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iPod: The Missing Manual, 9th Edition by J.D. Biersdorfer

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Chapter 5. iTunes Power Moves

Now that you’ve seen how easy iTunes makes it to convert your favorite CD tracks into small, great-sounding files, it’s time to do some serious tune-tweaking. Apple’s music management program lets you do things like rate albums and individual songs, share music and videos with other folks on your network, and even add album artwork to your tracks.

You can also use iTunes as an editor: It gives you the tools you need to change song formats, edit boring on-stage banter from live recordings, and apply preset or customized equalizer settings to tracks. Once you get everything tuned to your liking, you’ll learn how to add, delete, and manually manage the music on your ‘Pod.

Finally, you’ll learn how iTunes can help with a vital—but often ignored—part of music management: backing up your catalog for safekeeping in case your hard drive croaks and takes all your songs and videos with it.

You’re the Critic: Rate Your Music

Although there’s no way to give a song two thumbs up in iTunes, you can assign an album—or each song in your collection—a rating of from 1 to 5 stars. Then you can use the ratings to produce playlists of nothing but the greatest hits on your hard drive.

First, a couple of notes: If you assign an album a rating, then all the songs on the album get the same number of stars. If you rate just a few tracks on an album, the album’s rating reflects the average of the rated songs—so an album with two five-star songs and a bunch of unrated tracks gets 5 ...

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