Monday, February 25, 2013

Working with iTunes Part 2

So this article is less about the downsides of Apple and iTunes and more about the upsides!  We're going to cover listening to music in iTunes, how it works, tips and tricks to have iTunes work for you, rather than against you.

Playback Options.  iTunes is capable of crossfading songs, which is handy when you're putting together Yogi Tunes playlists of your own.  All of our subscriber mixes download not only as a seamless 90 minute mix by the DJ, but also as the separate songs that make up the mix.  That means you can mix and match songs as you please and create your own mixes.  In order to have songs transition seamlessly from one to the next you need to turn on the 'Crossfade Songs' option.

To do that, open the 'Preferences' window.  In Windows it's under the 'Edit' menu, on a Mac it's under the 'iTunes' menu.

In the preferences window, there is a tab called 'Playback'.  Here you will find the 'Crossfade Songs' option.  Turn it on, then set the amount of time you want songs to spend crossfading with each other.  If you're unfamiliar with the term crossfading, it simply means slowly replacing one song with another. This effect creates a seamless mix for your playlists!

Under the Playback menu you'll also find the 'Sound Enhancer' for increasing the quality of those crappy old mp3's you have in your library.  Note that Yogi Tunes mp3's are three times the quality of what you can purchase on iTunes, so you don't need the Sound Enhancer turned on.

Another cool option is 'Sound Check', which is a handy effect if you're finding songs in your playlist vary a lot in volume levels.  Turn this on and iTunes will scan your library to adjust playback volume.  Note that with large libraries, scanning takes quite a bit of time and can suck valuable resources up on older computers.  It does run in the background, but can slow things down a bit.

You can now close the Preferences window and feel the excitement of having learned a little something about how iTunes helps make the playback of your downloaded music a little cooler.

Finally, with the latest release of iTunes 11, you can create a mix on the fly from your main music library using the 'Add to Up Next' feature.  If you click on a song once, you'll see a small grey arrow pointing right at the end of the song name.  Click on that arrow and a small box of options pops up.  The first option 'Add to Up Next', will play that song next without interrupting your current song.  If you have the Crossfade option turned on, voila!  You're DJ-ing on the fly, just like the pros.

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