On-the-fly equalizer

If you want a quick way to adjust equalizer settings, you can add an EQ column in your view options. Go to View > View Options, and check Equalizer. The EQ column will appear with pull-down menus that let you choose the appropriate EQ setting.

Right-click Options

Some of iTunes's features can be accessed via right-clicking. Use the "Get Info" option to view details about a song and the associated file and to edit any info. You can also convert the song to another file type, and download free album art from the iTunes Music Store.

Make Shuffle More Random

Sometimes iTunes repeatedly plays the same artist in shuffle mode. To make shuffle selections more random, head to the Playback pane in Preferences and drag the slider in the Smart Shuffle setting all the way to "less likely."

Stream Faster

In the Advanced pane of Preferences, you can adjust the streaming buffer size based on your Internet connection. If you are on dial-up, you can still get smooth playback by changing to a larger buffer size; you'll just have to deal with a longer wait. Those with a speedy broadband connection will want to use a smaller buffer size for quicker playback.

Parental Controls

If there's questionable content in your library that you don't want your youngsters exposed to, simply set the parental controls in Preferences (under Edit). You can also restrict what they buy from the iTunes Music Store.

Turn iTunes into a PDF Manager

If you're scratching your head over this tip (iTunes and " PDFs), read on. iTunes has PDF support because some purchases on the iTunes Store come with accompanying documentation. Thus, you can drag and drop PDFs in iTunes as you would songs (a book icon appears next to the file name in the library). Create a separate iTunes folder, and now you have a great way of managing your PDFs.

Back up Your Music Library to Disc

If you're worried about losing your iTunes collection, try the "Back Up to Disc" function in the File menu, which will burn your entire collection to DVD or CD. (You'll be prompted to insert another disc if you're collection is larger than one disc's capacity.) Keep in mind that this is just meant to back up your collection, the discs won't play in DVD or CD players.

Create a Separate Music Library

If you want to start a new library in iTunes without getting rid of the old one, then hold down the Shift key when launching iTunes. You'll be given the option of creating a new library.

Find Duplicate Songs

If you do a lot of downloading, then chances are you might have a few duplicates in your collection. To get rid of them, go to View > Show Duplicates, then delete the extra copies.

Change iTunes' Default Audio Format

CDs ripped to iTunes will be encoded into AAC format by default. This can be changed by going to Edit > Preferences, then clicking on the Advanced tab. Once you're there, select the Importing tab, open the dropdown menu, and choose whichever format you want your tunes encoded in.

Mouse-free Tunes

You don't need to rely on your mouse when you're in iTunes several keyboard shortcuts can take care of most basic functions. Tapping the spacebar, for example, will pause a track. Hitting left or right will go to the previous song or move on to the next one, respectively, while holding Ctrl. And moving the up or down arrows will raise or lower the volume.

On the Move

If you want to take iTunes off your task bar and move it into the system tray, where it will be less obtrusive, then simply go to Edit > Preferences, select the Advanced tab and, under the General tab, check the box next to "Minimize iTunes window to system tray."

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