Listen Up!

Listen Up!
Mac Tip#78/13-Nov-2002

Mac have the coolest stuff and that simply becomes even more true as the months go by. The “digital hub” strategy currently in vogue at Apple is bringing us exciting possibilities we couldn’t have even dreamt of 10 years ago.

If you bought your Mac within the last couple of years it probably has the iTunes software installed. iTunes can import, catalogue and play music. That sounds a bit boring, but what it really means is that you can put a music CD into your computer and play the music via iTunes.

When you insert the CD iTunes will probably open up and you’ll see a listing of tracks you can listen to. Choose the CD from the list on the left part of the window and press the right-pointing arrow at the top to set it playing.

Then you can get right back to work and leave the music playing in the background. Once it’s playing the Play button turns into a Pause / Stop button (||).

That’s all very wonderful of course, but it uses only a tiny fraction of iTunes power.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just listen to all your CDs without the one track they seem to put on each CD just to annoy you and maybe in a random order? And you don’t want to be getting up and down to go and find each CD each time.

Instead of just playing a CD, import all the tracks.

Insert your CD and press the Import button at top right of the window. iTunes converts the music to MP3 format and store the tracks in the Library.

Once you’ve imported a number of tracks you can set up Playlists — selections of music from your “library”. You might have different playlists for example for classical music, pop tunes, rap, film scores.

Recent versions of iTunes also automatically set up lists of Recently Played, Top 25 Most Played and other playlists.

Use the Search field at top right of the iTunes window to easily locate any track.

You want to find songs from your library by Lennon and McCartney? Easy. Just type len into the Search field and now only tracks with “len” somewhere in the Song Name or Artist will be displayed.

To show all tracks again click the X at the right-hand end of the Search field or delete the letters you’d entered.

And if you’re lucky enough to own an iPod you can now plug the iPod into your Mac and all tracks you’ve imported into iTunes will automagically be copied onto the iPod for your listening pleasure.

There is much much more you can do with iTunes. Just look at the Help menu to find out. Oh, and don’t forget to experiment with fullscreen visuals from the Visuals menu.

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