A cluttered iTunes library can stress you out, slow down your computer, and make syncing with your iPhone or iPod take forever.
We have some quick fixes for these problems that will make your library cleaner and run a lot faster.
We've never been huge fans of the 'Genius' features iTunes offers that tries to create playlists for you.
The bigger problem with Genius is that it randomly sends data to Apple, slowing down iTunes and your computer in the process.
Genius also creates playlists that sync with your iDevice. These playlists take time to update when you launch iTunes, and they also waste time syncing to your device.
Turn off Genius from the 'Store' menu and forget about it.
Is your iPhone or iPod running out of space? Use this Smart Playlist to automatically fill it up with recent songs you like
We constantly seem to be running out of space on our iPhones after trying to cram so much music into them. How do you narrow things down without having to drag and drop songs you like onto your iDevice?
Well, one way is that you could alter your Top 25 playlist to instead be your Top 300 playlist and sync that.
A better way is to create a brand new Smart Playlist called 'Songs I Like.' Go to 'File' and then click 'New Smart Playlist' and change the playlist's criteria to what you see in the picture at right. Use the + signs to add more criteria.
Change the 'GBs' to however much space you can afford (although iTunes only accepts whole numbers like 1, 2, 3 or 10). Also, change 'Plays' to however you see fit.
This playlist template will create a constantly updated list of songs you've played more than a few times, but limit the size of the playlist based on how much space you can afford on your device.
These apps will fix song titles, add album art, and add in information where it's currently missing.
Rinse is $39.00.
TuneUp is $39.95, but components can be purchased separately.
A little known fact is that when you decide to 'Sync Photos' through iTunes, your computer automatically scales down your photos and creates a hulking cache file filled with them.
This process can slow down iTunes and syncing, and the cache file can take up a ton of space on your computer. Disable photo syncing in iTunes with your device plugged in, and then track down the 'iPod Photo Cache' in the 'Pictures' folder on your computer and delete it.
If you want to grab photos off your iDevice, try using Image Capture instead (comes with your Mac) or select 'View Content' when you plug your iPhone into a Windows PC.
One more Image Capture trick is to highlight your device in the left column (when it's plugged in), then check 'No Application' for when your device plugs in (pictured). Now, iPhoto won't launch when you plug in your device.
In iTunes 10, Apple decided to rotate the red, yellow, and green jewels to a vertical orientation.
When you're switching between apps, iTunes 10's refusal to abide by normal conventions is a nuisance.
Open the Terminal application (that comes on your Mac) using Spotlight, and paste in the following code:
defaults write com.apple.iTunes full-window -1
and press Enter
If you want to change it back, copy in:
defaults write com.Apple.iTunes full-window -0
and press Enter
Having too many columns in your iTunes library view makes it difficult to navigate through your library.
Right click anywhere inside the horizontal bar containing all of your column titles and uncheck whichever columns you don't need.
Tired of 'Marimba,' or waking up to the alarm clock app buzzing at you?
It's really easy to make your own ringtones from songs you like.
Right click the song you want to make a ringtone out of and then click 'Get Info.' Navigate to the 'Options' tab and check the boxes for 'Start Time' and 'Stop Time.' Then, enter in a 30 second period you want the ringtone to be.
For example, enter in 0:00 for Start Time and 0:30 for Stop Time to use the first 30 seconds of the song. Press 'Ok.' Then, right click the song again and click 'Create AAC Version' to create a new audio clip using only that 30 second period.
Once the conversion is complete (you won't lose your original file, but make sure to go back into it and uncheck the Start and Stop times you just used), drag the new file from iTunes to your desktop, then delete it from iTunes.
Drag the file from your desktop back into iTunes to import it as a ringtone. Done!
When you see an exclamation point (!) next to a song when you try to play it, it means that the song file is missing.
The song title you see in iTunes is just a shortcut to a file, so getting rid of empty shortcuts is an easy way to clean up your library.
To avoid having this problem again, the first thing to do is go to your iTunes Preferences' 'Advanced' tab and make sure 'Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library' is checked.
If this setting is checked, iTunes will automatically make a copy of any song you drag or play in iTunes. No need to worry about the original file, because iTunes copies it to your computer.
This setting is now a default, fortunately, but sometimes you'll still encounter tracks with missing files.
To delete all of the missing shortcuts within iTunes, click here to download an AppleScript and follow the instructions therein. The script even creates a text file of missing songs.
Want more cool scripts to add functionality to iTunes? Click here.
Ping is a pest that pops up constant reminders of Apple's biggest social networking failure.
Turn it off for good by clicking your account name at the top right of the iTunes Store and navigating down to 'Turn Off' Ping.
Also, disabling the iTunes Sidebar stops it from loading in images, songs, and more. It can speed up your experience overall. Click the arrow button (inside of a box) in the bottom right corner of iTunes.
Addictive Tips claims that deleting smart playlists you don't need can make your iTunes startup time up to 3x faster.
Smart Playlists are playlists with gears to the left of them in the navigation pane.
Why? Because any time you launch iTunes, it updates ('live updating,' in Apple's terms) your smart playlists according to the criteria you set up.
A few Smart Playlists is fine, but try and delete any that you don't frequently use.
Click 'File,' then 'Display Duplicates' to find songs you have two copies of.
Maybe you imported the song twice by accident, or maybe you have two versions of the same song.
Delete songs you no longer need, but make sure to play them both to make sure they're actually the same song (and not an acoustic version, or something like that).