iPhone Life magazine


Nano strap and go


I don’t usually do product reviews, and when I do they are generally for photography using the iPhone.  Today I wanted to step way off line, and do a quick review of what I think is a pretty neat product, and it’s not even for iPhone or iPad, and only just barely for  iPod.

iTunes in Focus

Using "Tags" to Control Your iTunes Music

Although you might not be aware of it, you use tags every time you use iTunes. "Tags" are bits of information about the song you're playing or the video you're watching. Sometimes referred to as "metadata" (data about data), tags associated with the music or video file include the song or movie's name, artists or actors, genre, album name, and more. Without tags your iTunes Library would be nothing more than a list of filenames that can sometimes be unintelligible. Understanding and using tags is the key to controlling your iTunes content.

This is the first article in a regular column that will be devoted to iTunes. In this one, I'll explain how to use tags to make iTunes organize, sort, and sync your iTunes content the way you want it to.


Publish your music in iTunes


Ever since I got the music bug with my Magic Fiddle (.99) I've been wondering; so now that I can play some music on a virtual fiddle is that it?  Where can I go with that?

While my fiddling skills are still in development, the larger question for me was what can I do with music that I create; on my iMac, iPad or iPhone? 

Use iTunes to name app folders in iOS 4

With iOS 4, apps can be put in folders to reduce screen clutter. You can create folders and move app icons in and out of them on your iOS 4 device. You can also manage these folders from the iTunes app on your desktop computer. Using the desktop version of iTunes is quicker and easier.

Create your own ringtones from MP3s

The simple ringtone hack that was discovered almost three years back still seems to work with the latest version of iTunes. It is based on the fact that iTunes differentiates a song and a ringtone by the file extension: the song file extension is "AAC," the ringtone file extension is "m4r." All you have to do is take a music file that is not more than 30 seconds long, change its file extension to m4r, and copy it to the "Ringtones" section of your iTunes library.

Here's how you do it:

In the iTunes music library, right click on the song you want to make into a ringtone and select "Get Info."

Go to Current Song

You open iTunes and start playing a new CD you recently purchased. Later, while you are browsing for Apps in the iTunes Store, the song that is playing catches your ear and you want to see what it's called or maybe use Ping to indicate you "Like" it. To quickly get back to the currently playing song, simply hit Command+L on a Mac or Ctrl+L on a PC (or click the menu item View > Go to Current Song).

Ping enhancements fix early problems

Apple's new music-oriented social network Ping got off to a rocky start. While social networking is all about finding friends and sharing interests, Ping seems to be all about selling more iTunes content.

Apple and Facebook reportedly had been negotiating for 18 months about allowing iTunes to somehow integrate with Facebook's mature social networking system. When negotiations broke down over what Steve Jobs described as Facebook's "onerous terms," Apple decided to launch Ping using the open "Facebook Connect" API. Facebook blocked access from Ping users the day iTunes launched. This rift between Apple and Facebook cripples Ping.

Return iTunes 9 icon and colorized menu (Macs only

iTunes10BeforeAfterSome of the changes Apple made to the iTunes 10 interface are questionable. The vertical close/minimize/maximize buttons, the monochrome sidebar, the new icon, and other more subtle changes have met with mixed reviews. A variety of ways to undo some of these changes sprang up, but most of them required the user to enter obscure Unix commands in Terminal or replace resources inside of iTunes itself.

The monochrome left-hand sidebar of the iTunes 10 interface (left) is dull and boring compared to the more colorful one found in iTunes 9 (right).

Easily re-link all lost songs in iTunes 10

Sometimes a grey exclamation point will appear next to songs in iTunes, indicating that iTunes cannot locate the file. How does this occur and how can you fix it?

Inside the iTunes folder, there is a file called "iTunes Library" that tells iTunes where the "iTunes Media" folder is located. (This is the folder that actually contains your music, videos, apps, etc.) When iTunes tries to access content (e.g., you try to play a song) it gets the location where the song is stored from the "iTunes Library" file and then looks for it in that location. If it can't find the file, it displays a grey exclamation point to the left of the entry in iTunes.

Trimming tracks in iTunes

BySomeMiracleSometimes a music file contains material at the beginning or the end that you don't want to hear, like crowd noises, an extended drum solo, or my pet peeve—10 minutes of silence. Fortunately, you can tell iTunes when to start and stop playing a song. Follow these steps:

The "Options" tab in "Get Info" lets you trim songs.

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