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In this chapter, we've looked at a lot of controls and behaviors of your iPhone and iPod that are dependent on some of their default settings. If your own device hasn't been behaving the same as you've been seeing in these movies or if you'd like to turn off some of these default behaviors I'll show you where to find them here. Tap Settings and scroll down to Music. Here's where you'll find most of the preferences that will determine your iPhone's behaviors when playing music. First is Shake to Shuffle. With this turned on, if you're in the music app, shaking your phone will start a random song playing from your currently selected playlist.
Now in order for this to work, you have to already be playing a song and your screen has to be on. That prevents you from accidentally shuffling songs if you're running with your iPod or if it's just bumping around on your car's dashboard. I don't use this feature much myself since I always seem to shake my phone and jump to another song by accident. You can turn it on if you want though, to give it a try. Next, we have the sound check feature which is off by default. Inevitably, some of the songs in your music library are going to be louder than other songs. This just has to do with the way they were originally recorded and released and to some extent how they were encoded. For example, songs recorded these days are a lot louder than songs recorded back in the 60s.
So if you're shuffling songs in your collection, you might be playing an older song that requires you to turn up the volume so you can hear it at a decent level, only to have your ears blown off by the next song that was recorded in the past year or so. Sound check automatically controls the playback level of all songs so they all playback at relatively the same volume. Quiet songs become a little bit louder and louder songs become a little bit quieter and they sort of meet in the middle. Personally, I'm not really a fan of how Sound Check make some songs sound, so I leave this off. But if you're listening to a playlist that includes a wide range of songs spanning several decades and you want to make sure everything plays back at a consistent volume level, you can try turning it on.
Next, we have the EQ options, which are essentially a collection of preset audio adjustment settings for tweaking the frequencies of the music you're listening to. Notice we have several EQ selections to choose from, covering a wide range of genres and scenarios. So if for example you found that you're not getting the bass response you'd like out of the tracks you're playing you might come in here and choose the bass booster. If you're listening to an audiobook, you might want to choose the spoken word EQ settings. If you come in here while music is playing, you'll hear the changes to the sound of your music as you tap different selections.
Just be aware though that using the EQ settings does drain your battery a little bit faster, so I'll use my EQ settings set to Off for now. The next setting here is Volume Limit and this just lets you set your iPhone or iPod so the volume level never goes louder than the limit you set. This is good for anyone who's guilty of listening to their music way too loud or for parents want to protect their kids' ears. You'll probably want to have music playing as you drag the slider to set the limits so you can hear the results of your setting. I'll just leave this at the highest setting for now though. Next is Lyrics & Podcast Info.
If you have songs that include embedded lyrics, you'll see the lyrics appear when you play them or if your podcasts which include embedded show information, you'll see that information appear when you play the podcast. If you don't see the lyrics or podcast info, that information is either not included or try tapping the album or podcast artwork to make them appear. Of course if you don't want to see that stuff, go back to the settings here and turn lyrics and podcast info off. The last option in this section is Group By Album Artist. This mainly applies to compilation albums that include songs byseveral different artists.
Keep this option on if you want to be able to get the compilation songs by the name of the album artist, which is commonly just various artists or something like that; or you can turn it off if you'd like to be able to find the songs by songs by browsing for a specific artist. If you've signed-in your iCloud account through the iCloud settings on your device, the next item here is iTunes Match, which again, is Apple's $25 year service that allows you to sync your iTunes library to your iCloud account so you can download any of your songs at any time. I've talked about iTunes match in the chapter on syncing with your computer so you can go back for a review there, if necessary.
The last option here is Home Sharing. This is a feature in iTunes that lets you easily share your iTunes library with other computers and iOS devices on your home network. You have to first enable home sharing with your Apple ID through iTunes, then enter your Apple ID on your iOS device and you'll be able to browse and play content from your iTunes library from your device. That does it for music preferences. Let's go back to Settings and select the Video Preferences. The first item here is Start Playing, and all this determines is where videos you had previously been watching will pick up from.
The default choice is Where I left Off, which I think it makes sense because you'll most likely want to start watching a video where you last left off. The other option here is From Beginning, but I feel like if you wanted to watch video from the beginning, you could just tap the Back button once. So I'll leave Where Left Off selected. Some videos you watch will have closed caption text embedded in them. Here, you can decide whether you want Closed Captioning to be on or off by default. Regardless of your choice though, you can still turn Close Captioning on and off while watching a video. This is just for setting the default behavior. And Below that, you'll find another place to sign-in with your Apple ID to use Home Sharing.
It doesn't matter whether you sign-in under Video Settings or under Music Settings, as we saw previously. Either one works. That does it for the Music and Video Playback preferences.
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