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Using iTunes DJ for party playlists

From: iTunes 10 Essential Training

Video: Using iTunes DJ for party playlists

As we've previously seen, the iTunes Shuffle button is a good option to have if you just want to play continuous nonstop music from your entire music library or from a selected playlist, but it really doesn't give you any control over what songs are played. So in this movie I want to look at iTunes DJ, which makes it a little easier to come up with a random collection of tunes while at the same time making it easier to control which songs make the list. iTunes DJ should appear as the first item under Playlists here in the Source pane. If you don't see it, go to Preferences and under the General tab make sure iTunes DJ is checked.

Using iTunes DJ for party playlists

As we've previously seen, the iTunes Shuffle button is a good option to have if you just want to play continuous nonstop music from your entire music library or from a selected playlist, but it really doesn't give you any control over what songs are played. So in this movie I want to look at iTunes DJ, which makes it a little easier to come up with a random collection of tunes while at the same time making it easier to control which songs make the list. iTunes DJ should appear as the first item under Playlists here in the Source pane. If you don't see it, go to Preferences and under the General tab make sure iTunes DJ is checked.

When I first select iTunes DJ, I see the screen giving me a little information about iTunes DJ which as you can see it tells me that I can change the list of upcoming songs at any time by adding, removing, or reordering them. Another very cool feature is that you can allow people with iPhones or iPod touches who have the free iTunes Remote application installed to place requests for songs. This is a great feature for parties and it lets your guests participate in the music selection. Let's click Continue. So now we are looking at the iTunes DJ playlist and here are 15 random songs that it has selected.

So this is kind of like the Shuffle feature, but unlike the Shuffle feature where you can't tell which songs are coming up here in iTunes DJ you can clearly see the next 15 songs that it will be playing, which allows you to make adjustments if you like. If you don't like this particular collection at all, just click the Refresh button to instantly get a list of 15 more songs. Within this list you can easily reorder the songs just by grabbing them and dragging them up or down. Now I can start playing from the top of the list just by double-clicking.

(Music playing) But I can also click any of the other songs in the list to start them playing. Now songs that have played appear in gray at the top of the list, which is another convenient feature for when someone comes running up to you at the party and asked the name of the song that was just playing or the song that played 20 minutes ago. By default iTunes DJ select from your entire music library, but if you want it to only select from a certain playlist, just click the Source menu down here and find your playlists. All the playlists you've created will appear in this menu. So you might want to take some time to create a playlist before you start iTunes DJ at your party or get together.

And don't forget about Smart Playlists. For example, on my home computer I have a Smart Playlist that among other things ignores all spoken word and audio book files I use that for my iTunes DJ tunes, because I probably don't want a chapter from Atlas Shrugs suddenly coming up during a party. I am not get worry about that way right now, because I don't have any audio books installed in this computer. Now by default you always see the upcoming 15 songs, which should give you plenty of leeway to move or delete any songs you don't like. As each song gets played, another one is added to the bottom of the list. If you want to see more or fewer upcoming songs, click Settings, and here you can choose to see anywhere from 0 to 100 upcoming songs.

This is also where you can determine how many recently played songs you want to see. So if you want a longer list of the songs that have already played, maybe you want to choose 20. I will leave mine at 5 though. We also have the option here to play higher rated songs more often. So if you take advantage of the rating feature we discussed earlier you might want to check this option, so more of your favorite songs show up more frequently. Now while we are in here let's also check Allow guests request songs with Remote for iPhone iPod touch. This is the option to allow guests with iPod touches and iPhones with the iTunes Remote application installed to request songs.

The Remote application is a free application from Apple you can download from the app store that allows iPods and iPhones on your network to control iTunes. So the most important thing is that you allow your guests to access your home wireless network, meaning the same network your computer is running iTunes on. Otherwise, they won't be able to connect to iTunes to browse your songs. Now we have the option of adding a Welcome Message for your guests to see. So I typed "Welcome to my party! Feel free to place your song requests." Next, you can check Restrict requests to source and from this menu you can choose a playlist to let limit your guests to.

So they will only be able to select songs from your approved playlist, which you probably want to do in case some prankster decides to pull a college lecture you recorded or something like that. I am just going to unchecked for now. Another fun option is to Enable voting, which only works right if you have several people with iPod touches or iPhones and you can let them duke it out by vote to determine what song plays next. Lastly, you can password protect iTunes and only provide the password to the iPod touch or the iPhone users who can handle the enormous responsibility of choosing the tunes for your party. So maybe I will add a password here of "rock on." So let's click OK and see how this works.

So on my iPhone I'm going to start up the Remote app and in here I am going to type Settings. Right here at the top of the screen I can see the iTunes DJ library I just set up is available. The lock icon next to it indicates that it is password protected. So I am going to select it and then type in my password that I set up. So now I see the same list of songs currently listed in my iTunes DJ listing. I can also tap Now Playing to see the currently playing track.

Now I am seeing the cover art for the currently playing song. Of course, it's not currently playing, but it's the one that will play once I click Play on iTunes. Incidentally, this is a great way for iPod touch an iPhone users to just see the artist, album, and song that's currently playing at your party. Now I am going to tap Request a Song. This allows me to browse through the entire library of songs or if I just set up a playlist, it would allow my guest to browse just that playlist. So I am going to look through here. I will find The Jellybricks. Pick a song.

So that places the song next in the list. Now if there are other people around with the iPhones, they would see that the song now has one vote. You can see the little heart icon next to the song. Back here on my iTunes screen you can also see that Goodnight To Everyone has one vote. Now other guests could also select the same song in their phone to add more votes to move it to the top of the list, or they can pick other songs. The songs with the most votes move to the top of the list just as they should in a proper democratic society. But just people with iPod touches and iPhones shouldn't have all the say in what's coming up, right? If someone comes up to you at the party and request a particular song and it doesn't happen to be one of the upcoming songs, you can go into your Library, find the song they want, and then right-click on it.

Now here we have the choice of Play Next in iTunes DJ, (Music playing) which as you can see adds it to the very top of the list and it start playing. Now if there were already a song currently playing, it will add the song immediately below it on the list. It won't just interrupt the currently playing song. Now the other option we have is Add to iTunes DJ. So I selected that with a song "Up To You." So if I go back to iTunes DJ, you can see the song "Up To You" now has one vote. Anybody looking at this list on their iPhone to iPod touch would see that they also has one vote, so they could give it another tap, which I will do in this case and you can see now it has two votes and has moved up the list.

So again this is a feature that allows everybody to participate in the music that's playing at party and that's the iTunes DJ feature of iTunes 10. So forget about mix CDs for parties. The next time we have a get together, tell your friends to bring their iPhone and iPod touches and make your party music an interactive experience.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for iTunes 10 Essential Training
iTunes 10 Essential Training

60 video lessons · 19520 viewers

Garrick Chow
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 31m 45s
    1. Opening iTunes for the first time
      3m 20s
    2. Exploring the Source pane
      4m 49s
    3. Using the playback controls
      6m 33s
    4. Setting general preferences
      3m 21s
    5. Exploring the interface differences in the Mac and Windows versions
      7m 14s
    6. Setting parental controls
      4m 39s
    7. Using keyboard shortcuts
      1m 49s
  3. 57m 19s
    1. Understanding file formats
      8m 58s
    2. Importing from a CD
      5m 41s
    3. Entering song info manually
      8m 40s
    4. Finding and adding album artwork
      6m 41s
    5. Adding lyrics to songs
      4m 2s
    6. Dragging in song files
      6m 32s
    7. Converting single files
      2m 24s
    8. Using the Automatically Add to iTunes folder
      5m 0s
    9. Joining tracks
      4m 46s
    10. Importing videos
      4m 35s
  4. 25m 44s
    1. Consolidating your library
      4m 8s
    2. Upgrading to iTunes Media organization
      2m 29s
    3. Extending your library
      4m 47s
    4. Working with multiple libraries
      2m 38s
    5. Finding duplicate songs
      3m 56s
    6. Moving a library
      7m 46s
  5. 1h 2m
    1. Browsing
      6m 34s
    2. Searching
      1m 52s
    3. The Snapback button
      1m 18s
    4. Rating songs
      2m 7s
    5. Exploring playback options
      9m 35s
    6. Creating playlists
      5m 53s
    7. Creating Smart Playlists
      7m 13s
    8. Creating playlist folders
      2m 55s
    9. Shuffling and repeating
      3m 4s
    10. Using iTunes DJ for party playlists
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Equalizer
      7m 1s
    12. Using the Visualizer
      4m 20s
    13. Using internet radio
      3m 27s
  6. 20m 6s
    1. Sharing over a network
      5m 6s
    2. Turning on home sharing
      4m 2s
    3. Burning discs
      6m 54s
    4. Using AirPlay to stream content from iTunes to an AppleTV or Airport Express
      4m 4s
  7. 38m 46s
    1. Store overview
      3m 29s
    2. Creating an account
      3m 28s
    3. Browsing for content
      4m 2s
    4. Searching for content
      3m 29s
    5. Purchasing content
      7m 32s
    6. Purchasing gifts for others
      3m 44s
    7. Redeeming iTunes gift certificates
      1m 15s
    8. Using the Genius sidebar and creating Genius playlists
      5m 50s
    9. Using the Ping social network
      5m 57s
  8. 9m 2s
    1. Finding and subscribing to podcasts
      6m 50s
    2. Listening to and interacting with enhanced podcasts
      2m 12s
  9. 27m 38s
    1. Managing your iPod
      7m 21s
    2. Syncing music and movies
      7m 16s
    3. Syncing photos from a Mac
      3m 51s
    4. Syncing photos from a Windows computer
      3m 2s
    5. Syncing contacts and calendars from a Mac
      3m 5s
    6. Syncing contacts and calendars from a Windows computer
      3m 3s
  10. 14s
    1. Goodbye
      14s

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