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iTunes 10 Essential Training takes an in-depth look into the popular music and media hub from Apple. Author Garrick Chow demonstrates how to perform the core functions in iTunes: playing, purchasing, sharing, and streaming content. The course also covers specialized features such as setting parental controls, syncing with iPods, subscribing to podcasts, listening to Internet radio, using the Genius feature, the Ping social network, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.
So far we've been concentrating on importing music in iTunes, but as we've learned, iTunes also has the ability to manage, organize, and play video files as well. These could be TV shows, movies, music videos, or podcasts you download from the iTunes store, or they could be your own video files that you yourself create or download from other sources. The only thing you have to bear in mind is that the videos have to be in a format that QuickTime can play, like .movs, .m4vs or .mp4 movies. Otherwise, importing a video is really no different than importing an audio file.
On my desktop I have a folder called videos that I copied from the excise files folder and in here I have a movie called SouthernUtah. To add that to my iTunes library, I just drag it in. And it can be either dragged into the main iTunes window or to the library. Again, I have my preferences set to copy files into my iTunes library, so my songs and movies are all in one place, instead of scattered around my hard drive. So now I am going to select Movies in my library, I see my movie has been placed there. There is a blue dot next to it indicating this is a movie I've not yet watched.
Double-clicking the movie plays it. (Music Playing) Let me just go ahead and pause that. Now how and where the movie playback is a matter of how you have your preferences set. As we are seeing here, the movie took up the entire iTunes window with the exception of the controls that appears at the top of the window and just a little bit of the bottom of the window bar available.
Let's go look at our preferences. I go to iTunes > Preferences, on Windows it will be Edit > Preferences, and under the Playback tab, you can use the Play Movies and TV Shows menu to determine how the movies are played back. Currently it's set to "in the iTunes window," but we have several choices here. In Artwork Viewer, place the movie in the tiny pane where you can view the album artwork of songs. Let's see what that looks like. I will choose that, click OK, I am just going to close the movie right now, and when I double click to Play, there's this panel opens up, and I can see the video down here.
(Music playing) Go and pause that again. Now if I click the movie while it's playing down here, it opens up in its own floating window. (Music playing) Go and close that again. Let's go back to Preferences. Now we already saw what "in the iTunes window" looks like. Next we have "in a separate window," which opens the same kind of floating window that just appear when we click the movie in the artwork viewer. Now the last two options here are full screen, which expands the movie to fit your entire monitor, taking up the full screen size without anything else on screen or in the background.
And we also have full screen (with visuals). Full screen (with visuals) is a good selection to make if you're playing a playlist that contains both video and audio files. When playing video files, the video will take up the entire screen, but audio files have nothing to look at. So with this option selected, iTunes will turn on its Visualizer, which we will look at in the next chapter, but is basically an automated visual effects generator that can be strangely hypnotic and engrossing to watch. I am going to go head and leave my settings at "in the iTunes window." So those are the settings that are available when you play movies and TV shows.
For those we have the same options for playing music videos. The question in your mind now should be, how does iTunes tell the difference? Well, if you are playing videos you purchased from the iTunes store, you don't have to worry about it because those videos come pre-tagged with the right information. But the videos you create yourself or download from elsewhere won't necessarily be tagged properly or at all. We go ahead and close Preferences, and I am going to right click on my movie and choose Get Info. Here in the Options tab, use the Media Kind menu, to let iTunes know what kind of video file this is.
In general, files without tags end up in your Movie library, but if it was to say a music video, I would select that option from this menu. If this were a TV show, I could select that option. Now when working with the TV show, you should also go over to the Video tab and fill out any information you have on the show itself, like its name, the season or episode number and so on. You don't absolutely have to fill this out. iTunes will know it's a TV show from your settings under the Options tab, but this information helps to keep your shows organized, especially if you are going to watch them on an iPod. I leave this blank for now, but notice when I click on OK, the movie disappears from my Movie library and now I find it in TV Shows.
I am going to go back and change this back into just a regular movie. Move back into Movies. So again, it's a good idea to accurately identify your videos once you have imported them into iTunes. Other than that, importing and playing videos in iTunes is pretty straightforward.
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