Ask the iTunes Guy – Can iTunes do…? Sometimes the answer is no

itunesguy-thum-100004188-gallery.jpgIn this column, I generally present questions from readers and offer solutions or workarounds to resolve their problem. But this isn’t always possible. Sometimes, when I receive a question about iTunes, such as “Can I do…?” my answer is “No.” In this week’s column, I want to present a number of questions where the answer is negative, in order to highlight some of iTunes’ limitations. So this week, I bring you the No column.

Read this week’s Ask the iTunes Guy at Macworld.

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4 thoughts on “Ask the iTunes Guy – Can iTunes do…? Sometimes the answer is no

  1. You mention that you get a lot of requests from people for the items that you covered in this blog, and the answer is “No”. I’d like to comment on two of them.

    “Q: I’d like to make a smart playlist where no songs by the same artist come up within, say, 25 songs. Is there any way to do this?” You answer, “It’s an interesting idea, but it’s a bit difficult to imagine how it might be implemented.”

    There is already a checkbox to limit the number of items in a smart playlist, “selected by [random]”. There are other choices in addition to “random”, but many of us would be satisfied if Apple gave us a few choices like “random unique artist” and “random unique album”. Giving us wild card syntax for smart playlists would be a big help, too.

    “Q: Is there any way to remove items from the Recently Added list in iTunes?” You answer, ‘…you can’t change the size of the artwork or the scope of “recently.”’ So what is the scope of “recently”?

    If it is something other than “today”, then a user can create their own smart playlist that shows only songs added today, or another time interval by date. If Apple would let us input the hour as well as the date, users could limit the list with great precision.

  2. I have been happy creating playlists wherein the order is random, limited or to to a certain number of songs and, crucially, having a criterion such that only songs that have NOT been played for X number of days, weeks, etc. are included. This does not always result in a given artist being played only once in a session but it seems to come close enough for my needs.

  3. You may not be able to change iTunes’ stock Recently Added, but you can create a smart playlist and have it select only music added in the last X days.

  4. Cesium can show the play count. while a track is playing, tap the info button (the little “i” in a blue dot) and it will give you the tag info. at the bottom of the info page, it shows the play count. so it’s clearly doable; the information must be attached to the file and written to the iWhatever’s music database when the file is transferred. Apple COULD find a way to show this information, they just choose not to; probably because there’s not much demand to be able to see it.

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