iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iOS and iTunes Tips & Tricks | iLounge

Tips & Tricks

Searching the Store from anywhere in iTunes

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This week’s tip may be simple, but if you’re frequently searching the iTunes Store for new music, movies, books, and apps, it can be a big time saver. Normally, you need to click on the iTunes Store in your sidebar to search the Store—but this isn’t the only way to do it. Simply hold down option when you hit return after typing something in iTunes’ built-in search field and it will automatically route your query to the iTunes Store instead of searching locally.

Splitting a track in iTunes

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Have any tracks hanging out in your library that were ripped from CD, and therefore include one song, a few minutes of silence, and then a bonus track afterward? Well, this tip—an oldie but a goodie—will show you how to split the two using nothing but iTunes.

Simply find out the time code for when the hidden song starts, make sure you have the track selected, go to File > Get Info or hit Command-I on the keyboard, go to the Options tab, and then set the Start Time to the start of the hidden track. Hit OK, and then with the song still selected, go to Advanced > Create AAC Version, or select the same option by right-clicking on the track. After a short conversion process, you’ll have two copies of the track, one of which is complete, and one of which contains only the hidden track. You can then go back in, set the Start Time on the original to 0:00 and the Stop Time to the end of the first track, leaving you with both songs intact but none of the silence.

Quickly adding your Digital Booklets to iBooks

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Long before the advent of iTunes LP, Apple offered—and still does offer—so-called Digital Booklets with certain album purchases. Unfortunately, these files have been basically useless outside of iTunes, as Apple has never offered a good way to organize and view them on its portable devices—until it added PDF support iBooks. While it might not do it automatically, iTunes does offer an easy way to gather these Booklets up and move them over to iBooks.

Taking iTunes Full-Screen in Lion

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If you’re one of the million-plus people who took the leap and installed Lion on your Mac last week, odds are you know about the new OS’ Full-Screen App feature—but if you haven’t upgraded to iTunes 10.4, you might be missing out. One of the first things you might notice upon launching the app in Lion is a pair of diagonal arrows pointing out towards the corners of the screen—these are there to let you turn on Full Screen mode, which can also be activated by hitting control-command-F on the keyboard.

Quickly add apps, content to iOS devices

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More than likely you’re accustomed to using iTunes’ tabbed device management interface for handling what apps, music, videos, and other media you want on your devices. But did you know that you can add just a few items quickly and easily without ever having to change those settings? Simply drag-and-drop any app or content you want from your iTunes library to the iOS device’s listing in the sidebar. iTunes will automatically add it to the device—assuming there’s enough available space—even if you’ve got automatic syncing turned on.

Setting up Automatic Downloads in iOS and iTunes

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Announced this week as part of Apple’s new iCloud service, you can now set your iOS devices and iTunes to automatically download new purchases made on other devices. On your iOS device running 4.3.3, go in to the Settings apps and tap on Store. Right at the top, you’ll see slider toggles for turning Automatic Downloads of Music, Apps, and Books on and off. In addition, there’s a separate option below that on 3G-enabled devices that lets you decide whether you’d like them to download purchases over the cellular network when you’re away from Wi-Fi.

In iTunes 10.3, the process is just as simple. Open the iTunes > Preferences… menu, click the Store tab, and then click the three check boxes for the Automatic Downloads of Music, Apps, and Books as you’d like. From now on, whenever you purchase a song, app, or book on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or home computer, you’ll find it waiting for you the next time you use one of your other devices.

Turning on Home Sharing for iPod, iPhone, and iPad

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Apple’s cloud-based music service might be just around the corner, but in the meantime, you can have complete access to your iTunes library on any iOS 4.3 device via your home’s Wi-Fi network by setting up Home Sharing. In the iTunes Preferences window, make sure you have Sharing turned on, then go to the Advanced menu and turn on Home Sharing. Once that’s done, go to your iOS device’s Settings app, tap on iPod, and scroll down to the Home Sharing section, then enter the same Apple ID and password that you used to setup Home Sharing on iTunes. From then on, whenever you access the iPod app while connected to your home network, you’ll see an option for Shared under the More tab. Select your library, and you’ll have full access to every song, album, and playlist you’ve got, turning every iPod/iPhone/iPad speaker in the house into a mini music server. Note that if you have a second-generation Apple TV, you can likely skip the iTunes steps and go straight to your portable device.

Disabling Ping in iTunes

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Apple’s social music network Ping hasn’t exactly set the world on fire since its debut last year, and while some users find it amusing and helpful, others see it as far more of a nuisance than it’s worth. Luckily for the latter crowd, there’s a super-easy way to disable it. Simply open the iTunes > Preferences menu—or hit command-comma—go to the Parental Controls tab, check the box next to Ping in the Disable area, and hit okay. This single manuever removes all references to Ping from iTunes, including the sidebar, track, and iTunes Store menu listings.

Please visit our Tip of the Day sponsor PowerSupportUSA.com for more information on their iPod/iPhone/iPad cases and films.

Power (Column) Browsing on the iTunes Store

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Depending on how long you’ve been an iTunes user, you may or may not know about the column browser view. But did you know it works in the iTunes Store as well? Simply open the store, then hit command+B—or select View > Column Browser > Show Column Browser. Once you’re in, you can browse everything in the store—including music, movies, TV shows, and apps—by genre or category, and sort the results in a variety of ways, including by name, artist, price, and release date, with the latter being super-handy for finding the latest and greatest stuff on the store.

Please visit our Tip of the Day sponsor PowerSupportUSA.com for more information on their iPod/iPhone/iPad cases and films.

Taking control of your iTunes Library with Smart Playlists

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For those of us with larger music and video libraries, picking and choosing what media to put on our iPods, iPhones, and iPads can be a real chore. Luckily, iTunes has a built-in feature that can help you make customized playlists of just the stuff you want to hear and watch. Called Smart Playlists, these dynamic lists are created by setting different rules—say, only songs added in the last two years with a rating of four stars or higher—and using those to filter out the filler. With over forty different basic rules to choose from, you should have no problem creating new lists that work for you while maximizing the space on your favorite portable device. To get started, simply hold down the option button on your keyboard while rolling over the plus symbol in the bottom left corner of the main iTunes window, or go to the File menu and choose “New Smart Playlist…”

Please visit our Tip of the Day sponsor PowerSupportUSA.com for more information on their iPod/iPhone/iPad cases and films.

Using multiple iPods, iPhones, or iPads with iTunes

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Just purchase your second Apple media device? Not to worry—iTunes can easily handle as many devices as your computer has ports, and then some. If you’ve got multiple iOS devices, just check “Set up as a new device” when you first connect to iTunes, and to help keep track of them, make sure you give each one a unique name. Once this is done, you’ll be able to pick and choose what music, videos, apps, and other media you want to put on each device individually, meaning each member of the family can have their own favorites on their iPods, iPhones, or iPads, with the added benefit of having separate backups for all your iOS devices.

Please visit our Tip of the Day sponsor PowerSupportUSA.com for more information on their iPod/iPhone/iPad cases and films.

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