[accesscomp] Dan's daily tip

  • From: "Bob Acosta" <boacosta@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "tektalk discussion" <tektalkdiscussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2012 08:56:12 -0700

    Six Tips for Managing your iTunes Library"


by Dennis O'Reilly

August 22, 2012 9:04 AM PDT

About the time my iTunes music library reached 5,000 tracks I knew it was 
time for a cleanup. While I was at it, I adjusted the volume on some tracks 
that I had converted from audio cassettes, made sure joined tracks play in 
sequence, set iTunes to fill my iPod automatically, and learned some handy 
playback-control keyboard shortcuts.

Now I'm spending more time listening to the tracks in my iTunes library and 
less time skipping, scrolling, and searching.

*Tip I.  The semi-automatic way to remove duplicate media files
iTunes provides two options for identifying duplicate files: one based on 
the song name and artist, and another "exact" method based on the song name, 
artist, and album.

Methode One:  To see a list of files with the same name and artist,

a.  choose the library in the left pane

b.  Click File > Display Duplicates.

c.  Press the Shift key in Windows or the Alt or Option key on a Mac.

d.  Then click File > Display Exact Duplicates to view files with the same 
name, artist, and album.

Method Two:  To ensure you're deleting the lowest-quality duplicate, show 
the Bit Rate column in the file list:

a.  click View > View Options,

b.  Check Bit Rate in the Show Columns list,

c.  click OK, and then drag the Bit Rate column to the left so it's visible 
next to the song name, artist, and album.

Show the Bit Rate column in iTunes' duplicate-file list to ensure you're 
deleting the file with the lowest playback quality.  (

If you want to delete the older of the duplicates,

sort by the Date Added column (

if the column isn't visible,

1.  click View > View Options,

2.  check Date Added,

3.  Finally, click OK.).

If you're an iCloud subscriber,

1.  click the iCloud Status column to list all the duplicate files together.

2.  Select the duplicates you want to remove by Ctrl-clicking, 
Command-clicking, or Shift-clicking them, as the case may be.

3.  Finally,  press Delete. You're then told the files will be removed from 
your media player on the next sync, and you're given the option to keep the 
files in your iTunes Media library or placing them in the Recycle Bin or 
Trash. (iCloud subscribers are given the option to delete the file from 
their iCloud library.)

When you delete duplicate files from your iTunes library you can keep them 
in your media library or send them to the Trash (or Recycle Bin in Windows).

Depending on your media collection, you may have duplicates remaining after 
you delete the files iTunes identified as duplicates. It took another pass 
through my library to find the few dozen duplicates that iTunes failed to 
spot. Still, the semi-automatic dupe-deletion method shrank my library by 
more than 15 percent.

Tip Two:  tracks to play in sequence
I'm a fan of shuffling the songs I listen to from my library, until the 
third movement of Beethoven's Sixth Symphony plays without being preceded by 
movements one and two and followed by movements four and five. (If I had 
followed the steps below to join CD tracks when I ripped the disc, I 
wouldn't need to connect the tracks after the fact.)

You can tie together separate tracks of a single piece of music or the cuts 
from one side of an LP (think Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon") if the 
track numbers are sequential, and the tracks have the same album name.

There are two ways to ensure separate album cuts play in sequence:

Method one:

a.  right-click each track separately.

b.  Choose Get Info > Options > Part of a gapless album.

Method two:

a.  select all the tracks at once,

b.  right-click the selection,

c.  choose Get Info > Yes (at the warning about editing information about 
multiple files at once) > Options,

d.  choose Yes in the drop-down menu next to "Gapless album,"

e.  click OK.

 .  ITunes Options Dialog Box

Make sure connected tracks play in sequence by checking "Part of a gapless 
album" in the track's

As the Apple support site indicates, gapless playback is on by default in 
many iPods and iPhones, unless their audio-crossfade feature is enabled 
(crossfade is off by default). Unless you're listening on shuffle, most 
contiguous tracks will play as intended without having to enable 

*Tip III.  Join CD tracks when you rip them
There's a simple way to avoid having to link tracks so they play in the 
appropriate sequence: tell iTunes to join the cuts before you rip them from 
the CD.

When 1.  you insert the CD, iTunes will ask whether you would like to import 
the tracks. Click No,

2.  Select the connected tracks by Shift-clicking (note that iTunes can join 
tracks only if they are listed together).

3.  Once the tracks are highlighted, click Advanced > Join CD tracks.  A 
small black line to the left of the tracks indicates that they are linked.

 Join CD tracks before you import them to iTunes to ensure linked tracks 
play together.

After the tracks are joined, click Import CD. Once the import is completed, 
the connected tracks appear in your library as a single entry.

As the Apple support site indicates, the Join CD tracks option requires that 
the tracks are selected on an audio CD, that the tracks are contiguous, and 
that the CD is sorted by track number in ascending order.

*Tip IV.  Make iTunes sound better

Use the Sound Check/Equalizer to adjust the volume of single tracks
In July 2011 I explained how to use the free Audacity audio software to 
convert LPs and audiocassettes into MP3s and CDs. Hundreds of the songs in 
my iTunes library were transferred from a tape or vinyl record. 
Unfortunately, the volume of these tracks is often much lower than the 
volume of original MP3s and tracks ripped from audio CDs.

iTunes lets you adjust the volume of individual tracks via the song's 
Options dialog box.

1.  Select the track,

2.  right-click it, and choose Get Info > Options.

3.  Move the volume-adjustment slider to the left to lower the track's 
volume or to the right to increase its volume.  Raise or lower the playback 
volume of a single track via the volume-adjustment slider in the item's 
Options dialog box.

You can also choose one of the equalizer presets from the drop-down menu 
below the volume adjuster. The presets include spoken word, bass booster, 
acoustic, jazz, vocal booster, and small speakers. Click Next to open the 
Options dialog for the next item in your library. To adjust a track's 
equalizer settings manually, click View > Show Equalizer (Windows) or Window 
 > Equalizer (Mac).

*Tip V.  Let iTunes fill your media player when you sync
If your iTunes media library fits on your iPod, iPhone, or iPad, you can let 
iTunes sync the items in the device automatically when you connect it to 
your computer. For those of us whose library exceeds their media player's 
storage capacity, iTunes has an option that automatically fills the device 
with selections from your library.

Connect your media player and choose "Manually manage music and videos" 
under Options. Then click the arrow on the left side of your device entry in 
the left pane and choose Music (or whichever type of file you want to fill 
the player with). Click the Autofill button in the bottom-right corner of 
the track-list window to have iTunes add tracks from your library to the 
device's capacity.

When you manually manage your media player in iTunes, the program offers to 
autofill the device with tracks from your library.

Use the Autofill From drop-down menu in the bottom-left corner of the main 
window to select the library from which tracks will be pulled, and click the 
Settings button on the right to reserve space on the device. The option to 
choose items randomly is checked by default; the other two settings let you 
fill with higher bit-rate tracks first, and replace all items when 

Save time with iTunes' playback-control shortcuts
To switch to iTunes' mini-player in Windows, click View > Switch to Mini 
Player, or press Ctrl-Shift-M (press Ctrl-Shift-M again to revert to the 
full iTunes window). On a Mac, click Window > Switch to Mini Player, or 
press Command-Shift-M. But you can control iTunes' playback without any 
player visible by using keyboard shortcuts.

The shortcuts corresponding to each iTunes option are shown on the main 
menus, which you can open in Windows by pressing Alt and then the underlined 
letter that appears in the menu item. On a Mac, press Control-Fn-F2 and use 
the arrow keys to move between and open the menus.

*Tip VI.  The Apple support site provides lists of iTunes 10 keyboard 
shortcuts for Windows and shortcuts for the Mac, as well as a compendium of 
Mac iTunes keyboard shortcuts.

I know: Who's going to remember another four or five dozen keyboard 
shortcuts? The shortcuts that I find most useful are for controlling 
playback (they also happen to be the easiest for me to keep in mind):

  a.. Start or stop playing the selected song: spacebar
  b.. Play the next song in a list: right arrow
  c.. Play the previous song in a list: left arrow
  d.. Increase the volume: Ctrl-up arrow (Command-up arrow on a Mac)
  e.. Decrease the volume: Ctrl-down arrow (Command-down arrow on a Mac)
  f.. Mute the sound (song keeps playing): Ctrl-Alt-down arrow 
(Command-Option-down arrow on a Mac)
  g.. Eject a CD: Ctrl-E (Command-E on a Mac)
Dan Thompson
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