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Understand iTunes Library Files

iTunes uses a number of library files to store metadata and manage your media. By default, they are store in the iTunes folder inside your Music folder. (If you’re on a Mac, this is in your home folder; that’s the one with the house icon and your user name. If you use Windows, it’s in \My Music\iTunes, in your user folder.)

Here are the files you may see:

Itunes library files

  • Album Artwork stores a cache of artwork that is embedded in your files, and stores downloaded artwork for purchased tracks, or for Apple Music tracks.
  • iTunes Library Extras.itdb contains some data downloaded from the Gracenote CD Database.
  • iTunes Library Genius.itdb stores information about your library for use by Genius, if you have activated Genius. If you use iCloud Music Library, then Genius is on, and you cannot turn it off.
  • iTunes Library.itl is the main iTunes library file. It stores information about all your media files, including metadata. This is the file that iTunes reads when you display content in iTunes, when you search, when you create smart playlists, etc. This is the most important file for your iTunes library.
  • iTunes Library.xml is a file that iTunes writes from the iTunes Library.itl file. This is only used for third-part apps to be able to read what’s in your library. And, by default, this file is no longer written. iTunes only writes this file if you check Share iTunes Library XML with other applications in the Advanced preferences. I recommend doing so, because if you ever have a corrupted library, you may be able to rebuild your iTunes library from this file. It’s good to have backups of this file too.
  • iTunes Media is the folder that contains your iTunes media files. You may store it in a different location, such as on an external disk or network volume.

Get this: Tech industry thinks journos are too mean. TOO MEAN?! – The Register

The tech press has dared to lean away from its core mission of making technology companies more profitable, says tech advocacy house ITIF.

The industry-funded think tank has cooked up an 18-page report [PDF] that laments what it says is a shift in the media from a “positive” attitude in the 1980s and 1990s to one that is more confrontational in the past two decades.

According to the ITIF, as tech news outlets have meandered from their central mission of hyping up technology and splashing around headlines about companies delivering quality products and treating customers fairly, multi-billion-dollar corporations have found the growing levels of criticism quite inconvenient.

“This report finds that there has been a notable decline in the favorable coverage of technology in the US media,” the think tank claims.

FFS. Seriously?

Tech giants, we’re not your cheerleaders.

I couldn’t have said it better.

Source: Get this: Tech industry thinks journos are too mean. TOO MEAN?! • The Register

How to Open the User’s Library Folder on macOS Sierra 10.12.2 or Later

Sometimes, you need to access the /Library folder that’s in your home folder (the one with the house icon and your user name). For a while now, this folder has been hidden.

Previously, you could access this by press the Option key, then selecting the Go menu in the Finder. The Option key would add Library to the list of locations in that menu. But this was changed when 10.12.2 was released. Instead of pressing the Option key, you need to press the Shift key. You can also open that folder more easily by pressing Command-Shift-L.

Go menu

Not a big deal, but if you’re used to using the Option key, you may be surprised to find it doesn’t work any more.

You can also ensure that this Library folder displays by entering your home folder, then displaying the View Options window (View > Show View Options), and checking Show Library Folder.

H/t Michal Tsai.

Audio Commentary Tracks: A Victim of Streaming? – Tedium

As the formats hosting our favorite movies, music, and games change, some things will be lost. (Sometimes, even the formats themselves.) By some estimates, 75 percent of silent films were never converted to more stable mediums. They are gone forever. On the bright side, most of it was crap unworthy of saving. But there were a few gems, like Charlie Chaplin’s A Thief Catcher, though a copy was found in 2010. In an age of Gmail, Dropbox, and Netflix, people rarely worry about losing their favorite entertainment. One artform, inextricably tied to a dying format, is endangered—damn near extinction, even. Today’s Tedium looks at the lost art of DVD commentary.

I have listened to one film commentary: Almost Famous. It’s one of my favorite movies, and I was interested in hearing what Cameron Crowe had to say, since the film is auto-biographical.

It was a slog. I have no desire to listen to these things, but I do understand people – especially this in the industry, or aspiring to be part of it – who listen to them.

But this is a great point. These commentaries are sold on optical disc versions of films as bonuses. Perhaps studios will start adding them to streaming movies, but I’d suspect they’d rather just get people to buy them if they want those extras.

Source: Audio Commentary Tracks: A Victim of Streaming?

How to rip DVDs with Handbrake

You may buy and rent digital movies, or even get digital copies of your films when you buy DVDs so you can watch them easily on an Apple TV or iOS device. But not all movies offer digital copies, and you may not want to buy movies from the iTunes Store; you may want to own hard copies of your favorite films. Or, you may, like me, buy DVDs of concerts and operas, or have a collection of older DVDs, such as my box sets of The Honeymooners and The Twilight Zone.

Fortunately, it’s easy to rip DVDs and add them to your iTunes library so you can use them more freely and watch them when you want. Here’s how.

Read the rest of the article on Macworld.

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Writings about Macs, music, and more by Kirk McElhearn