MacMost Now 403: Organizing Your Music in iTunes

Learn how to view your music collection in different ways in iTunes on the Mac. You can sort in various ways, show album artwork, and search. You can also create your own playlists and organize them any way you want.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 403: Organizing Your Music in iTunes.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. Today lets look at sorting your music in iTunes.
So here in iTunes I have music selected in my library on the left. This shows all of my songs. Now I have a list view selected here, I have 3 different views and we'll take a look at all of them. In this view I can sort by clicking on any of the column titles. So here I have artists selected, and my music is sorted by artists. Now if I click again, you can see that the triangle here to the right of the word artist changes, and now I'm sorting in reverse order. I can click again to sort in ascending order this way. I can sort by name, I can sort by Name, Album, Genre or anything here in the top. Now I can change what columns are available by going to View - View Options, or Command-J. And then I can use this dialog here to select which columns I want. So for instance here I can add Date Added and get rid of Genre, click OK and you can see the columns have changed. I can also move columns around, so for instance I can click on Date Added and drag it over here to the left. I can also go imbetween columns and change the width of any column.
Now list view also has a second mode which is to show album artwork. This little arrow here just left of the name that you click to turn that on. And now I have album artwork to the left side of all my columns. As I sort by different things, see song name, I'll get the album artwork for each one of these, even though the album artwork will repeat since the songs are still listed in name order. there's also something called the Column Browser. Go to View - then Column Browser - Show Column Browser. And then on the left here I'll just be able to quickly access just subsets of my music library, say the artist by clicking on the artist, and then I can then change the column browser to include other things, say Genres, and now I have genres and artists. And I can even add Albums. So there's all sorts of different ways that I can basically view only parts of my music collection. 2 other ways to view your collection is to use the artwork view, and this will basically just show you the albums you have and the artwork in them. You can then double click on them and it will dive down into them and you can see the list. The other way is Cover flow. Cover flow is basically the same as column view, where you have your columns here at the bottom here and I can drag up from this area here to increase or decrease the cover flow size. The columns are basically the same, but as I select the songs, it jumps to the album artwork.
Now you can narrow down your music even more by creating a playlist. Press the plus button here at the bottom left corner. Create a playlist name. Once you have one, then in order to put music in it, all you need to do is drag and drop. So for instance I'll go back to music here, and I'll select some songs. I'll select this one and I'll just drag it into my playlist. This one, this one, see the important thing to remember is that the playlist don't actually contain the songs, they contain links to them. So if you select one and you feel like removing it, you can do that by selecting the delete key on your keyboard. It will be removed from the list, but the song is still in your music library, it's just not in this particular playlist. Likewise you can have multiple playlists with the same song in them. If you want to rearrange music in your playlist you can do that by dragging and dropping. You can see I can drag this song here, and I can drag it to the end. I can select this song and I can drag it to the beginning. Now you can only do that when you're sorting by which number the song is in the playlist, which is this first column. And with Playlists you can view them in the different formats, like for instance you can do it by artwork on the left, you can do it by artwork view and you can do it in cover flow. You can even turn on the column browser for playlists and narrow down the music in your playlists using the different columns just like I showed you before. So another way you can view your music is go back to your music library and do searches. So you can search for something like the name of an artist or the name of a song, and by typing it in here on the upper right, it will just narrow down what you see. You could specify whether you want to search all fields or just Album, Artist, Composer, Song, that sort of thing. Click the x to cancel the search and continue viewing everything. You can use searches to quickly find songs for playlists, so for instance, search for something, get your results, select them and then drag the group to your playlist. There are also smart playlist which are like safe searches, but that's a topic for another episode. Hope you found this useful, until next time this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 7 Responses to “MacMost Now 403: Organizing Your Music in iTunes”

    Ian Mayman
    9 years ago

    Gary, thank you so much for saying about the Column Browser in iTunes, I have been wanting to hide that for so long, and it was so to easy to do as well! I think a long time ago, I acidentally put it on, now it’s finally off!

    9 years ago

    Again a very informative video. You do a great job and I look forward to many more.

    9 years ago

    Gary I don’t see the the little arrow to view art work on my itunes. I have the latest version.

      9 years ago

      In iTunes 10, when you have a song in “Music” selected there are four buttons at the bottom left. The fourth will show the artwork.

    9 years ago

    Thank you Gary so, much for your help. Gary you explain in detail on your videos, they are great and very helpful. Others don’t explain in detail like you. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge to us. Keep up the great work.

    Steve Andrews
    7 years ago

    Sorted, thanks to your video. Many thanks Gary……I’m a newcomer to Mac and I found your lesson very helpful.

Comments Closed.