.

Posted by Bad Beaver on June 14, 2005 at 1:15 PM (CDT)


I want the ability to have a song reference multiple bitrate versions of the files—let me store Lossless versions for Airport Express playback, but sync the AAC files to my iPod.

I’d settle for automatic downconversion for the iPod, as long as it was done intelligently.

Posted by mattwardfh in Texas on June 14, 2005 at 1:17 PM (CDT)


Ah, and sth. else:

7) I want a feature that tells me in which other playlists I have a certain song. This could be implemented via the context-menu with as foldout labeled “used in these playlists:”.

Posted by Bad Beaver on June 14, 2005 at 1:20 PM (CDT)


Bad Beaver—

It’s already there.  Try it.

Posted by Jerrod H. in TX on June 14, 2005 at 1:23 PM (CDT)


How about better normalization and the ability to reapply it?

This is basic. I won’t purchase iTMS tracks until I can control their volume appropriately through the dock line out.

Posted by Spire in Vancouver on June 14, 2005 at 1:30 PM (CDT)


I can’t believe nobody has mentioned this yet, as it is near the top of my list:

Multiple Genres per song!

If something is “Rock” and “Live,” I should be able to say so.  How about if there is a soundtrack of rock songs.  With multiple genres, I wouldn’t have to choose which to call it.

Posted by mrn121 in Fairfax, VA on June 14, 2005 at 1:35 PM (CDT)


yes all this would be great. another thing that bugs me is that you can only choose the first level of organization. so I choose that level to be by artist, and then the second level is the alphabetical order of albums, and the third is the track number. I would like to be able to choose to organize it by artist, and then sort those by year. It’s not a big deal, but it would be nice.

Posted by jmaurand on June 14, 2005 at 2:03 PM (CDT)


Allow drag and drop playlist creation even when not connected to your library. I keep my library on an 180 GB external hard drive, but often find myself away from the office (say on a plane) with time to tinker with playlists in Itunes, but you do it. Obviously the playlist wouldn’t work until hooking back to the hard drive, but it could at least be edited on the fly.

Posted by morren in Dallas on June 14, 2005 at 2:14 PM (CDT)


A streaming service (a la Windows Media connect) that does not require the full iTunes interface to be running or someone to be logged in to that machine.  Oh, and of course, I would want to stream protected AAC to a Roku Soundbridge or other “iTunes Extender”.

Posted by audinik on June 14, 2005 at 2:26 PM (CDT)


Great suggestions.

I’d like to see a built-in feature to see who’s listening to my shared music and what they’re listening to, kind of like iTunes Monitor… only more robust, less resource-hungry and not as flaky.

Posted by zzcoop on June 14, 2005 at 2:58 PM (CDT)


A Jukebox Mode!!!

I have a Turtle Beach Audio Tron DAR and I run a great program called Xtron. It lets me list all my albums via cover art - fills the whole screen - and when i have parties my friends can just scroll through all the albums and add their tracks to the queue. Its a great system that functions just like a jukebox. Everyone loves it and it would work great in iTunes!

Much less complicated than making a playlist, much more intuitive, and this way people can’t re-arrange the list to put their songs first!

Posted by dwklink on June 14, 2005 at 3:08 PM (CDT)


Please, please, please ad the option to down sample tracks to all iPod’s, not just the shuffle. Much like the Multi-Library problem, I have to keep duplicate copies of all tracks. One for the Airport Express (Apple Lossless) and one for iPod. (ACC 192). I can’t be the only person who desires the best quality at home, but is willing to compromise on the run.

Posted by zerofrog on June 14, 2005 at 3:18 PM (CDT)


This has been buggine me for awhile. If I want to listen to a radio stream that is NOT included with iTunes by default, starting the stream up adds it to my library. That makes no sense. Why doesn’t the newly added radio station get put into the radio section of iTunes with the other streams!?

Posted by StrikerObi in Tallahassee, FL on June 14, 2005 at 3:19 PM (CDT)


Glad to see those folders / nested playlists in there, I so need that, keep on talking about it and they’ll get in there eventually.

My wife tells me she can’t find playlists because there are so many of them, and its true because there are lots for special occasions like Christmas and Halloween or certain events that I only need once a year or so, but don’t want to delete.

As for the his / her libraries, how would the playlists then work in the column on the left? Would they dissappear as you clicked on each library, or would they all be nested under the library you’ve chosen, or what?

Posted by agentkow in Vancouver, Canada on June 14, 2005 at 3:20 PM (CDT)



That sample down idea is fantastic. how do we get all these suggestions to apple?

Posted by dwklink on June 14, 2005 at 3:28 PM (CDT)


His/Hers library sharing across Mac user accounts. This also involves a way to make smart playlists based on iTune store account name. Basically, we share most music, but not all of it.

Subfolders for playlists - at least one level deep to keep the source list tidy by being able to hide less-used, intermediate or maintenance lists. Maybe even just a single folder to contain all of them.

Would like to be able to pick an iPod as a playlist in a smart playlist rule for iPods I keep in the source list. This way I could rule out/in stuff that’s already on my iPod. Obviously more for those of us with a mini or a shuffle.

Would like to be able to easily pick importing options on the fly rather than digging back into the preferences. This could be as simple as holding option while clicking on “import”. Would like to be able to see what they are set at easily too. Also would like the import settings to be Applescriptable.

The disc burn type should be selectable on the fly as well. Again, perhaps holding option and clicking on burn.

Posted by Ryan Gray on June 14, 2005 at 3:52 PM (CDT)


I would like to see a better function for duplicate songs and a way to compare whats on my ipod and itnues library. I have a 40 gig ipod thats full and it’s getting harder to determine which cd’s I have where since I have to remove songs from my ipod to fit new music onto it.

Posted by jasontho in Phoenix on June 14, 2005 at 4:06 PM (CDT)


I would like to be able to create a playlist (Smart, in most cases) and delete it from the library from the playlist via the contextual menu.

For example…I have podcasts that come into iTunes via iPodderX that go into a playlist automatically called Podcasts. When I get done with the podcast, I delete them. With iTunes, the only way to do this efficiently is to search for individual tracks or organize the library temporarily for ‘Date Added’ and delete them from there. Why can’t I just delete from the playlist that I created? Maybe have a dialog box come up warning me beforehand, and if it is contextual, you have to actually go to a specific item to delete it, so then there wouldn’t be a problem deleting from the library accidentally. 

I thought there was an Apple script to do this before, but either it wasn’t right or I didn’t use it right because it deleted all my playlists that I had built up over a year and a half.

Posted by glb in SoCAl on June 14, 2005 at 4:27 PM (CDT)



Try using the menu option:

  Help->Provide iTunes Feedback

I use it all the time.

Posted by Ryan Gray on June 14, 2005 at 4:32 PM (CDT)


Nice List.  Let’s hope it gets in the hands of the powers that be.

My Request:
1-A Shuffle option that would shuffle a playlist but not an album.  I find it annoying that I have to switch back and forth.  I love to shuffle my playlist, but can “Dark Side of the Moon” be listened to out of sequence?
2-flexability in regards to printing jewel cases.  why can’t i type what i want?


Posted by MazAkron on June 14, 2005 at 4:37 PM (CDT)


Great. Now they’ve changed the feedback link to go to the Request Music page. Grrr. I guess you could still put them there or on the OS X feedback page:

Posted by Ryan Gray on June 14, 2005 at 4:38 PM (CDT)


on my post for request one that’s an ipod request, not really for itunes

Posted by MazAkron on June 14, 2005 at 4:38 PM (CDT)


While #6 would help the sorry state of classical music management in iTunes, a far more pressing need is support for _common_ tags such as orchestra, conductor, ensemble, etc. all of which are currently supported by CDDB. iTunes quite simply throws this information away. Worse still, this makes iTunes is a lousy way to submit classical data to CDDB. Faced with such limited tag support, users fill existing tags with who knows what.

iTunes has another similar problem with subgrenes. CDDB supports a substantial list of subgenres that would help listeners of every taste. Someone mentioned “multiple categories” but support for subgeneres would likely be as good a solution.

Posted by Stompy on June 14, 2005 at 5:33 PM (CDT)



There is good evidence that subgenres are coming:

Go to the iTMS, and click the Browse button in the top right corner.  MOST genres have many sub-genres that one can browse by.  It’s a phenomenal new way to look for music on the iTMS.  Before, with 1 level of genres, the Browse function was too overwhelming.

Posted by Jerrod H. in TX on June 14, 2005 at 5:39 PM (CDT)



This is especially pertinent for those who have a lot of Greatest Hits Albums.

Posted by Nate (the original) in Berkeley on June 14, 2005 at 5:45 PM (CDT)


I’m kinda surprised that so far no one has mentioned the ability to back-up playlists.  I’m referring to a feature that would create a “.xxx” file that backs up the playlists (as pointers only, not the actual tracks) and could easily be uploaded to iTunes in case a playlist got hosed for some reason.  This is the sole reason I use Anapod - for the playlist backup & restore feature.

Just my 2 cents…

Posted by redsoxnation in USA on June 14, 2005 at 5:55 PM (CDT)


Everything except #4 can already be done with J. River Media Center.

Posted by Crayola Boy in Santa Cruz, CA, USA on June 14, 2005 at 5:55 PM (CDT)


I’m not sure if implementing CDDB’s “segments” is the answer to #6.

Posted by Stompy on June 14, 2005 at 6:02 PM (CDT)


Organization for live music sux in iTunes.  There needs to be options for a Date (of concert) column and a Venue column, along with a much needed File Name column.  When you have multiple versions of the same songs within iTunes, just putting the song name for the song will completly dissorganize your live music shows.  You have to painfully name the song with date numbers before the song name. for example, to keep a Live Zeppelin show organized in the library you have to name the songs like: 1977-12-23d1t3 Whole Lotta Love, just to keep them together and in order.  going into iTunes and renaming files and adding track numbers and all that is way to time consuming for thousands of live music tracks.  A File Name column is essential.

Maybe the columns should be customizable so that you can call them whatever you want them to be.

WTF is support for FLAC and SHN files??  Nobody is transferring their Flacs and SHNs to that stoopid Apple Lossless format.  We didnt need yet another lossless format, we needed support for the ones already existing.  Apple really needs to get on the ball with this.

Posted by sillycybin on June 14, 2005 at 6:05 PM (CDT)


this is really an iPod change, but I would like for the shuffle feature to work like party shuffle does in iTunes, where you can select to shuffle your library or any playlist. I think when you select shuffle on your ipod there should just be a list with “library” at the top and then all the playlists. I would love to be able to listen to all my five star songs shuffled with two clicks.

Posted by jmaurand on June 14, 2005 at 6:39 PM (CDT)


Oh and for live music, why don’t you just use the album part, so it would appear as “song title | band name | venue, date | genre | rating | year performed”

that’s how I would do it.

Posted by jmaurand on June 14, 2005 at 6:42 PM (CDT)


I read the top ten suggestions and all of the user comments and STILL I coundn’t believe that this suggestion was missing:

How about supporting multiple Airpor Expresses???  Rather than an individual choice like “Living Room” or “Office” or “Den” the drop down could have a check box so you could select “Living Room” and “Office” and “Den”

Yes I understand that the Airport Expresses have a latency issue. BUT that’s the point. FIX the Airport Express so we can hear the same music throughout the house. Thank You iPodLounge. From your lips to Jobs ears.

Posted by WestSacSam on June 14, 2005 at 7:09 PM (CDT)


Jeff Click-

In iTunes, it actually is possible to use the ‘quick links’ to get to artists or albums in your library, although it is somewhat annoying:

Whenever you click on one of the arrows, at the same time hold down the OPTION key (on the Mac), and you will be taken to that artist or album in your own library

Posted by MacFanatic90 on June 14, 2005 at 8:29 PM (CDT)


Lyrics, lyrics, lyrics!!!!!!!!  With iPod integration!  After all, what good is a song if you can’t sing along?  Apple needs to overcome the copyright issues and include lyrics with purchased songs, or at least provide a lyrics tab under song info to the user can add it themselves.

I’ll second that smart playlist improvement.  I want to be able to sort by equalizer, but it is not a choice in smart lists.

Posted by dukemeiser on June 14, 2005 at 9:41 PM (CDT)


KEY ADD: When looking at items in the itunes store . .  visually indicate songs you already have in your library.  Prevent accidential re-purchase

OTHER ADD:  When you look at an artist and then click on an album by the artist include ALL songs on the given album . . not just those that are by that artist alone (today will omit songs that are “duets”).

Posted by chicks on June 14, 2005 at 9:48 PM (CDT)


I’d like an option to sort music according to how it was imported into itunes.  For instance, if a song was ripped from a CD, chances are I own the CD and don’t need to back it up. But any non-ripped-from-a-CD track I would want to back up.  If they could be sorted, then I could easy select that bunch of songs and move them into a playlist to burn to CD.

Posted by Phil_thy on June 14, 2005 at 9:59 PM (CDT)


CROSSFADING on my iPod! That’s my biggest wish!!

Posted by Jonesy17 on June 14, 2005 at 10:30 PM (CDT)


Something along the lines of the multiple libraries was my suggestion, but what I was referring to is the sharing of a single set of files on multiple computers (e.g. keeping all your music on a central server, and having more than one iTunes library on different Mac or PC computers connected to that server)

While some of that is possible now by through streaming if both machines are in use at the same time, each computer’s actual library must still be managed seperately.  There’s no way to import songs from a new CD, and have them automatically appear in all versions of iTunes in a home.  Many people have 2, 3 or more PC’s in a home, and its frustrating every time you want to add new songs or edit tags, that you have to duplicate the action on multiple occasions. 

As for me, this was the main frustration I had on getting a new Mac Mini - now having a second machine now costs double the work to keep things up to date.  Every time, I have to figure out which songs have updated since the last time I copied the files over (Apple’s Smart Folder helps), copy those files from the PC to the Mini, import them into iTunes, then find all the old files and delete them individually, which means searching for duplicate songs and being careful to delete just the old files that were copied over, not the new files or other songs with the same song title but on a different album or different version.  It’s pathetic trying to keep up. 

I’ve also wasted more than half the space of my 80 GB Mini holding songs I already have on the PC, which is connected to the same wireless network.  Because of this, I dislike the Mini immensely, I only use it when my wife wants to change the songs on her iPod, since hers is Mac formatted. 

I’d like to be able to plug any iPod in my home into any computer, and know that the songs available to upload are the same actual song files on all machines.  This might take the form of a synchronization tab in the Prefernces allowing you to sync your library with another library file located elswhere - for example on a network drive, and use that library’s song files on the other machine. 

It almost means that the iTunes Library would be able to connect to other libraries and update off of them just like an iPod connects to iTunes.

Posted by Art_Vandelai on June 14, 2005 at 10:53 PM (CDT)


I’d like to see an improved interface, one that can be scaled down to a size in between the two already available. One that would have a simple play list/ album art (if turned on) and the basic controls.

Customize! i want to be able to change the headers of the lists for every album. Some albums i want just some info, others i want alot more.

I’d like to see the little Widget “i” symbol used for songs, so i could just click that in the file browser to see the info, instead of selecting it and then choosing info (or the keyboard shortcut).

I love the idea of being able to look through your collection by album art. I’m a freak for album art, so that would really be sweet for me.

I could go on, and just might later. But that’s my list for now.
And of course, for the iPod: GAPLESS PLAYBACK!!

Posted by jonyem in Port Angeles, Washington on June 15, 2005 at 12:18 AM (CDT)


Give Itunes the ability to edit tracks eg. edit out silent parts of songs (“240 years before your time” by the Black Keys has a 19 minute silent patch in the middle of what should be a 3 minute song)

Itunes also needs to stop putting playlists in alphabetical order.

Posted by Rogane22 on June 15, 2005 at 12:38 AM (CDT)


Support for video codecs other than .mov codecs. Especially *.avi, DiVX, XViD and the Mpeg(s) file formats.

Posted by iGaz ---> 10GB 3rd Gen iPod on June 15, 2005 at 1:43 AM (CDT)


If I missed this one I apologize but I would like the ability to burn from a playlist and have the ability to better edit what will fit on one CD instead of multiple CD’s.

Posted by dennis3346 on June 15, 2005 at 8:20 AM (CDT)


I think the ability to put ‘chapters’ into songs would be really great.  It would make finding a song in the middle of a 50 minute live recording a lot easier if you could just jump straight to it, without moving the marker back and forward.  My brother would love this, because he can go straight to the solo, and start air-guitaring.

Posted by spiketacular on June 15, 2005 at 8:40 AM (CDT)


Here is something that happens to me too often:
All my music is on a folder on an external hard drive.
If I want to play a song while the hd is not pluged in, iTunes changes my music folder back to the music folder in my user folder.
So when I change it back to the folder on the hd, iT has to scan it once again.
It’s not very long, but it is annoying.
It would be nice if iT could say something like “I can’t find the folder, please tell me where it is”.

Other features that I would like to see:
- To be able to remember that such file is on a cd and which cd.
- Something should be done for Classical music between the composer and the players.
- The 7th request is something I reaaaally would like to have.

One question:
Wouldn’t it be possible to have multiple accounts with all the music in one shared folder?


Let’s send this page to Apple:

Posted by Adrienhb on June 15, 2005 at 8:42 AM (CDT)


Sorry, it seems that the link is only to request music…

One another cool feature would be: either more radio or the possibility to add some.

Apple should go see the major radio networks and give (yes give) them the tools to broadcast through iTunes.


Posted by Adrienhb on June 15, 2005 at 8:44 AM (CDT)


I´d like a warning when burning a MP3-CD from a playlist that includes non-mp3-songs.

And I don’t want to listen to “Books & Spoken” when I “shuffle songs”!

Posted by jirjen on June 15, 2005 at 10:22 AM (CDT)


Being an Anglophile (in America), i would like to purchase music from iTunes UK. Apple won’t let me because i don’t live in the UK. I don’t see the logic in this; my credit card should be accepted across national borders.

Posted by jonnimack on June 15, 2005 at 11:56 AM (CDT)


Some great suggestions. 

However, I cannot believe people, other than “Spire”, have not insisted upon better across the board volume control, “better normalization and the ability to reapply it”.

The iPod and iTunes should be able to adjust/control the volume appropriately.

How utterly anoying it is to play songs that jump ALL OVER in volume level from one song to the next!  No way does the built in volume equalizer work.  Nor does the manual sound adjustment in iTunes work across playback platforms.  When you play a song on iTunes, iPod, or on burned disk, you are constantly adjusting the volume level.  This is annoying and must be fixed.  It is basic - as is gapless playback.

Posted by Obadiah on June 15, 2005 at 11:59 AM (CDT)


Apple, purchase JewelCase…

Posted by Gordy. in Atlanta, GA on June 15, 2005 at 1:19 PM (CDT)


They NEED to add the FIX for the Ipod Photo which 4.8 messed up!  In 4.8 all the album artwork disappears which no matter what the fixes are for this it should not happen!

Posted by Keeganskylar on June 15, 2005 at 2:22 PM (CDT)


I have made more coasters with iTunes than I care to admit.  If I’m burning in cd audio format and the tracks span more than one disc, I want to be able to record disc 2 again if it crapped out instead of starting all over again.

A second feature would be to set up a recording session where I can decide which tracks go on which CD instead of having to create multiple playlists.

Posted by Gilatrout on June 15, 2005 at 2:50 PM (CDT)


Another nit.

1 track multiple albums.  I have many duplicates just because a praticular track appeared on a greatest hits album or whatever.

Posted by Gilatrout on June 15, 2005 at 2:56 PM (CDT)


Didn’t had time to read every comments to see if this request is already posted but I think Apple should develop the smart playlist feature so there’s an option to dynamically generate new playlist from our set of conditions. Let’s say we create a smart playlist that says:
- Genre IS Rock
- My Rating IS IN THE RANGE 4 to 5
- Limit to 30 Songs selected by *random*
Itunes will randomly choose 30 songs that fits with your conditions. But maybe there’s 400 songs that fits these criteria so if iTunes could randomly choose 30 new songs each time we open the playlist in iPod or in iTunes, that would be really cool and it would add more interactivity in the whole “Smart Playlist” concept because currently, we can’t say the system is very “smart”.

Also, Apple should implement more efficient synchronization between the iPod and iTunes, lets say I create a playlist:
Name: Unrated
Conditions: Rating IS none
Then I can rate all these songs on my iPod when I have time. BUT currently, the problem is that once you synchronize your iPod with iTunes, iTunes ALWAYS has the priority on the iPod so iTunes ratings override every ratings you applied on your iPod.

That’s about it, feel free to add these points to the main article =).

Sorry if my english is bad, I’m not very good in english =S.

Posted by Sequence on June 15, 2005 at 3:31 PM (CDT)


I hope for…

1. Better management for libraries that are bigger than an iPod can hold. The check box method doesn’t work because then I can’t play the songs in iTunes playlists.

2. Cross-fading

3. EQ settings in iTunes should carry over to iPod

4. Better playlist management

5. Song Lyrics search in iTunes

6. Make iTunes skins available!! Brushed Aqua is getting old

7. Customizable homepage in iTMS. Should have upcoming works by artists I have purchased in the past

8. Different views in iTunes (ie, icons, album art, etc) instead of just list view

9. Links and Album art to the song playing in Radio

10. Ability to purchase from any music store (though I doubt it’s possible for legal reasons)

Posted by russgiro88 on June 15, 2005 at 4:54 PM (CDT)


I’ve got a bug fix and 1 feature that I’d like to see implemented next.

bug fix) I wish that my iPod would never skip over I song that I’ve asked it to play.  Sometimes, when I go to play a a playlist, it tries the play the first song, and then skips to the second.  Not usually a big deal, because I can always go back.  The problem is that the skipped song is treated as if it has been played - i.e., play count goes up.

feature) I’d like, when I play songs on my iPod from iTunes, that the song info would be updated.  I like using iTunes to play songs at work, but my iPod is sync’d with my home computer.  I switch the iPod to be manually sync’d when I connect at work, and then play songs through iTunes, rate them, etc.  But when I sync my iPod at home, it is as if none of this happened.

Posted by Scott JH on June 15, 2005 at 8:29 PM (CDT)


The ability to have a universal ratings filter would be cool.  This would enable, for example, the ability to play only 4 or 5 stars songs for playlist, artist, album etc. The threshold (i.e. > 3 Stars or > 4 Stars) setting and filter on/off setting would be in the iPod Settings menu.  This would eliminate the need to create playlists like Top Rock, Top 1980s and Top Eric Clapton since you would just put the filter on during playback of Rock Genre, a 1980s playlist or a Clapton under artists.

Posted by Capman on June 15, 2005 at 11:24 PM (CDT)


I’d like to see a way to automatically tag imported songs as singles. That is, when you import a CD (or buy an album from the iTMS), have iTumes flag the songs that the artist has released as singles. It’s not very important to me for my 30GB iPod, since I usually listen to entire albums at a time on it, but it would make life much easier when autofilling my iPod shuffle. If I didn’t want to manually manage the songs on the shuffle, I’d have to do something like pick out the singles from each album, mark them in some way (such as giving them a particular rating - say, 5 stars), and then have Autofill only grab from those songs. But with over 1,000 albums in my collection, that would take days. Apple could pull the album data from the iTMS (which I think it should do anyway, because I’ve found more data-entry errors in the CDDB listings than in the iTMS).

Posted by DrWebster on June 15, 2005 at 11:53 PM (CDT)


It would be great if you could group songs by albums or artists in smart playlists. That way you could have something like tracks where album has not been played in last week or artist has not been played in the last one hundred songs. At the moment if you shuffle your library and 10% of tracks are by one artist then you’ll get that artist roughly one in ten tracks. As far as I’m aware the only way to avoid that at present is to create a playlist without that artist, not particularly convenient.

Posted by jamesma on June 16, 2005 at 5:34 AM (CDT)


I think organization of audiobooks sucks. I consider “artist

Posted by DiabolicDevilX on June 16, 2005 at 8:24 AM (CDT)


Since I cant add song, artist and album info to my burns, that would be nice to finally correct. That inability causes me to use other software, to me it seems so unneccessary.
And to save the best for last I would like to see higher cd quality when I purchase music.

Posted by JClampet in No. Jersey on June 16, 2005 at 9:18 AM (CDT)


I tried to use itunes for a DJ performance.

What I miss most is to use the visualizer on a second screen (videobeamer) while i am using itunes.

I miss all basic DJ functions:
crossfading, prehearing on a second audio device, automatic bpm detecting, graphic bpm adjusting…

Posted by exabyte on June 16, 2005 at 10:00 AM (CDT)


I want a simple way to indicate songs I don’t want to hear during shuffle play, other than creating a new playlist.  Smart playlist needs to include an OR function so you can select songs than are allowed in the palylist if they meet one of a specified list of criteria. i.e. year 60’s or artist ‘Elvis Presley’.

Posted by audioguyBOB on June 16, 2005 at 12:25 PM (CDT)


Multiple libraries.

isant that the same as having multiple playlists?  Thats what I do just have that and then when you have ur iPod pluged it choose what playlists that you want loaded and updated to ur iPod.

Posted by mikesriebes on June 16, 2005 at 12:41 PM (CDT)


No, its not the same because you want it in the same playlist so you can use shuffle and repeat on the playlist.  For example, I would like a playlist where my 60s collection is augmented by music from sixties artists but recorded earlier or later than the 60s. i.e. Rolling Stones music from the 70s.  Right now I have to go through several gyrations to do that.  It should be easy to just set up an OR function in smart playlist to do that.

Posted by audioguyBOB on June 16, 2005 at 1:06 PM (CDT)


For me, the most glaring deficiency is in tagging, and generation of smart playlists.
I realize, the M4A(AAC) spec (such as it is) doesn’t have the capabilities of the ID3(MP3), but this needs to be resolved so we can better tag our music and have it portable.  Rating and playcount are stored in the iTunes database, so they’re of no use in any other player.  This can be viewed as a competitive advantage, but to many of us, we will never switch over to iTunes until the tags at least measure up to, and preferrably exceed the other leading players.

The smart playlists are a great idea, but it’s seriously lacking ease of use.  Apple needs to look no further than MusicMatch’s Auto DJ function to find the proper interface for their smart playlist technology.  When you select Genre for example, I want to see a list of all my Genre’s and be able to check off which ones I want to include in my smart playlist.  This would give us (Rock OR Blues OR Jazz) in a single selection.  I don’t want to have to remember which Genres I have, then type them in.  Same for all the other fields.  This would add much needed flexibility. 

I realize these aren’t on the Accountants list of revenue generating enhancements, but happy customers generate revenue.  Given Apple’s software prowess in entertainment, iTunes should be a total killer app that dominates like the iPod does.

Posted by Endeavor on June 16, 2005 at 2:56 PM (CDT)


I’d like to see a search capability on the iPod similar to the iTunes keyword search.

Posted by Teknojunkie in Florida on June 16, 2005 at 3:16 PM (CDT)


Keep all iPods in Source list, like the shuffle.

Autofill for all iPods.

More genres.

Multiple genres per song.

A “featuring” field, a “producer” field, for my urban music.
C’mon Apple, contemporary music isn’t composed; it’s produced…
Or maybe more in general the possibility to add customizable tags to songs.

Checkbox to indicate whether a song is a regular song or an [intro], [outro], [skit], [interlude], [remix], [bonus track], [live].
Something like that.

Sharing when other person is not logged in.

Support for multiple Airports.

Play all computer’s sounds through Airtunes.

Play BOTH through Airtunes AND computer’s output.

Customize CDDB input - display song names in lowercase/caps/capitalize first character.
Use their own database or set one up, CDDB is a bit too messy for my Mac.

Apple should also set up a online db for lyrics, I think.

Oh and please take the syncing functionality out, and put it back into iSync…
Well, probably that’s not going to happen…
Pretty please?

Posted by Slow Motion, Quick Thinking on June 16, 2005 at 3:44 PM (CDT)


RE-SCAN music folders and add mew music to library

Other programs can do this.
For iTunes to be the best of the bunch this is a must have feature.

Posted by taam on June 16, 2005 at 4:39 PM (CDT)


Apart from better support for classical albums, I like to have auto-sync of my iPod, but with the possibility to exclude individual songs from synchronisation.

Furthermore I hope iTunes will never be feature-crammed but to remain the simple elegant program it is today.

Posted by tennapel on June 17, 2005 at 4:28 AM (CDT)


Alright, I didn’t read all of the comments but something I’d love to see in the iTunes music store is “Search By Lyrics”

Posted by mwilber on June 17, 2005 at 11:15 AM (CDT)


Im still quite new to this, so perhaps Im doing something wrong and one of you guys can tell me a better way to do it - but one of the things that annoys me is if I want to add a playlist to the ipod, and its at the bottom of my library, and I have to hold it and drag it up to the top of the screen and wait for it to roll-up to the ipod. Cant it be done so that you just click it twice or something and it would add itself?

Secondly, when adding new music, whether it be from a CD, folder, single track or multiple tracks, could there be an option to auto highlight it? I always like to check stuff Ive added, rename it etc, put it into different playlists and so on, and its quite easy to miss songs, especially when theyre from different artists, so if the latest tracks added were highlighted some way, it would be great. (With an option to turn it off for those people that dont like it)

Again I may have missed this, or someone else may have requested it, but if itunes detects your adding a duplicate song, it doesnt include it in the library, just adds a link in the playlist to point to the existing song. Or highlight duplicates so you can decide whether you want to keep them, remove them etc.

Did anyone request 5.1 and upwards speaker support? (I know this is dependant on hardware, drivers etc, but if this is there and working, it would be nice if itunes could take advantage of it)

At work now so will add more later :)

Posted by Andrew Proudlove in Prague, CZ on June 17, 2005 at 11:16 AM (CDT)


I know very little about technical things, but I would appreciate it very much if Apple could make uploading music from your iPod back to your computer possible.

Posted by thestranger19 on June 17, 2005 at 3:05 PM (CDT)


I would like to be able to scroll up on the ipod menu for say songs. I get tired of having to scroll down all the way to the songs starting with s or t. It would be nice to have a continuous scroll option so I could go either way. Also it would be nice to have like a letter feature. So I could select “songs”. All the letters of the alphabet would be listed like the thumbnails in the iphoto or in a calander view to quickly go to a certain letter, without even having to scroll. What do you think?

Posted by trav1 on June 17, 2005 at 3:23 PM (CDT)


Nice idea behind the feature to print jewel case inserts, but I find it totally useless without the ability to also print a CD label!  Once that carefully burned CD leaves it’s jewel case, it effectively loses it’s identity amongst all the other un-labeled CDs floating around my personal space.  “Use a Sharpie

Posted by mwilgar on June 17, 2005 at 3:35 PM (CDT)


Wow! I think iTunes needs a “Now Playing” feature. I don’t know how many times I have been listening to an Album and working on something else in iTunes and it completely stops the music because I am no longer at that CD. Also, I wish you could have an artists name be, for example, Gwen Stefani, and it shows as this but have the option of iTunes alphabetizing it as Stefani, Gwen, without all the artists looking all comma-ed up!

Posted by WldKt in United States on June 17, 2005 at 5:28 PM (CDT)


I do agree that number 4 (tracks by multiple artists) is an issue…it bugs the crap out of me, at least.  I have found a way to get around the problem, however, if you don’t mind spending a few extra minutes while you’re importing your songs.  If you just select all of the songs you’re importing, then right-click (I’m using Windows XP, so I don’t now how to do it with Mac) and select “Get Info” you can go to the songs that have the multiple artists.  Once I get there, I cut the name of the additional artist (as in the example above, I’d remove the “& Carl Perkins” from the artist name, since it is a Johnny Cash album) and paste it into the title window.  There I add, “[feat. ARTIST]” so the final edit for the example above would look like this: “Brown Eyed Handsome Man [feat. Carl Perkins]”.  This way, you can eliminate the clutter of having half a dozen or more listings for the main artist, while still retaining and giving credit to the other artist who contributed to the track.  Hope that relieves some stress for you!

Posted by iErin in USA on June 17, 2005 at 8:13 PM (CDT)



Good things to see on iTunes:

a. Lyrics
b. A better tag editor
c. Ability to remove duplicate library entries
d. Global Hotkeys (like Winamp) to control it while in any other application without needing to open iTunes window

Posted by velascomike on June 17, 2005 at 9:40 PM (CDT)


hello!! SKINS like windows media player

Posted by topper harley on June 17, 2005 at 9:45 PM (CDT)


How about a search by record label? Not so important with BIG labels but with many smaller labels the artists often share a common thread. Not to say that it’s true in all cases but it’s still a great way to find new music.

Posted by jacki-o-nasty on June 18, 2005 at 1:06 AM (CDT)


It’s great to see all the comments to this article! You’ve got some great ideas; we arbirtarily decided to limit the article to a top-ten of ideas, but you could certainly come up with dozens, as your comments show.

However, some of the features you request are already in iTunes. Let me comment on some of them…

— I think iTunes should include a built-in PDF viewer that takes up the top half of the content area in a wide format, much like the album art view above.

This is a good idea, but would probably be only do-able on the Mac. Apple would have to port their Preview technology to Intel (ah, right… that’s maybe not so hard these days). But since it opens PDFs in your default PDF reader, that’s probably better; you have more control over the display.

—A built in Library Migration Assistant for transferring a library to a (same-person) newly purchased PC.  Firewire or USB2.0 direct connect for ease of use… no network or external media.

This is already possible; you can network Macs via FireWire, and you simply copy the entire iTunes folder. For PCs, you can just erase your iPod, copy the folder to the iPod in disk mode, then copy it to the new PC.

—From other users repeated questions on how to get music from their iPod back to their pc, I would have thought that was pretty high on a lot of wishlists, but you missed it completely.

Well, no. First, that’s an iPod issue, not an iTunes issue. Second, we address that in several places on the site. Third, it’ll never happen; if Apple made that easy, then it would be a snap for anyone to copy anything from any iPod. (It’s not that hard, though, as you probably know.) Back up your files!

—Option to make the Music Store links take me to that artist, album, etc. in my OWN library.  If I have a song in my library already, why on earth do I want a link to it on iTMS?

On the Mac, Option-click the arrows. On Windows, I think it’s Alt-click? Can someone confirm?

—I think Multiple libraries are pretty pointless - why not just use all music together and make a personal playlist for “your

Posted by Kirk McElhearn on June 18, 2005 at 5:16 AM (CDT)


Definitely crossfading for iPod!!!

Posted by Andipod on June 18, 2005 at 8:46 AM (CDT)


The cross-fade in iTunes needs to be rethought, or at least have more options. As it stands, the crossfade brings the volume of one track down, and the other up. but if you have the overlap set for more than a second or two, you don’t actually hear the end or beginning of songs. How about an actual crossfade: one song begins a second or two before the end of the previous. They simply overlap, with no volume change.

Posted by cobraverde on June 18, 2005 at 3:12 PM (CDT)


Be able to sort music by the (!) symbol on the left side.

Posted by M3wThr33 in Redmond, WA on June 18, 2005 at 4:52 PM (CDT)


I agree with multiple genres. That I would love to see.

Posted by Christian Otte on June 18, 2005 at 7:38 PM (CDT)


I would like to see an option for an automatic bookmark in a playlist, so that you can play part way through the list, play another list and then resume playing the first list from the   point you stopped.

Posted by Neil Rees on June 19, 2005 at 6:54 AM (CDT)


More and iPod than an iTunes issue but for classical music I would like to be able to select genre, then composer instead of artist.

Posted by mreddington on June 19, 2005 at 10:31 AM (CDT)


iTunes Store - Music Videos:
1. We would be great to have a search function for music videos.
2. The current way to see what video is available is - well - kind of painful. Why not just have a plain list - like it is used for songs?

Posted by RolfB on June 19, 2005 at 1:38 PM (CDT)


the NOW PLAYING feature is a must.  i would love that.  any opposed users could even opt not to have it shown in the source.

i would also like it if they could somehow make the ARTIST area in “browse” mode, to span vertically top to bottom, instead of showing only 15 or so artists at a time.  this would benefit 12” powerbook users most, or anywould stuck with low screen resolution.

Posted by redbridgeroad on June 19, 2005 at 2:16 PM (CDT)


The ones that pop into my head are:

1) Podcast management
2) Add radio stations to the radio stations menu, not the regular library
3) ability to enqueue files without using the Party Shuffle (if I am playing through songs on random, I should be able to just right-click and say “play next.”)
4) Sub-genres would be GREAT.

Posted by synecdoche on June 19, 2005 at 6:56 PM (CDT)


Oh, and one other thing. I like how iTunes doesn’t list groups beginning with “the” under “the”, but under the ‘real’ name of the band. It would be great if iTunes would also do this with albums.

Don’t think this feature would be that hard to add.

Posted by Christian Otte on June 19, 2005 at 7:25 PM (CDT)


Refine the requirements for 1. as follows (can you tell I do this sort of thing for a living?):

There may be several iPods connecting to a single computer running iTunes.

All tunes and albums will be saved to a common Library.

Each iPod user sets up a personal library, such as “His Library” and “Her Library” in the example. Each personal library links to albums and/or tunes in the common Library. “His Library” is effectively the list of music to be kept in synch for his iPod.

There should be no need for two copies of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club” to be saved to the computer.

Newly downloaded albums or tunes might be automatically added to each list, or not. This should be a user choice in iTunes.

{less thought out requirement here}
By extension, manual add or removal of a tune or album in a user’s list should be as easy as checking of unchecking, which adds or removes the song or album to the currently connected iPod.

We expect to have two or more iPods soon, so this is a very desireable addition to iTunes.

Very Important—Kirk McElhearn suggested that a utility to move the iTunes library/database to a new PC or Mac isn’t really necessary. It was my understanding that iTunes on the new computer wouldn’t recognize a library copied from another PC/Mac. If I’m mistaken let me know. Also, a utility might still be needed to move tunes between a PC and a Mac (or Linux, see below).

Another suggestion: a Linux version of iTunes. I don’t have a Linux box (yet), but I know people who do, and there are more of them out there than Mac users. It can’t be too hard to modify iTunes to use XWindows, can it?

Posted by FloydC on June 20, 2005 at 12:35 AM (CDT)


Wow,dosent anyone else want to be able to have a larger rating scale than 1-5?

or make a half of a star

cause ive got alot of songs that fall in between the 5 star system.I need halves and it would be perfect.

Posted by the pacman fire on June 20, 2005 at 12:36 AM (CDT)

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