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Chas' Life, Problems with iTunes

The iPod is able to play hundreds of music tracks. It can display the artist, album name, track title, and pictures relating to the track or album. In order to get the data into the iPod it needs to be connected to a computer running iTunes.

Data

The data can either be loaded to the computer from your own collection of CD's or downloaded from various web sites on the internet. If you are copying from your own CD's you could be using Microsoft Windows Media Player. If you happen to be on line at the same time you will find that data relating to the CD will be downloaded.

I have encountered many problems with these apparently simple procedures. Some tracks have no picture or a poor quality one. The names of the artist, album or tracks are sometimes not known. I think it true to say that most; if not all the data related to the track is contained in the file. I have tried to keep to the *.mp3 file type. iTunes generate *.m4a when copying from a CD.

In order to try and resolve the problems I have developed a procedure to follow from files, folders or directories on the computer to adding or changing the data within iTunes.

Personal Computer

A folder is created for each CD (Album) or group of tracks. These folders can then be contained within another folder relating to the Artist. A picture file relating to the CD could also be included within the folder with the track files. The picture can be scanned from your own CD or found on the internet. It is best to make the pictures between 200 x 200 pixels and 400 x 400 pixels. These will then be clearly displayed on the iPod once imbedded in the track file.

Each folder on the computer is capable of displaying a picture in its icon. This can happen by default but can be changed. Right click on the folder, select Properties, Customize and Choose File. Then select a picture. This can be the picture you have in that folder. Then Open it and press Apply. You now have a folder that contains the tracks of your CD and displays the picture.

iTunes

It must be understood that the data base information in iTunes has little relationship to the files and folders on the computer. The data base just contains links to it in order to find the music. The data in iTunes can contain typographical errors which may create oddly named Albums and Artists. The track names can also be edited.

Tracks copied from a CD will not have an imbedded picture if you were not on line when copying. You can see if a track has a picture or not (I have seen more than one!) by right clicking on a single track. Select Get Info, Artwork. Here you can add or delete the imbedded picture(s) into the single track.

In order to ensure all the tracks in an Album (Folder) contain a picture first select an Album. Highlight all the tracks and right click on them. Select: Get Info then click on Yes. Copy n Paste or Drag n Drop your picture into the box provided. The picture will then be imbedded into all the tracks.

When you are happy that all your music is correctly displayed, then attach your iPod to send the data to it. If iTunes cannot find tracks it will tell you.