itunes

Access Your iTunes Collection Anywhere

If you have a large music collection in iTunes, iTunes Match is awesome! You get high quality copies of all songs it can match from the iTunes Store, your entire collection is avaliable, all the time, from any device, and iTunes Radio is ad-free. The annual cost is $24.99, or less than $0.10/day. This tip will focus on the "match" feature and ability to access your entire library from any internet connection.

You already have access to all iTunes music you've ever purchased, but what about those songs that you aquired from "other" places? Have any ripped CDs, MP3s from old-school Napster, or imported a hard drive with a friend's shared collection? iTunes Match wants to help.

For every song that you didn't download from the iTunes Music Store, iTunes Match will attempt to find a matched copy from the iTunes Music Store. If you have the old Matchbox 20 song "Push" as an MP3, you'll get access to a brand new high quality copy. What about songs that iTunes Match can't match? It will upload up to 25,000 songs to the iTunes servers from your library, and you'll still have access via the iTunes Match service, including from your iOS device. For more info on how to complete this process in iTunes, see the iTunes Match site at Apple.

Once your collection is fully analyzed, matched, and uploaded, you will want to toggle iTunes Match on for each of your iOS devices by going to Settings -> iTunes & App Store. Here you can also select whether to "Show All" music. This will show you all music in your library inside the Music app, even if it's not on your device. At the very bottom you can enable access to Cellular Data to download music.

Inside the Music app, with "Show All" enabled for Music, you'll see your entire collection. Songs that are not stored locally, but still in your library will have the cloud/down arrow icon to the right. Tap this icon to download, or just tap on the song to start it playing immediately.

In the screenshot tracks 1-4 are on the device, denoted by the absence of the cloud/down arrow icon. Track 5 is in the process of being downloaded, and the progress is tracked by the compleiution of the thick inside line of the circle. Tracks 6-8 are avaliable for download from iTunes Match.

This tip works with all iOS devices running iOS 6 or later.

WWDC 2013 - iOS 7, OS X Mavericks, & Much More!

Here are some of my thoughts and features that excite me the most features from the WWDC keynote. Definitely not a comprehensive list of features. For that check out the links at the bottom of the post.

OS X Mavericks

  • Enhanced Multi-Monitor Support: It's just amazing. This is what I wish Apple would have done when they launched Full Screen apps, but none-the-less, it's coming!
  • Reply via Notification: This just makes sense - reply right from a notification.
  • Tags: This feature got a lot of flack in the TWiT IRC channel during the announcement, but I think this is the first step towards a structureless file system. Much like the power Gmail users out there, such as myself, have learned - why put things in file folders? Just tag and search!
  • iCloud Keychain: This feature is awesome and just might bring me back to Safari from Chrome. I'll even consider ditching my LastPass subscription. The only thing left that would seal the deal would be a stand-alone Keychain app for iOS that would allow me to lookup various passwords and things from my device.
  • Calendar:  Travel time... i've wanted this for ages. It's contextually aware! Tell me when I need to leave, and pad the invite for travel time. 

iOS 7

  • Synced Notification States: I've been hoping for this feature since iPad was launched. It only got a quick mention, but I'm so excited to know that when I clear notifications on one device, they'll be cleared on all devices.
  • Push Triggers: Announced as part multitasking, your app will now be able to up-to-date when you open it from a notification. How many times have you opened Facebook or another app and had to wait for the app to load any new data? Solved!
  • Control Center: Quick access to the calculator, a flashlight, bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and much more.
  • iTunes Radio: I already pay for iTunes Match, so ad-free iTunes Radio will be by brand new Pandora replacement. And I can save $40/year on my Pandora | One subscription.
  • AirDrop: Looks pretty cool - will be fun to share things over wifi. I'm glad it's not a Cellular or Client-Server connection. Good move Apple!

Questions I Ponder

  • Did ringtones get the dramatic facelift that the visual aspects iOS got? If so, will my old tried-and-true tones be there?
  • Will AirDrop on iOS work with AirDrop on OS X?
  • What does Facetime audio do? You could already start a FaceTime call and press the Home key to make it an audio-only call via your data connection. 

Other Thoughts

  • I love the humor that was incorporated, especially at the expense of Scott Forstall, even though his name was never mentioned. The crowd was obviously pleased at the change in design theory. "There were no virtual cows harmed in the making of this app," quipped Craig Federighi as the audience cheered when the new OS X Calendar app was unveiled.