iTunes has often been carved deep inside our mind as one of the coolest music player that we have on
our Mac. Apart from playing music, many useful features also can be added to your iTunes experience.
From the music shuffling to music sharing over network, from tweaking rating system to setting music
duration, will be discussed in this article as well as some other cool features.
Though I know that everyone should have known about this feature, but it’s always good to start from
the basic (in case, some of you don’t know).
By clicking on the second button of iTunes lower-left corner (with twisted arrows icon), we will be able
to turn on/off Shuffling Mode for iTunes. But, it’s also recommended to turn on Repeat Mode
by clicking on icon next to it (3rd button) so that iTunes will keep shuffling even after it has finished
playing the last song.
However, shuffling of movies isn’t available for iTunes, but there is a workaround for this.
To make iTunes shuffle our movies files, we need to move those files from iTunes Movies Library to
iTunes Music Library; simply drag-n-dropping the file to another library won’t work.
Until now, I’ve found only one way to move song to music library:
- Open iTunes and control-click on movie that you intend to move
- Go inside its Get Info pane
- Switch to Options section
- Select Music Video as its Media Kind
- Item will be automatically moved to Music Library
Don’t close your Get Info Pane first, since we’ve already inside, let me continue with other trick.
Setting Start and Stop Time
Under Get Info → Options, we can see two boxes labelled Start Time and Stop
Time. With these two boxes, we can set the starting and ending point of our song. Using this simple
trick, we can also manipulate our
More often than not, we want to shuffle songs of certain genre/artist/album instead of shuffling all of our
songs, that’s when songs categorization comes into play to make smaller playlist.
Songs categorization, as the name suggests, will assist us in grouping our songs to the same genre,
artist or album. It’s in the form of browser, it can be activated by pressing keystrokes command-b,
and by clicking on one of the items we can have a playlist narrow down to that selected category.
Often, we will prefer to keep iTunes Mini Player showing on our Mac rather than the big iTunes browser
window hanging around. Pressing on the green button (Zoom Button), we will be able to transform iTunes
browser into mini player.
Regarding to this mini player, there are some useful information I want to share here.
Floating Mini Player
Floating, also means keeping on top of other windows, can be enabled inside iTunes Preferences Pane. In details,
these are the steps for activating floating mini player:
- Open iTunes
- Follow this path: Menu Bar → iTunes → Preferences…
- Go under Advanced tabs
- Tick 4th checkbox from bottom that says, ‘Keep MiniPlayer on top of all other windows’
Controlling Mini Player
I found these keyboard shortcuts come in handy when we’re navigating with iTunes Mini Player:
- spacebar – Play/Pause
- ↑ | ↓ – Increase/Decrease Volume
- ← | → – Change to Next/Previous Song
- cmd-opt-↑ – Mute Sound
- cmd-opt-← | cmd-opt-→ – Forward/Backward Song
Problem arises when playing Music Videos with Mini Player where a new window will suddenly
pop up or even the movie will go to full screen mode. To encounter this, we should in advance
set Music Videos’ Playback to be in Artwork Viewer (to be set inside iTunes →
Preferences → Playback).
Other interesting stuffs on iTunes:
Setting Half-Star Rating
We only need to execute this Terminal command line and all set:
defaults write com.apple.iTunes allow-half-stars -bool TRUE
Besides iTunes Default Visualizer, there are still many other visualizers we can install to
our iTunes, such as Magnetosphere (the previous version of iTunes Default Visualizer), Cubism,
and many others. These beautiful visualizers can be found in our compilation of
Funtastic iTunes Visualizers.
I’ve browsed some Yahoo! Widgets for iTunes and found these interested:
If you have stumbled on other interesting iTunes widgets, please let me know.
iTunes in Safe Mode
In case of your iTunes failing after installing additional add-ons, visualizers or plugins, you can press command-option upon opening your iTunes. These key combination will bring your iTunes to Safe Mode, i.e. opening without extra stuffs.
Sharing Music Over Local Network
Last but not least, it’s always good to be able to share music to friends that are connected to our local network. Here are how to do it.
- Open iTunes and go to its Preferences
- Move to Sharing section
- Tick Share my library on local network, select your playlist, and give password protection if necessary
It’s quite straightforward, isn’t it?
As we have seen, many cool features are hidden inside iTunes yet in this article not all of them
are discovered. If you have, by any chance, discovered some other stunning features, please share
with me and other readers. We will be really glad for that.