Managing Your Media
Introduction iTunes is a program that enables you to manage your music, movies, television shows, and podcasts in a simple organized application. This tutorial will guide you through elements of the interface as well as help you to understand the basics of how you can use iTunes for your media management (such as playlists and using an iPod).
This guide is intended to be a one-hour quick start to help you begin using iTunes for your media management needs. iTunes 7.6.2 is the version that was used for the production of this guide. Each section is broken up into separate steps that can be done in order or on their own to make your learning easier. At the end of each section is a short review and an activity to help reinforce your learning from that section. Here are the approximate times to complete each section. Section 1: Interface Overview (~15 minutes) Section 2: Adding Media (~20 minutes) Section 3: Working With Media (~25 minutes)
Using this guide
This guide will take approximately one hour to complete. If you are new to iTunes and want to gain the greatest familiarity with it, you should take the time to complete all the sections together. At the end of each section is a short review to help reinforce what youʼve learned.
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Section 1: Interface Overview
The iTunes interface is intended to be an easy-to-navigate tool with some buttons that are similar to those found on standard music and video devices. Here we will review the components of the interface that will get you started quickly using the application. In the image below (Figure 1) you will see the interface just as you would ﬁnd it upon opening iTunes for the ﬁrst time.
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Figure 1: iTunes interface
Letʼs begin by going from top left to bottom right as we review the functions. Playback controls. These buttons function just as they would on a personal CD player or other electronic music player. From left to right, these buttons are: reverse, play/ pause, and forward. Volume control. This is a slider that can be adjusted using your mouse and controls the volume of iTunes (independent of your computer volume).
Display. This can show you the name of the song that is currently playing as well as displaying equalizer information.
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View control. These three buttons give you the ability to change the view of the media library. The three views are: List, Album, and Cover Flow. In list view, you can see all your music as a list. Album View keeps your music displayed with other songs from the same album, and shows the album artwork alongside. The Cover Flow view lets you see all the album covers and to easily ﬂip through them to ﬁnd the album you want to hear. Search. This tool allows you to search your music by keyword and shows you the results in the main windows below. You can search by a single word that is listed in a songʼs artist, album, composer, or even song name. Source List. This tool helps you keep your media organized. Media is organized by type of content. Playlists and Smart Playlists are organized in the Playlist section organized by type (smart playlists ﬁrst) and then alphabetically by playlist name. You can make playlists for a selection of your favorite songs, or any other reason. Smart Playlists are automatically populated using dynamic search ﬁlters and can be set to update on their own as more content is added to your library. You can set these up for a collection by artist, genre, year, or many other types of categorization. We will review Smart Playlists in Section 3. Additional controls. These buttons are as follows from left
*Turn on ʻcover artʼ now so that it will be available in the next section.
to right: create playlist, shufﬂe, repeat, show cover art*. More additional controls. Browser enables the column view of the library allowing you to search by genre, artist, and album. Eject is used to easily eject a disk in the drive. In the lower right corner is the expand window tool. By grabbing and dragging this corner, you can easily resize the window to a desired size. Activity 1
Music has been a powerful force throughout history. Its power has affected all aspects of peoples lives. The ideas and attitudes people have toward their country can easily be seen in their music. While music in the early part of the modern era (1400-1900) served to promote patriotism and nationalism, musics role in the late 20th century seems a reversal and has been a deconstructive force ...
Take a moment to review the different tools and familiarize yourself with their locations. In a later activity you will need to use these tools to perform various functions.
Section Review • How can you adjust the volume? • If you have music already, try the search tool and also try using the Quick Browse tool. • Play some music and set it to shufﬂe and repeat. • Practice resizing the window.
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Section 2: Adding Media
Adding media to iTunes can be accomplished a few different ways. You may already own a CD collection, or perhaps you want to buy new music from the iTunes store. In this section we will spend time reviewing how to import from CDs but will also take a brief look at the iTunes Store. Adding music to iTunes and subsequently your iPod can make your life a lot easier. Remember the days of carrying a CD case that held pages of CDs? Those were great because you could take your entire music collection with you in your car. However, nothing was more upsetting than your car getting broken into and your entire CD collection disappearing. This could be a very expensive loss. Now with your iPod, you can still carry your music with you, but if it gets lost or stolen, you donʼt lose your expensive collection because thereʼs a backup of your music on your computer at home. Replacing an iPod is a lot less costly than replacing all of your CDs. Letʼs see how easy it is to add our music to our iTunes library. For best results, make sure that you have an active internet connection so that iTunes can look up the album and song titles for you. It will save you time while importing your music. This does not work with all CDs or mixes that your friends have made for you.
Importing music Letʼs import a CD now. 1. Select a music CD and insert it into your computerʼs optical drive. 2. iTunes will automatically attempt to look up the CDʼs album information over the internet. 3. If step 2 is unsuccessful, you will need to manually enter the information for this CD either before or after import. 4. Your CD will show up in the source list under Devices with the album title. 5. iTunes may ask you if you would like to import the CD, but if it doesnʼt, you can select the CD, and then click the Import CD button on the bottom right corner of the screen. iTunes will import any songs that are selected with a checkbox. The eject button will eject your CD if necessary. 6. While iTunes is importing the CD, the display at the top of the screen will show the current songʼs status. If you want to cancel the action, click the X on the right side.
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Buying new music
Itʼs easy to buy new music from the iTunes store, but you will need a credit card to create an account. You can also use iTunes Gift Cards to buy music.
Making sure your songs have titles will make creating customized playlists a lot easier. If you donʼt input song names, iTunes will name your songs Track 1, Track 2, etc.
7. While iTunes is importing the CD you can see the status in the song list. A green check mark indicates that iTunes is ﬁnished importing the song, while the orange wave symbol indicates that iTunes is currently importing the song. 8. If you have an iTunes account and the cover art is available on iTunes, you can get the album artwork for a particular track by choosing Get Album Artwork from the Advanced menu. 9. If you select a song that has no artwork, you can download the artwork from the internet and then drag and drop it into the drop zone. (Figure 2) Figure 2: Drop zone
If the artwork is not available via the iTunes Store, then you can also get it with other methods. One of the easiest ways is to search for an image of the cover on Google, and then save it to your desktop. You can then drag it into iTunes.
Having the album artwork for your music can make managing your music easier and more fun. If you have the cover art, you can easily browse your music using the Cover Flow view on your computer and iPod. • Using the slider or by clicking with your mouse, you can move through your music and ﬁnd what you want to hear. • You can also view Cover Flow in Full Screen mode by clicking the button in the lower right corner, next to the slider. • If you want to adjust the size of Cover Flow, you will ﬁnd an adjustment tool directly below the slider in the center of the Cover Flow area (indicated in the image to the left in red).
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Click and drag it up and down with your mouse to adjust it. Section Review • What are some reasons to have the track names for all your songs in your library? • How can you add cover art to your imported tracks? • What are your options if the cover art isnʼt available on the iTunes store? • How do you use Cover Flow to ﬁnd music?
Import a few of your favorite CDs and take a little extra time to make sure that the tracks are named and that you have cover art for each of them.
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Section 3: Working With Media
There is deﬁnitely much more you can do with your music than we could cover in just one section. We will cover making playlists and Smart Playlists, so you can get a basic understanding and then experiment on your own. Now that your music is in iTunes, there are a few things you can do with it. • Create a playlist and make a music CD • Create a Smart Playlist • Use Party Shufﬂe to manage your music for a party • Listen to playlists on your iPod • Much, much more Making a playlist Playlists are custom mixes of songs that you put together yourself that can be easily burned to CD, or listened to on your iPod or across your home if you have your computer hooked up to the stereo. Letʼs use some of your songs to make a playlist. 1. Begin by clicking the New Playlist button. 2. A new untitled playlist is created in the Source List and ready for you to assign a name to it. 3. Go ahead and give it a name. 4. Now that you have an empty playlist you can start putting some music into it. 5. Go back to your library and ﬁnd some music that you would like to have in your new playlist. 6. You can drag the songs you want into your playlist. 7. Keep dragging songs from your library into your playlist until you are satisﬁed with the length of your mix. 8. You can change the order of the songs in your playlist by dragging them around into your order of preference or by clicking the top of the column by which you want to sort. a. If they donʼt seem to want to change order when you drag them, make sure they arenʼt being sorted by song name, artist, or any other column. b. They should be set to sort by their numerical order, which is the column on the far left. 9. If you want to make sure that you donʼt put more songs into a playlist than you can burn to an audio CD: a. Click your playlist.
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b. On the bottom of the screen, you should see the time and amount of storage your songs would take up. If it shows the time in decimals, then just click it once and it will change to show the time in the context of Days:Hours:Minutes:Seconds c. As long as the amount of time of your playlist is less than the length of the blank CDs that you want to use, you should be able to burn your completed playlist for listening in your car or other source. 10.When you are happy with your choice of songs, and their sort order, click the Burn Disc button. Changing iTunes Preferences By default, the preferences are set to burn an audio CD with a two-second gap between each song. If you would like to change this setting, then follow these steps to get to the screen below.
When listening to your music, if youʼve ever experienced the volume changing dramatically from one song to the next, turn on Sound Check to reduce this effect. It will balance the volume of your songs to keep them from ﬂuctuating as much.
1. Depending on your operating system, youʼll use a different method to get to the Preferences menu. a. Mac: click iTunes -> Preferences b. Windows: click Edit -> Preferences 2. Click Advanced -> Burning From this screen you can change the Gap Between Songs, turn on Sound Check, or Include CD Text that will show up on the displays of some CD players.
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Making a Smart Playlist The purpose of a Smart Playlist is to have iTunes dynamically update your playlist based on criteria that you have selected. As you add more music to iTunes that meets this criteria, it will automatically be added to your Smart Playlist. Smart Playlists can be created that are based on many different types of criteria, including: genre, artist, keyword in the song name, last played date, etc. You can even combine different criteria to make your playlist more speciﬁc or general.
Letʼs create a Smart Playlist. 1. When holding the Option key on your keyboard, the new playlist button becomes the new smart playlist button. 2. Click it, and the Smart Playlist dialog box will appear.
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3. This tool is used to create rules for your playlist, like a search ﬁlter. By setting up criteria for your playlist, you can have a dynamic mix of music which automatically includes new music you add later that matches these rules. 4. By unchecking Match the following rule, it will ignore your rules and simply create a Smart Playlist based on the choices you make with the remaining three checkboxes. 5. Start by clicking the ﬁrst drop-down that says Artist. 6. Choose the ﬁrst set of criteria youʼd like to have dictate the rules of your new playlist. 7. The second drop-down says contains and is used to choose how you would like iTunes to treat your keyword. (e.g. If you want iTunes to look for all songs where the Genre is Jazz, then you would use the appropriate choices in the drop-downs to create that statement.)
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8. At the end of the rule, you should see a plus and minus button. They are used to create more criteria for your rule. 9. If you add additional criteria, then a new drop-down will appear above your rule. All or Any
Choosing all is another way of saying “each song in this playlist must follow all of these rules,” while any is another way of saying “the songs in this playlist may follow any of these rules.”
10.Your options are to match all or any of the rules. By adding other criteria, you can create much more speciﬁc rules for your songs, or create more diverse playlists. 11.The Limit checkbox enables you to control how much of a particular type of music is in your playlist. If you leave this unchecked, it will not limit the size of your playlist. You can choose to limit your list by minutes, hours, number of songs, etc, and also how iTunes will select the songs by which it will limit the playlist. 12.If you want iTunes to exclude certain songs from your playlists, you can turn off the checkboxes in the Library, and then choose the option here to Match only checked items. 13.Live Updating means that iTunes will automatically update your Smart Playlist when songs that match the rules are added to your Library. 14.When you select OK, your Smart Playlist is created and immediately updated based on the rules. If you wish to rename your playlist, click the title of the Smart Playlist once and the title will become editable. 15.If you ever want to change any of the rules of your Smart Playlist, right-click (ctrl-click) the playlist, and choose Edit Smart Playlist. Congratulations! Youʼve learned to create playlists and Smart Playlists in iTunes. These playlists can easily be transferred to your iPod or iPhone, or burned to CD and played back whenever you want. Donʼt forget to back up your data! iTunes makes it easy to back up your iTunes collection from time to time, and there are also other tools available for backing up your important data.
Practice creating playlists and adding music to them, then change the order of the songs to suit you. Make a mix for your iPod for the gym or daily commute.
Section Review • Whatʼs the difference between a normal playlist and a Smart Playlist in iTunes? • What are some ways you can sort songs in your playlist? • Open the Smart Playlist dialog box and take some time to look at the different criteria that can be used for your rules.
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Now that you are done with all three sections of this guide, I encourage you to practice what youʼve learned and become more familiar with iTunes. Unfortunately, we donʼt have time to review all of the functions that iTunes is capable of doing; however, it is important for you to know that iTunes has a very thorough help tool. iTunes Help To access the built-in iTunes help, choose Help from the menu bar, then click iTunes Help. In Mac OS X Leopard, if you are looking for a particular menu option or help topic, you can also use the Search ﬁeld in the Help Menu.
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