How to Organize Your iTunes Library - The Easy Way!
Your iTunes library stores all of your music, videos, television episodes, and syncs them to your Apple devices such as your iPod, iPhone or iPad. For many people, it's their main way of organizing their digital music and video files. With its simple, easy-to-use interface, it's effortlessly one of the most popular virtual music libraries around.
Here are a few simple tips to get it organized, and to enhance your iTunes library experience.
Add album artwork:
Sometimes, while scrolling through your iTunes library, you may see some songs that have a gray music note as its cover. This means that no music artwork has been added to the song. There are some add-on programs out there that add album artwork to each individual song for a fee, but you can do this yourself quite easily.
Simply set up a folder in your Pictures Library to save album artwork in, as you'll most likely need to reuse the same picture file for multiple songs. Name the folder something relevant, like “iTunes Album Covers”. Now, go to your iTunes, and select a song that you'd like to find the album artwork for. Next, pull up a search engine, and search the name of the album and the artist. When the image results show up, choose a picture of the album cover art that is a good size. Try to avoid selecting pictures that have watermarks, website URLs, or are very blurry or pixelated. Save this to your folder.
Reopen iTunes, and right click on the song. A drop menu should appear; choose the “Get Info” option. This will bring up a new dialog box, which contains all of the information about the song, including the composer, lyrics, genre, and year of release. Click on the “artwork” button, and upload the recently saved picture file here. Select it as the one you want to be shown as artwork, and click “Save”. Voila! You've just added album artwork to your song file.
Add Lyrics to Songs
Sometimes it’s fun to read or sing along while listening to your favourite songs. There's a way to add lyrics to each song file, so that you can read them on the go (if the lyrics have not already been branded into your brain).
Simply search for the most accurate lyrics online for the song (there are dozens of blogs and websites dedicated to this) and copy them. Open up the same dialog in iTunes that you used for adding cover artwork, and click the “Lyrics” button. Paste the lyrics into this space, and click save.
There are many styles, or “genres” or Music. These include names such as Country, R & B, Alternative, Techno,Rap, among many others. However, there are many sub-categories, and even combinations of different genres to form new ones (for example Pop-Rock). Many songs downloaded from CDs or bought on iTunes already come with a listed genre. Adding in your own genres to songs can be useful, especially when creating a playlist, or using the Genius Mix option.
Just click on the listed song, and add in a genre name that you think best represents it. You can also add this in via the “Get Info” from the right-click drop menu.
Playlists are great for oh-so-many reasons. If you want only certain songs played, you can list those tunes in a playlist. The playlist can be played over the speakers connected to a digital device such as a cell phone or laptop at a social gathering. A collection of selected soothing songs can also be played if you want to feel relaxed. Playlists can be created to suit any mood and ambience. Also, if you want to burn music to a CD, creating a playlist of the wanted songs saves time, and makes it easier to organize the playing sequence of the songs.
To create a playlist, go to the left-hand menu bar, and click the small “Create a Playlist” button (shaped like a small cross), and give it a name. Return to your music library, and simply click on a song, and drag it towards the playlist name you just created. You can add as many tunes as you want, and even music videos. To change the playing sequence of the songs, or to delete some, click the playlist’s names to view it.
Adding more columns to your iTunes library
One of the many great things about iTunes is that it lets the user customize the visible controls. The default settings show columns that include the song’s title, name of artist, album name, genre, play time, and rating. However, you can add or take away any column that you want. Just right click the horizontal bar that contains all of the columns’ titles) and a popup menu should appear, with all the available column options such as “Song Play Count”, “Year”, “Description and “Album Rating”, among others. You can even move around the columns to suit your fancy: just click on the horizontal bar again, and drag them into the desired arrangement.
Delete duplicate songs
Sometimes, you may have the same song twice in your library, which can take up space. Simply scroll through the song list, and delete any songs that appear twice.
Give songs titles
When importing songs from CDs, they often come in listed as “Track 01”, “Track 02” etc. It can be pretty confusing to see these, as you're not sure which tune each “Track” is exactly. Make sure to rename them to avoid any confusion! To make it easier, you can read the CD track list, and rename them in the appropriate sequence.
Genius is a nifty little application that iTunes introduced to help in the creation of playlists. It helps you to find songs that are similar in genre, beat and sound. First, make sure that your Genius is turned on. Click on a song, and then click the Genius icon at the right hand bottom of the screen. Genius will then create a playlist with similar sounding or complementary songs in seconds, including the one that you clicked on.
Burn discs on iTunes
You can easily burn music to discs while using iTunes. Pop in the blank CD, and wait for it to show up in the left tool panel as a device. Create a playlist with the songs you want to burn, then right click the playlist, and choose “Burn Playlist to CD”.Follow the pop-up instructions, and soon you will see a screen showing the process of each song being burned onto the disc. After all are finished, eject the disc, and you're done! You can then test it in a CD player or the computer to see if the music has genuinely gone on.
iTunes Gift Cards
If you don't have a credit or debit card, or you're uncomfortable with using it for iTunes purchases, an alternative is buying iTunes Gift Cards. These come in many denominations and currencies. You must have an iTunes account in order to use this method. Also, make sure to buy gift cards in currencies that match the location of your iTunes account (for example, if you have an account in the United States, buy cards with American credit) Just scratch off the foil lining at the back, and type the code into iTunes to credit your account. Most purchases are charged with taxes, so don't be surprised if a few more cents come off when you buy something.