With Spotify, Pandora, and – sigh – The Pirate Bay in the mix, it’s very rare that you hear someone say they just love listening to iTunes. It’s not like people don’t do it, though. It just seems as if it has faded into the background as the simple default music player for Macs, iDevices, and more. However, the app is actually pretty handy, and it offers a few cool features for creating one of the best listening experiences possible.
Below are five tips to aid you in maximizing your listening pleasure with iTunes. These basic cheats can be customized according to your listening preferences, and they should hopefully enhance your work or play time quite a bit.
So grab your headphones and check ‘em out.
Get Free Music Every Week
So your music repertoire might be getting a little dull, but you’re also strapped for cash – what can you do? Pirating is not the answer, and fortunately iTunes offers free music each and every week for you to download. On the right-hand side of the iTunes Store, you should see a tab that says “Free on iTunes.” From there, you should be able to download the free song of the week – easy enough.
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Adjust The Volume For Individual Songs
Music producers seem to have differing opinions as to what should be the perfect volume for their audience’s listening pleasure. With that said, you might find yourself adjusting your levels for each and every song you listen to. However, if you right-click a song, select Get Info followed by Options, you can change the volume for that particular song. This is highly useful, and in theory, you could actually fully customize your iTunes listening experience.
Crossfade Your Tunes
Sometimes – especially when I’m working on MakeUseOf articles – I use music to get myself into a rhythm. This creates a flow of sorts that helps me pump the words out much more quickly on the page (and in turn, helps me avoid missing my deadline). However, as you may know, music does not play in a continuous stream. Most often, there’s a one to three second gap between each song on your playlist.
For those of you who would like a steady stream of audio accompaniment, you can actually make adjustments for the songs to crossfade on top of each other. You can do this by going into your Preferences and selecting the Playback tab. I recommend that you go with the two-second crossfade for optimum pefromance.
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Completely Remove Empty Gaps
So perhaps the crossfade isn’t your idea of getting rid of those gaps. Well, you can actually adjust these gaps so that there’s less time between songs but they cut evenly to the next one on the list. However, you have to do this on a song-by-song basis. This makes sense, though, seeing that songs have varying lengths of intro and outro silent gaps.
You can do this exactly how you handle adjusting the volume for your individual song. Just go right-click the original song, click Get Info, and go to the song’s options. From there you can adjust the song’s beginning and end time.
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Don’t Overplay Or Underplay Your Music
Sometimes we play music too much. Sometimes we don’t play it enough. Fortunately, using Smart Playlists, you can customize the types of songs that pop up based on how many times they have been recently played. It’s fairly simple to do this. For instance, you can make it where the only songs that are played are songs that have not been played in the past two weeks – pretty cool. If you have ever used Apple Mail’s Smart Mailboxes, the principle is virtually the same. By picking traits for the types of songs that you want to be played (or not be played), you can keep your listening experience fresh.
So there we have it, music lovers. If you’re an avid iTunes user, these tips are sure to optimize your listening experience.
By the way, iTunes isn’t the only way to get new free music. Be sure to check out Tina’s regular Sound Sunday column for even more weekly free music (she has great taste, for the record).
What other tips do you have for maximizing your listening pleasure in iTunes? Do you make use of any of the above tips? Have any of the tips not worked for you? Let us know what you think in the comments, below.