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iTunes 12 Frequently Asked Questions

Article ID = 136
Article Title = iTunes 12 Frequently Asked Questions
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 1st July 2015
Article Last Updated = 15th September 2016
Article URL = http://www.macstrategy.com/article.php?136

Article Brief Description:
Frequently Asked Questions about iTunes 12

iTunes 12 Frequently Asked Questions

NOTE: iTunes 12 is a major upgrade to iTunes and some things have changed dramatically. If you are upgrading from iTunes 11 or earlier I strongly suggest you read the pages at Apple's web site and all of this FAQ before upgrading/installing this version of iTunes.

iTunes 12 Before Installation

Q. What are the system requirements for iTunes 12.6.1?
A. For an Apple Macintosh:
  • Mac computer with an Intel processor
  • OS X version 10.9.5 or later - iTunes Extras require OS X 10.10.3 or later
  • 400MB of available disk space
  • Broadband Internet connection to use the iTunes Store
  • To play 720p HD video, an iTunes LP or iTunes Extras, a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or faster processor is required
  • To play 1080p HD video, a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or faster processor and 2GB of RAM is required
  • Screen resolution of 1024x768 or greater; 1280x800 or greater is required to play an iTunes LP or iTunes Extras
  • Apple combo drive or SuperDrive to create audio, MP3 or backup CDs; some non-Apple CD-RW recorders may also work
A. For Windows PC:
  • PC with a 1GHz Intel or AMD processor with support for SSE2 and 512MB of RAM
  • Windows 7 or later
  • iTunes is now a 64-bit application on 64-bit versions of Windows 8 and 7. Some third-party visualizers may no longer be compatible with this version of iTunes. Please contact the developer for an updated visualizer that is compatible with iTunes 12.1 or later
  • 400MB of available disk space
  • Broadband Internet connection to use the iTunes Store
  • Screen reader support requires Window-Eyes 7.2 or later
Q. Where can I get iTunes 12.6.1?
A. Download version 12.6.1 from Apple's web site.
Q. I'm still using OS X 10.8 (or earlier). Can I still upgrade to iTunes 12.6.1?
A. No. You will need to download and install an earlier, supported version. Here is a list of primary versions of iTunes with notes on which are the last versions of iTunes to support a particular version of OS X:

iTunes 12 After Installation

Which version of iTunes did you upgrade from? Click on the relevant link below and read everything from that point onwards.

After Upgrading From iTunes 10 or earlier

Points to note:
  • iTunes will ask you whether you want to "Share details about your Library with Apple to see artist images, album covers and other related information in your library" - if you consider internet privacy to be important you probably want to click "No thanks" (you can set this at any time under Preferences > Store tab > tick/untick "Share details about your library with Apple")
  • The album artwork viewer (selected item/now playing) in the bottom left of the iTunes window has gone.
  • The green button in the top left now shrinks/opens up the main window as per normal OS X applications - to get the MiniPlayer you must use Window menu > Switch to MiniPlayer (or Cmd+Shift+M)
  • Cover Flow is no longer available
  • iTunes DJ is no longer available
  • Setting tracks as "Gapless album" is no longer available
  • You can no longer open multiple iTunes windows
  • Sound and track progress can no longer be adjusted in the MiniPlayer
  • The Ping service has been removed (the service was shut down in 2012) - as of 30th June 2015 it has been replaced with Apple Music Connect
  • The Column Browser is only available in Songs view or when viewing a playlist. You can no longer display the Column Browser on the left of the window, only at the top.
  • There is a new Media Kind available "Home Video" allowing you to separate personal videos from those purchased e.g. TV shows and movies
  • (v11.0.3 or later) if you click on "Apps" in the sidebar the "Check for Updates" button has gone from the bottom right. You now have to click "Updates" at the top of the window (alongside the app view options) and then a "Check for Updates" button will be available in the bottom right.
Q. Where's the traditional sidebar on the left gone?
A. By default it is no longer visible – you can bring it back via View menu > Show Sidebar.
Q. If I don't have the traditional sidebar on the left visible how do I add tracks to playlists?
A. Simply drag the track to the right hand side of the iTunes window and a sidebar will appear. Now drag and drop the track onto the Playlist of your choice.
Q. Where's the traditional status bar at the bottom of the window gone?
A. By default it is no longer visible – you can bring it back via View menu > Show Status Bar.
Q. I don't want iTunes automatically downloading album artwork but the preference has gone. Can I still set this?
A. Yes, the "Automatically download album artwork" preference is now under the 'Store' tab (it was originally under the 'General' tab).
Q. I used to use the "Show Duplicate Items" option but it's gone. Can I get it back?
A. "Show Duplicate Items" is now found on the 'View' menu (it was originally under the 'File' menu).
Q. Some items in my Library list are duplicated. What's going on?
A. iTunes in the Cloud items appear by default so you may see items duplicated in your Library list – you can turn this off via View menu > Show/Hide items in the cloud.
Q. When I start downloading something there used to be an item in the main sidebar on the left showing the number of downloads but it's gone. Can I get it back?
A. No, "Downloads" is no longer available in the Sidebar list on the left – it is, however, now available from a button in the top right of the window (only visible when downloads are actually active – similar to the way it works in the new Safari).
Q. When I search for something I now get all sorts of results. Can I switch back to the old behaviour?
A. Searches now search across your entire library including different media – to get the old way back click the search menu's spyglass icon on the left and untick the "Search Entire Library" option from the pop-up menu.

You should also read the After Upgrading From iTunes 11 FAQ below

After Upgrading From iTunes 11

Q. The sidebar appears to have gone in iTunes 12.x - can I get it back?
A. Sort of. Select "Music" in the top left and then click on "Playlists" at the top-middle. You will now get something similar to the old style sidebar.
Q. The new sidebar in iTunes 12.x doesn't show Podcasts, Apps, Ringtone, etc. Can I get those back?
A. Sort of. Click on the three dots "•••" icon in the top left and then select "Edit". You can now choose what icons to see in the horizontal menu bar in the top left.
Q. The old sidebar in iTunes 11.x use to have a quick Apps link in the top left which when it was selected I would get a Check For Updates/Update All Apps button in the bottom right. Where has that gone?
A. Click on the three dots "•••" icon in the top left and then select "Edit" - TICK "Apps". You can now click on the Apps "A" icon in the horizontal menu bar in the top left. Then click "Updates" at the top-middle and your Check For Updates/Update All Apps button is now in the bottom right.
Q. When I plug in an iOS device (iPhone / iPad / iPod touch) it no longer appears under devices on the left. How do I access synchronisation options for my iOS device?
A. iOS devices will appear on a device menu to the right of the three dots "•••" icon in the top left. If you have more than one device connected clicking on the device icon will reveal a device menu which you can select your device from. Once you have selected your device, as normal, device information will be shown on the right and synchronisation options will appear as a list on the left.
Q. I have an Apple TV but it no longer appears under devices on the left. How do I access synchronisation options for my Apple TV?
A. Apple TVs will appear on a device menu to the right of the three dots "•••" icon in the top left. If you have more than one device connected clicking on the device icon will reveal a device menu which you can select your device from. Once you have selected your device, as normal, device information will be shown on the right and synchronisation options will appear as a list on the left.
Q. I have an iTunes Home Sharing Server on my network but Home Sharing no longer appears on the left. How do I access Home Sharing Servers?
A. Home Sharing Servers will appear in a new iTunes Music "home" icon in the top left. Click on the iTunes Music "home" icon in the top left and once you have selected your Home Sharing Server its contents will appear as a list on the left as normal.
Q. The "Get Info" (tagging) window in iTunes 12.x is different and not as good as the old one in iTunes 11 and earlier. Can I get it back?
A. No.
Q. Where's the download window gone?
A. It's been replaced by a little circular downwards arrow icon which is only visible when something is downloading - click the icon and a download window will pop open with the usual pause, resume, refresh/re-download and simultaneous download options.
Q. I use third party applications/scripts to access the iTunes data but they no longer work. What's wrong?
A. Apple changed how this works - for backwards compatibility make sure iTunes menu > Preferences… > Advanced tab > "Share iTunes Library XML with other applications" is TICKED.

You should also read the After Upgrading From iTunes 12.0.0-12.3.3 FAQ below

After Upgrading From iTunes 12.0.0-12.3.3

Q. What's happening with the sidebar now?
A. Version 12.4 or later sort of brings it back. It's only available in some views but when it is available it can be toggled on/off by using View menu > Show/Hide Sidebar.
Q. The new sidebar in iTunes 12.x doesn't show Podcasts, Apps, Ringtone, etc. Can I get those back?
A. No. However, instead of the three dots "•••" icon in the top left there is now a content management menu (if your chosen content is not listed on the menu select "Edit Menu" and tick/untick what you want to show/remove.
Q. How do I quickly check for iOS App updates now?
A. Click on the content management menu in the top left and then select "Apps" (if Apps is not listed select "Edit Menu" and TICK "Apps"). You can now select Apps from this menu, then click "Updates" at the top-middle and your Check For Updates/Update All Apps button is now in the bottom right.
Q. When updating apps I used to be able to drag-select multiple specific apps that I want to update and then right/control click to update them. Where has that option gone?
A. That feature was removed in 12.4.0 but it returned in iTunes 12.4.1 so if you're still on 12.4.0 update iTunes.
Q. When I plug in an iOS device (iPhone / iPad / iPod touch) it no longer appears under devices on the left. How do I access synchronisation options for my iOS device?
A. iOS devices will appear as an icon to the right of the content management menu in the top left. If you have more than one device connected clicking on the device icon will reveal a device menu which you can select your device from. Once you have selected your device, as normal, device information will be shown on the right and synchronisation options will appear as a list on the left.
Q. I have an Apple TV but it no longer appears under devices on the left. How do I access synchronisation options for my Apple TV?
A. Apple TVs will appear as an icon to the right of the content management menu in the top left. If you have more than one device connected clicking on the device icon will reveal a device menu which you can select your device from. Once you have selected your device, as normal, device information will be shown on the right and synchronisation options will appear as a list on the left.
Q. I have an iTunes Home Sharing Server on my network but Home Sharing no longer appears on the left. How do I access Home Sharing Servers?
A. Home Sharing Servers now appear at the bottom of the content management menu in the top left.
Q. I used to be able to right/control click an audio track and select "Create MP3/AAC/Apple Lossless version" depending on my Import Settings preference. Where's that option gone?
A. For some reason Apple have removed it from the contextual menu. You can do this via the File menu > Create New Version > Create MP3/AAC/Apple Lossless version (the version you can create is dependent on what you have set in iTunes menu > Preferences… > General > Import Settings button).
Q. I had a lot of (smart) playlists but it looks like some of them are missing. Where have they gone?
A. In the sidebar on the left there is a playlist heading that can now be toggled between "Music Playlists" and "All Playlists" - choose "All Playlists" and all your playlists should now be visible.
Q. These things are all just silly. How can I tell Apple what I think of them?
A. You can provide feedback directly to Apple. You may be angry at Apple making silly decisions but pleasant, to the point feedback is more likely to be considered than any ranting and/or swearing.

Downgrading From iTunes 12

NOTE: This is only really possible if you are running OS X 10.9 or earlier. If you are running OS X 10.10 or later, although it is possible, we do not recommend doing it - things can go badly wrong if you don't do it right. Always make a full backup before trying to replace iTunes 12.

First remove iTunes 12 using the instructions in our how to remove iTunes article. Install the older version of iTunes that you want (see the list earlier in this article for links to old versions of iTunes) but don't open the iTunes just yet. You need to restore you iTunes library:

If you have a Time Machine backup prior to installing iTunes 12 do this:
  1. Go to Macintosh HD > Users > your home directory > Music
  2. Select the "iTunes" folder
  3. Enter Time Machine
  4. Go back to the nearest time before you installed iTunes 12
  5. Restore the "iTunes" folder (Restore in the bottom right - choose to Replace the folder and all files)
  6. Once the restore is complete come out of Time Machine (Cancel in the bottom left)
  7. Restart your computer
  8. Open iTunes and check everything is working
If you don't have a Time Machine backup prior to installing iTunes 12 do this:
  1. Go to Macintosh HD > Users > your home directory > Music
  2. Move the "iTunes" folder to your Desktop
  3. Open iTunes and go to iTunes menu > Preferences > Advanced
  4. Make sure "Keep iTunes Media folder organized" and "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to the Library" are both ticked and then click "OK"
  5. Go to Desktop > iTunes (the folder that you just moved) > and go into either the "iTunes Music" or "iTunes Media" folder
  6. Open a new Finder window and go to Macintosh HD > Users > your home directory > Music > iTunes Media
  7. Drag everything from Desktop > iTunes > iTunes Music or iTunes Media into the Macintosh HD > Users > your home directory > Music > iTunes Media folder
  8. Back in iTunes go to File menu > Add To Library and navigate to Macintosh HD > Users > your home directory > Music > iTunes Media
  9. Click "Open"
  10. Once iTunes has finished importing/organising check that everything in iTunes is working okay (the import/organising may take a while if you have a lot of music/media)
  11. Once everything is working okay you can delete the "iTunes" folder on your Desktop.

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