music

iTunes Radio

Monday's tip about iTunes Match talked all about how iTunes Match enhances your music library. Another awesome benefit of an iTunes Match subscription is ad-free iTunes Radio.

This Pandora-style app is built right into your iOS device (and iTunes!) and has a very similar feature set. It's great even without an iTunes Match subscription. 

Launch the Music and tap the Radio button. You'll be shown sample stations as well as any that you have created. You'll also see a large pink "+" button to create a new station. To start tap "New Station". You can pick a station from the list of genres or you can search for an artist, album, or song to "seed" your list. If you searched for a seed, select it from the list and your station will begin to play.

Once your station is playing you'll see a few new buttons.

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  • Price (top right): Allows you to purchase the song from the iTunes Music Store
  • Inspector, shown as circled "i" (top center): Here you can start new stations from this artist or song. This screen also has one of my favorite iTunes Radio features: Tune This Station. You can choose whether you want the station to play you the Hits, a Variety of songs, or if you want to Discover new music. iTunes Radio uses your library to help it make decisions once you've made a selection with the slide. Also on this screen you can allow explicit lyrics, or share your station via the normal sharing methods.
  • Star (bottom left): Star this song if you want to hear more songs like the current one playing, or never play it again on this station, if it doesn't fit or you don't like it. Lastly, you can add it to your iTunes Wish List to remember to purchase later.
  • Skip Song (bottom right): Skips the song currently playing, but won't block the song from playing again in the future. As with Pandora, you can only skip 6 songs in an hour.

We love iTunes Radio in our house - we use it for parties or just background music while working. It's new to iOS 7 and included on all iOS devices.

Memory & Storage Space

Running out of space? Want to know where all your space has gone?

To see how much space you have on your phone, and how much of that is available free space goto Settings -> Usage. You'll be greeted with a spinning wheel while the device does calculations to see where all of your space is being used. Also on screen is a number labeled "available" and a number labeled "capacity". Capacity is the total memory in your phone. I have a 32 GB phone and after formatting, system files, etc. you'll see that I show a capacity of 26.8 GB. My available space is 743 MB. (There are approx. 1000 MB in a GB.)

Once the device is done calculating the specifics on storage space, there is a nice list of applications along with how much space each is consuming. The measurement you see on the first screen is the total amount of space the app consumes, but tap on the app to get more details. In the screenshot you can see that I have Instacast downloaded. The app itself is only 9.7 MB in size, however the app has 1.8 GB in documents or data. For this app it's all audio and video podcast files. With other apps, such as Facebook this would be cached data the app has downloaded so that it can load faster, settings saved locally on the device, etc. Some apps have "Clear Cache" functions, such as Instacast, that allow you to clear out all the locally stored data. Other apps will have to be deleted and reinstalled to clear their cache.

Messages is another offender on my list. To remove the data used here, each conversation will have to be deleted one-by-one. Hopefully Apple will make this process easier in the future!

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Lastly, if tap Music or Videos you'll see that it shows details on the videos that are downloaded to the device. There is a handy Edit button in the top right corner that allows for quick deletion of unwanted media. 

If you're running of of space, this is a great place to start to recover it!

This tip works for all iOS devices running iOS 7.