Preventing iTunes from automatically opening audio files
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: Does anyone know how I can set up iTunes on my Mac so it doesn’t automatically add any new audio/media track I play to my library? It’s a nightmare trying to catalog my music collection when I have to trawl through hundreds of unlabelled audio tracks that have nothing to do with music.
- via iLounge Forums
A: This is actually a feature of Mac OS X as opposed to iTunes itself and has to do with which application is assigned to open different types of media files. On OS X, iTunes registers itself to handle all of the file types that you would typically have in an iTunes library (e.g. MP3, M4A, WAV, etc), which has the unfortunate side-effect of meaning that it opens as the default audio player when double-clicking on any of these file types and imports the track in question to your iTunes library in the process.
The good news is that this can easily be changed to use whatever other audio player app you prefer. QuickTime is included with OS X so that’s a good alternative, but you can also use any other compatible third-party app that you prefer. To do this, simply select an audio file in Finder and choose File, Get Info to bring up the file information dialog box. You can then select an alternative application from the drop-down in the “Open with” section and use the Change All… button to apply that selection to all files of that particular media type.
Keep in mind that this setting will apply only to the specific file type you’ve selected (i.e. MP3), so you may need to repeat it for other media files that you commonly access directly from Finder, such as WAV and M4A (AAC) files.
Note also that you can also override this behaviour each time you open an individual file by right-clicking on the file and choosing a specific application from the Open With… sub-menu. Further, even if you’ve selected QuickTime or some other alternate player for your audio files, you can also continue to import media files into iTunes manually by dragging and dropping them into the iTunes window or using the File, Add to Library option from within iTunes.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple will source iPhone 7 ‘A10’ CPU solely from TSMC
- Federal bill aims to take regulatory power for phone encryption out of state hands
- Job post shows Apple emphasizing new complications, faces for Apple Watch
- New comments hint at forthcoming streaming TV service from Apple
- Apple Music available on Sonos starting today
- Screen protector installation now available at Apple Stores
- Russia mulling tax increase on App Store purchases, other Apple services
- Lawyers threaten to sue Apple over ‘Error 53’ codes disabling iPhones
- Apple releases iOS 9.3 beta 3, tvOS 9.2 beta 3, watchOS 2.2 beta 3 to developers
- Indie game ‘The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth’ rejected by Apple over violence toward children
- Vicks SmartTemp Wireless Smartphone Thermometer
- Gumdrop Cases DropTech Case for iPad Pro
- Edifier MP700 Rave Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Just Mobile HoverDock for Apple Watch + HoverDock for iPhone
- VRS Design Dandy Layered Case for iPad Pro
- Just Mobile TENC for iPad Pro
- Native Union DOCK Lightning
- Native Union DOCK for Apple Watch
- Hitcase Pro+ Action Pack and Snap for iPhone 6/6s
- Urban Armor Gear Trooper for iPhone 6/6s
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 8.4 + Apple Music
- CE Week 2015: IK Multimedia, Monowear’s Apple Watch bands + More
- Live From CE Week 2015: Brand New iPad, iPhone + Mac Accessories!