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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.
Now let's take a look at iTunes 10's parental control options, which are really just another way of controlling what appears in the iTunes window but aims towards locking down certain features or areas form kids whose parents might not want them to accessing certain content. Let's go to iTunes > Preferences, again, if you are on Windows you'll go to Edit > Preferences, and in here you'll find an area called Parental. On Windows it is labeled Parental Control. Now to make any changes in here you have to have an Administrator account on your computer. So the other part of this equation is to make sure your kids don't have Administrator access to your computer.
Let's work our way down the list here. We have four main Disable checkboxes. Checking Podcasts disables users from downloading, listening to or watching podcasts. Some podcasts have explicit content and if you don't want your kid having access to them you just check Podcasts in here that removes podcasts from the Source pane. So notice I have a Podcast section here. If I click OK it's gone and if I go to the iTunes Store, and we don't entire chapter on Store coming up later, and if I go find a Podcast, maybe the PBS NewsHour, notice I can't click the Subscribe button or even double-click any of the podcasts to preview them.
So podcasts are entirely locked out at this point. All right, let's go back to Preferences. Checking Radio disables Internet Radio, we'll talk more about radio later but basically iTunes can connect to dozens of free streaming Internet radio sites and again some of these carry explicit content so you can check this option here. Now beyond controlling the content that can stream to your computer you may also want to disable radio, just because your kids leave the radio streams on all the time by accident, which can eat up some of the bandwidth and slow down other computers on your home network. Whatever the reason, just check Radio to removed it from the Source pane.
So again I'll click OK and you can see Radio is gone. Next we can disable the iTunes Store. This will prevent users from even accessing or browsing the Store. Now also you do have an option to leave access to iTunes U, so if you want your kid to be able to download iTunes U content for school you can check that option, while still restricting access to the rest of the iTunes Store. So notice if I leave Allow Access to iTunes U checked and click OK ,the Store switches to the iTunes U page but I can't get to any other content. I keep getting this "My request cannot be completed" message.
Now on the other hand, if I go back to Preferences and disable iTunes U content and click OK, notice the Store completely disappears from my Source pane. Lastly we have Shared Libraries, which disable iTunes for being able to connect to other iTunes Libraries on other computers on your network. So those were the four main Disable checkboxes. Next we have the Ratings For menu, which essentially lets you set the rating system for the country you are in. Notice if I switch to different countries, the ratings in the menus below change appropriately.
So there is Switzerland, here is Greece, which uses K13, 12+. I am going to switch mine back to the United States since that's where I am. If you want to display the ratings of the items in your Library so you can easily see the ratings for video next to its name, just keep the option that says Show content ratings in library checked. So for example, if I've downloaded any R-rated movies I would see the R rating next to them in my library. Under the Content Restrictions area you can limit what's displayed in the Library to Movies, TV, iPod Applications, under specific rating levels.
So if I only want to see movies that are rated G I would select that and check that box or as another example, if you wanted to allow your kids access to some podcasts, but not those which have been labeled as explicit, and Apple is pretty good at making sure producers have explicit content label their products as such, you can maybe leave Podcast unchecked under Disable and check Restrict explicit content. You'll see this message saying, "When you restrict explicit, you won't be able to preview or purchase or subscribe to content." When you check that option you'll see this message telling you that you that you won't be able to preview, purchase or subscribe to content on your iTunes Store that's marked explicit, which is exactly what we want.
So you can see it's fairly easy to make iTunes a safer place for your kids to navigate and spend time in. Now just to reiterate here, users who have Administrator accounts can easily bypass these settings by coming into iTunes Preferences and making changes. So if you're setting up parental controls for your kids make sure you give them regular user account on your Mac or Windows machine and apply these settings to their copy of iTunes in their accounts, not yours. Then when you're done setting the parental controls, you can click the Lock icon. You'll be asked to enter your Administrator password and from that point on, only users with an admin password can make changes to the parental controls.
I am going to unlock this and I am just going to uncheck everything in here to allow myself full access to everything again. So those were the parental control options in iTunes 10.
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