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Top 10 iTunes tips and tricks

Get more from your favourite media player with these brilliant iTunes tricks

Top 10 iTunes tips

iTunes 11
iTunes 11iTunes is the perfect place to store all your Mac’s media, with videos, music, books and podcasts all falling neatly into its net. In iTunes 11, Apple introduced a number of new features to its media centre, and completely redesigned the interface to offer new controls and a better, artwork-led display for viewing your music and movies.

However, while adding and playing media is straightforward in the app, there are plenty of other features that many users simply don’t know about. If you want to get more from iTunes there are all kinds of neat little secrets and tricks that you can use to get the app working exactly how you want it. You may know about some of these already, but we’ve taken a close look and come up with ten fantastic tips to help you get more from one of your Mac’s essential apps.

1 Auto-fill album artwork

If you have a library full of albums that are represented by a grey square and a music note, it’s because there is no album artwork. In the menubar, click Store and sign in with your Apple ID. Then right-click on any blank album and choose Get Album Artwork.

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2 Redeem with iSight

If you have an iTunes gift card, you can add it to your account easily. Click iTunes Store in the top-right of the window and choose Redeem on the right-hand side of the Store. Select Redeem with Camera and hold the card up to get a cool scan animation.

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3 System-wide controls

A great tip for controlling your music is to add the MiniPlayer to every screen. First, minimise iTunes to the MiniPlayer interface, then right-click the app in the Dock, and select Options>Assign To All Desktops to make your controls accessible in all your spaces.

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4 Create and edit Playlists

Creating Playlists has never been easier than it is in iTunes 11. First, find a song or album you want to use, then click and drag it. The Playlists drawer will appear; drop the track onto the word Playlists to create one, and drag in more tracks to add them to it.

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5 High-quality CD rips

You can choose to use a higher bitrate for better quality when importing tracks into iTunes. Click iTunes in the menubar and open its Preferences. In the General tab, click Import Settings and you can choose from higher qualities in a range of formats.

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6 Share your library

You can make your library available over a local network so that friends or family can access your media. Open the iTunes menu and choose Preferences. In the Sharing section, check the box at the top, select your media and add a password if required.

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7 Display duplicate tracks

When importing a lot of music, it’s easy to duplicate tracks by accident. Thankfully, iTunes can help you find and delete them. Click View>Show Duplicate Items and you’ll get a list of all copies. You can then go through and delete those you don’t want.

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8 Add custom artwork

If you want to add your own artwork to an album, or if iTunes simply can’t find the official artwork in the Store, you can add your own. Right-click on an album, choose Get Info and select the Artwork tab. Then, simply drag and drop an image into the window.

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9 Constant controls

You can control your music from anywhere on your Mac thanks to the controls that reside in the Dock icon for iTunes. Right-click it at any time and you can select from a range of options, including basic play and pause controls and buttons to create a Genius playlist.

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10 Video categories

If you drop a movie or video into iTunes from Finder, it will automatically be added to the Home Movies section of the interface. If you want to move it to a different section, right-click and choose Get Info, then select Options and use the drop-down.

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* Bonus round

Give this a click to see it full-size:Bonus iTunes tips