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Ask the iTunes Guy: Organizing media files, mixed genre smart playlists, and too-long syncs

Kirk McElhearn | April 7, 2014
You can do a lot with smart playlists in iTunes, and sometimes the questions I get from readers make me discover ideas that I had never thought of. In this week's column, I show you how to create a smart playlist with a certain percentage of songs from different genres. I also talk about organizing iTunes media files, slow syncing of iOS devices, and how to find a lost password for an Apple ID.

You can do a lot with smart playlists in iTunes, and sometimes the questions I get from readers make me discover ideas that I had never thought of. In this week's column, I show you how to create a smart playlist with a certain percentage of songs from different genres. I also talk about organizing iTunes media files, slow syncing of iOS devices, and how to find a lost password for an Apple ID.

Keeping media files organized

Q: I just recently converted to the Mac world by buying a brand new Macbook Pro. So far, I absolutely love the machine, but one thing I liked about Windows and music management was Media Monkey. When I edited a song's title, artist, genre, and so on it would automatically edit the actual files on my computer accordingly. So, for instance, if I deleted those songs from iTunes and reloaded them, they would be completely organized the way I intended for them to be. It gave me an easy way to edit multiple music files at once. How can I do this with iTunes?

I assume that what you mean by "organized" is the way the files are stored on your computer. iTunes does this if you check a setting in its preferences. Choose iTunes > Preferences, then click Advanced. Check Keep iTunes Media folder organized and then click OK.

When you make this change, iTunes may need to reorganize your content, moving it to the appropriate folders, and this can take a while if you have a lot of files. You'll find your content organized by artist and then album in the Music folder, movies will have folders for their names, and TV series will be grouped by the name of the series and then the season.

I forgot

Q: I first bought music and movies from the iTunes Store when I had an AOL account, about 10 years ago, but I can't remember my password from all those years ago. The media files are in my iTunes Library, but I don't have access to them because I don't have the password. How can I recover that password?

For this, or for any other issues with passwords for your Apple ID, Apple has a webpage at the convenient address of https://iforgot.apple.com. Go to that page and enter your Apple ID and Apple will walk you through a procedure to get the password. However, this may not work in all cases. If you no longer have access to the email address you used, you'll have to answer security questions. If you never set up security questions, I'm not sure what will happen.

 

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