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Ask the iTunes Guy: Deleting iTunes Radio, death of the old Info window

Kirk McElhearn | Feb. 16, 2015
iTunes, like most software, requires that you do things in a certain way. It isn't very flexible for users who think differently. For example, why would anyone want to get rid of iTunes Radio? Why would iTunes users wish to sort their music by artists' last names, then first names? And why would you want to use a more capable Info window to tag files? Because that's the way you prefer to work? Let's explore.

This problem seems to be more prevalent than before; I've been getting a lot of emails about it. There's a setting in iTunes' preferences that causes this problem. For example, if you have purchased music from the iTunes Store and have checked Show iTunes in the cloud purchases, iTunes will not only display your purchased tracks, but will "correct" their tags to match what's in the iTunes Store, if you've made any changes.

The only way to stop this is to uncheck that setting. Unfortunately, Apple doesn't understand that you may want to use iTunes in the Cloud, but not use all of its tags. I discussed this in an article on my website last year; I also explain an easy way to get back the changes you made to your tags.

If you uncheck this setting you won't be able to download items directly from your iTunes library. Instead, you'll have to go to the iTunes Store and download them from your Purchased list. You can access the Purchased list by clicking the button in the iTunes toolbar that shows your name and then choosing Purchased.

Sort, order

Q: As my iTunes music library grows, I find it more difficult to find the music I want when I list music by artist. I'd like to show my artists with their last names first. Is there any way to do this?

Alas, no. This would make sense, allowing users to see, say, Springsteen, Bruce, instead of Bruce Springsteen. I do this for the names of classical music composers, but I've never considered doing it for other artists.

However, there are a number of potential problems. What do you do for a band such as The Beatles? Would it be changed to Beatles, The? And how about Jethro Tull?

The only way to do this is manually, and that can take a while. Select all the tracks by a given artist and then press Command-I. In the Artist and Album Artist field, change the name, and then click OK. Naturally, you only need to change artists whose personal names appear, not band names, so you won't have to change your entire music library.

If you do this, remember to make the change each time you add or purchase new music, or you'll have music by some artists listed out of order, or even twice.


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