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1. Perform Frequent Backups
It's the best advice that no one ever follows. You'll never regret backing up. Just do it, especially before doing any updates. Go to File, Library, Back Up to Disk. You'll get the option to back up the entire iTunes library and all playlists, or just your iTunes store purchases, or even just items added since your last backup. This option is best for backup of a small library to a blank DVD.
2. Consolidate Files
Again, go to File, Library, and then select Organize Files. The option here you want is to consolidate files. This is important, because sometimes when you drag an MP3 or other media file into iTunes, while it becomes part of the library, the actual physical file might not be copied into the iTunes Media folder. This will copy those files into iTunes Media, so when you do a back up, they won't be missed. You can make sure this always happens by going into iTunes preferences, clicking the Advanced tab, and checking off "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library."
3. Be Smart About Playlists
A Smart Playlist is different than a regular playlist in that it's, well, smart. In other words, you can create playlists automatically based on criteria. Go to File and select New Smart Playlist. Then assign whatever rules you'd like to that playlist: Select the artist or artists or composer; limit the number of tracks; pick specific albums, file types, even different bit rates. A Smart Playlist can auto-update, so when new tracks are added to iTunes, they add to the playlist if appropriate. The sky is the limit on the combinations you can make. Experiment all you want, because if it doesn't work out, you can delete the playlists and it won't impact the actual music files at all.
4. Sort Your Apps
When you connect an iOS device and show the apps on it, the typical view is a list of apps by name. Don't limit yourself; that drop-down menu allows ordering of apps by kind, category, date, and size. Using Category, in particular, can be handy to track down duplicate functionality, or apps that you might want to delete to free up space.
5. Subscribe to a Podcast
Like radio shows? Well, the best of them are usually online, and there are many more that are online only. Yes, we're talking about podcasts. You can subscribe to them in iTunes either by finding them through the iTunes store, or if you know the RSS feed address of a podcast, enter it in the box you get when you go to the Advanced menu and select Subscribe to Podcast. After that, every time you open iTunes, it'll check for new episodes and download them automatically.
6. Dump your iTunes to the web
This one’s a little esoteric, so hear us out. The Web app “Moof” allows you to upload your library file to its servers and it, in turn, gives you the opportunity to jam to your files no matter your physical location.
No, you don’t upload every MP3 (or whatnot) to the service. Nor do you have to pay any money to get access to the jams that Moof recognizes via your uploaded library file. Instead, this service uses the power of YouTube—specifically, videos featuring your songs found on YouTube—to give you an on-demand radio of sorts that, itself, is based on your iTunes library.
7. Creating ringtones
If you were one of the few people who loved paying 99¢ to turn a song you already own into a ringtone, you will be disappointed that this functionality is gone from
iTunes 10. Fortunately, you can still do it for free using the usual method.
To do this, first find the portion of a song you want to use as a ringtone, and note down the start and end times. Right-click the song and choose “Get Info" and then go to the Options tab. Enter the start and end times here, then click OK. Right-click on the song again, but now choose “Create AAC version." This should create a copy of the song that is only the length that you specified. Delete this new copy, but make sure you click “Keep File.” In the Finder, go to your Music folder and navigate into your iTunes music and find the file you just created. Change the file extension from “m4a" to “m4r,” then double-click it to add it back into iTunes as a ringtone.
8. Remote-control iTunes: If you have an iPhone or an iPod Touch, you also have the best iTunes remote control money can buy. Download Remote to your iPhone or Touch (it's free!); pair it with your iTunes library (run Remote on your iPhone, tap Add Library, and follow the pairing wizard on the next screen); and then use it to control your iTunes playback, make playlists, and adjust the volume from Remote's iPod-like interface.