Playing and managing content in iTunes

After you've added content to iTunes, read this article to learn how to play audio and video, make playlists, edit song information, and more.

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After you've added content to iTunes, read this article to learn how to play audio and video, make playlists, edit song information, and more. Select a topic below to get started.

In addition to this article there are video tutorials for learning how play audio and video, make playlists, and more.

Understanding the  iTunes interface

The images below depict the controls and browser view of the iTunes browser window. Review the Mac or Windows version to familiarize yourself with the iTunes browser layout.







Playback Audio and video

iTunes gives you many options to customize your experience when playing back audio or video content. Review this section to learn more about the iTunes visualizer, full screen video and more.

Basic audio playback

After selecting a song, audiobook or other audio content use the playback controls in the upper left-hand corner of iTunes to play or pause, advance to the previous or next track and adjust the volume. To play a song you can also double-click it in the iTunes browser window.

During playback, the iTunes LCD display will show the song info in addition to the elapsed and remaining time. You can scrub through the track or advance to a specific point in the track by moving the black triangle in the scrubber bar.

Video Playback

iTunes lets you watch video in a variety of ways. You can choose the view video in the artwork viewer, in the main iTunes window, in the separate window, or full screen. You can also select a playback view for music videos that is different from movies and TV shows. To customize these option, select the Playback tab in iTunes preferences which can be accessed from the Edit menu on Windows or the iTunes menu on a Mac. 

Editing and arranging content

Editing Info

Each audio or video file in iTunes has several settings and tags that can be easily modified. These options can be accessed by selecting any file in the iTunes browser windows and selecting "Get Info" from the File menu. You can add song lyrics, artwork and set special playback options. The "Info" tab lets you edit information about the file including artist and album info.

For videos, the Video tab allows you to specify if the video is a movie, TV show or music video. You can also set episode information for TV shows.

Making Playlists

Playlists are an incredible way to arrange your music. All playlists contain a subset of the content in your iTunes library and you can add or subtract content in several ways. You can also group playlist into folders for extensive categorization. Here's the different types of playlist and how they work in iTunes.

  • Playlist: A standard playlist lets you choose songs from your library and dictate the order in which they play. To create a playlist, select New Playlist from the File menu. Give your playlist a name, then drag songs from the your library onto the playlist icon in the source list to add them. If you want to burn an audio CD, you'll need to create a playlist that contains the songs you want to burn to CD.
  • Smart Playlist: A Smart Playlist is a playlist that is created by setting content criteria instead of individual content selection. iTunes includes a few Smart Playlists when you first install it, including "Top 25 Most Played" and "My Top Rated." To create your own Smart Playlist, choose New Smart Playlist from the File menu. For example, we created a Smart Playlist of our favorite 60s Motown tunes that automatically syncs its list with songs in our library that were recorded between 1960 to 1969, has R&B listed as the genre, and is rated (by us) as being a 4- or 5-star song. When we add or remove songs from our library that match this criteria, our Smart Playlist dynamically updates all by itself.

  • Party Shuffle: If you're a DJ (or are playing one at a party), this feature allows you to create a dynamic playlist made up of random songs, and edit the content on the fly. You can shuffle songs from your library or any playlist.

For more information about iTunes. Access the Help menu in iTunes.

To learn more about using other features in iTunes refer to:

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