More iTunes Stuff

Tuesday 13th December, 2005
Carrying so much iTunes content recently, it almost needs it's own category.

In another recent article, I wrote that the iTunes automatic volume levelling is rubbish. I was a little bit unfair as, it turns out, I was using it properly. There was me thinking that all I had to do was turn it on with iTunes and it would handle the rest...wrong!

It turns out that one has to turn it on at the iPod end too. Hidden away in the 'settings' menu on my iPod is an option name 'Sound Check'. No help provided, just on or off. It turns out that if set to on then it sticks to the volume settings that iTunes decided upon. Now it's enabled, my levels seem much much better. As my iPod spends most of it's time hooked up directly to the 14-speaker Mark Levinson audio system in my Lexus, this is a vast improvement.

Also, another improvement, I've sussed out how to make my 'smart' playlists a bit smarter. Previously they were set to select all tracks in a pre-defined category up to the limit of my iPod size in a random way. It was truly random, but then never updated. Now it's set to update them based on the ones I've not played in a while. Essentially, every time I listen to a track it's removed from the iPod and replaced next time I synchronise with iTunes.

I previously ruled out any options based on the date a track was last played, because I thought it didn't work properly. It turns out that, again, I just didn't fully understand how it works. The 'last played' flag is updated not when you play a track, but when you finish playing it. You have to listen to the whole track. So if you hit the skip button 4mins into November Rain, then it doesn't count...now I know. Shame it doesn't just count 10secs or something.

Not I just need the option to delete tracks from my music library directly from a playlist. I rate all my 'bad' track with a one star rating. This allows me to have a smart playlist called 'trash' that easily displays all these bad tracks. Unfortunately, ones I've got a nice list of them, there's no actual way of deleting them all together...useless.

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