The addition of Apple Music features to iTunes means there’s extra complexity to the app than there used to be. Apple has made efforts to tidy up iTunes’ interface, but you may notice extra clutter that wasn’t there before or the absence of useful features such as star ratings. Check out these ways to take control and make iTunes work better for you.
1 – BUY AN APPLE MUSIC TRACK
Access to Apple Music tracks only lasts for as long as you pay, and they only work in Apple software. To buy a track for ongoing access or to play it on another device that can use AAC- encoded tracks, put the pointer over the status area, click the ellipsis next to the track name and then choose Go To > Song in iTunes Store.
On iOS, tap the Now Playing bar (or press firmly on it if your iPhone has 3D Touch), tap the ellipsis, Share Song, and then Copy. Switch to Safari, hold your finger on its search field and choose Paste and Go. You’ll be asked whether to open the link in the iTunes Store app.
2 – IDENTIFY APPLE TRACKS
If you’ve already added Apple Music tracks to your library and want to remove them, choose File > New > Smart Playlist and set the playlist’s sole rule to ‘iCloud Status is Apple Music’. Be wary of simply selecting and deleting everything in this playlist without first inspecting it, particularly if you joined Apple Music early after its launch; glitches back in the day may have left some tracks incorrectly attributed as being from Apple Music.
3 – USE STAR RATINGS
Indicating your love or dislike of a track, guides the suggestions in For You, but iTunes’ old five-star rating system provided greater flexibility in Smart Playlists. To bring it back go to iTunes’ General preferences and put a check mark next to ‘Star ratings’. Put the pointer over a track in your personal library to reveal a control for rating it, or click the ellipsis in the status area and use the Rating submenu to rate what’s playing.
On iOS, go to Settings > Music and switch on Show Star Ratings. Tap the ellipsis on the Now Playing screen or apply 3D Touch to a song in your library, then choose Rate Song.
4 – CHOOSE LIBRARY VIEWS
Various ways to view your library are shown at the top of the sidebar. Place the pointer over the Library heading there and the word Edit is revealed to the right; click it to choose which views you see. Clear the check mark next to any views you don’t need, then click or tap Done.
5 – APPLE MUSIC PLAYLISTS
Playlists from Apple Music that you add to your library are listed under a dedicated heading in iTunes’ sidebar. As in many other Mac apps, putting the pointer over this heading reveals an option to hide its contents until you need them – handy if you find yourself with many playlists.
6 – START YOUR OWN STATION
You can use any track from your personal library to indicate the kind of music you want to hear, rather than taking a gamble even on one of the themed stations found in the Radio tab. Click or tap the ellipsis next to a track name and choose Start Station (Create Station on iOS) to play similar music that ought to fit your mood; it’ll include music from Apple Music, not just your own library. Tap the star in the playback controls to give feedback on whether you want to hear more or less like the current song.