How iTunes Handles Albums, EPs, and Singles

The album is an artificial construct, yet it is the main unit of organization for music. As its name suggests, it was originally a collection of separate records, in a sort of book that was similar to a photo album. (Doug Adams and I discussed the creation of the album in the very first episode of our podcast The Next Track.) For at least 70 years, the Album has dominated music sales and listening.


At the same time, the single has long been the gateway medium for discovering new artists, or for getting the latest songs by your favorite artist. This size of this record – 7 inches – was a sign of the more limited content it contained. But it also played faster, in part to fill up the record; a 7" record at 33 rpm would look half empty if it contained just one song per side. The single wasn’t only a 7" record: in Jamaica, 10" singles were common starting in the 1960s, and 12" singles started being released in the US in the early 1970s. (There were also double singles in gatefold sleeves; I recall a live set by The Cure that contained four songs on two 7" discs.)


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The Next Track, Episode #84 – Ask Doug and Kirk: AirPods, Ripping Optical Discs, and Moving iTunes Libraries

The Next Track Blue Flat Button2 400pxWe answer a few listener questions about Apple’s AirPods, how to rip optical discs (other than CDs), and moving and merging iTunes libraries.

Listen to The Next Track: Episode #84 – Ask Doug and Kirk: AirPods, Ripping Optical Discs, and Moving iTunes Libraries.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at The Next Track website. You can follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast, to keep up to date with new episodes, and new articles from the website.

iTunes Now Hides CD Action Settings if No Optical Drive Is Detected

Apple yesterday released iTunes 12.7.2, yet another maintenance update to the app. There are no major changes, but I spotted something interesting in the preferences. Previously, even if you didn’t have an optical drive connected to your Mac, the General preferences showed a menu allowing you to choose what iTunes does when a CD is detected.

Itunes prefs1

Now, in iTunes 12.7.2, that menu is not displayed if there is no drive. The Import Settings button is still there, but not the When a CD is Inserted menu.

Itunes prefs2

This makes sense, in some ways. If you don’t have an optical drive, you don’t need to see these settings. And no current Macs offer internal optical drives, and few people use them in any case. But if you occasionally connect an optical drive to your computer via USB, then you’ll only know this setting exists if the drive is actually connected.

You still need the Import Settings (though the name isn’t correct); this lets you set a format and bit rate for files that you convert in iTunes. You can do this by selecting one or more files, then choosing File > Convert > Create [format] Version.

Manage and Download Apps without iTunes – iMazing

When Apple released iTunes 12.7, they surprised many users by removing the iOS App Store from the iTunes Store. We had been accustomed to being able to buy apps on Macs and PCs with iTunes, as well as buying them directly on iPhones and iPads.

One of the more troublesome changes this introduces is the inability to manage apps with iTunes. No longer can you download apps to your computer, then sync them to your iOS device; now you can only download apps on an iPhone or iPad. This is especially problematic for people with limited bandwidth, or with bandwidth caps, and who have multiple iOS devices. If you have, say, a family with four iOS devices, and many of them share the same apps, you now have to download all apps – including all updates – to each device, multiplying the amount of bandwidth you use. Some people may need to pay more to their ISPs; others may hit a cap and find that they’re throttled until the end of the month.

With iMazing 2.5 (macOS, Windows coming soon!), we introduced a brand new app management screen to help you manage your apps, including downloading them from the App Store to your computer.

I’ve written this article for iMazing. It’s really great that they’ve been able to come up with a way to download apps to a computer, after iTunes 12.7 removed app management and syncing.

This will be a big help to people with limited bandwidth, or with bandwidth caps, who have multiple devices to manage.

Source: Manage and Download Apps without iTunes

Get an iTunes Update that Can Manage Apps and Ringtones

Apple has been getting a lot of flak for their stupid decision to remove apps from iTunes. You can no longer access the iOS App Store, nor can you sync apps from on iTunes library, with iTunes 12.7.

But it seems the company has made a compromise, especially for business users who do need this functionality and who don’t want to use solutions like the Apple Configurator app.

In a technical note entitled Deploy apps in a business environment with iTunes, Apple provides a link to a version of iTunes 12.6.3, which allows you to download, manage, and install apps as before. It will replace the version of iTunes 12.7 that you have installed, or update any older version.

If you download this version of iTunes, you won’t get any notifications for updates to the app, so if you do want to use this, I recommend doing so on a virtual machine, or on a separate installation. But this version of iTunes will let you do what you could do so easily before.

Why couldn’t Apple just have, for example, a preference in iTunes allowing people to turn on these features? They seem to not have fully appreciated how many people – businesses and individuals – who want to manage and install apps using iTunes.

Update: It’s important to note that this new version will not be able to read your iTunes library if you’ve already updated to version 12.7. You should rebuild your iTunes library, as described in this article.