Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring the Source pane, part of iTunes 9 Essential Training.
For this movie I've imported a bunch of songs into my iTunes Library. In the next chapter we'll take a detailed look at how to get music and other files into iTunes. So if you're not quite sure how to do that yet don't worry about it for now. I just needed to get some songs in here so I could effectively demonstrate some of the features of the iTunes interface in this movie. When we get in the next chapter, we'll start with a brand-new empty Library again. Just stop taking a look at the Source pane on the left side of the iTunes window. Basically, what you've selected in the Source pane determines what you see in the main section of the window. So you can see that the Source pane is divided into several categories, Library, Store, Shared, Genius and Playlists and so on.
Depending on how your preferences are set, you may see more or fewer categories in your own Source pane than you see here. But we'll talk about that in just a minute. Let's look at the Library. The most important basic thing to realize about the Library is that it contains all the files that are stored on the computer you're using this particular copy of iTunes on. Later on we'll look at things like Shared Libraries, which lets you access content on other computers running iTunes on your network. But everything in the Library here is the stuff that's running on your computer. The Library itself contains multiple categories, because really we're long beyond the days in which iTunes was just a program to manage your music collection.
These days you can use iTunes to organize and play music, movies, TV shows, podcasts and audiobooks as well as use it to manage the apps and ringtones on your iPhone. So it makes good sense to have these category divisions in the Library. If we still only had one main Library for all these things like earlier versions of iTunes, it would be really difficult to find the files you're looking for. So now you select Music to see your music collection, Movies to see your movies and so on. This is a nicely organized way to view and find the content you've stored in iTunes. Now if you don't use all of these things, like you don't listen to audiobooks for example, you can turn off any of these categories by going to iTunes > Preferences or if you're on Windows you will go to Edit > Preferences and under the General category you can uncheck the categories you don't want or need to see.
So I'll uncheck Audiobooks. Now the first time you do this, you may get a warning essentially telling you that if you turn off the category, the items that fall into this category won't be accessible at all from the Library. So even if I do have audiobooks in my Library, if I uncheck Audiobooks here in Preferences, I won't be to get to those audiobooks. To get to the items in a particular category you have to have that category turned on. Notice the only category not listed here for you to disable is Music. Since iTunes is at heart a music application, it really doesn't make much sense to turn that option off. The one category that isn't on by default is iTunes U, which is a service used by colleges and universities for distributing audio and video content to their students.
Non-students can access most of the iTunes U content, but it's probably safe to say that the majority of iTunes users don't take advantage of that feature so it's off by default. I'm just going to cancel out of here. So that's an overview of the Library. The next heading that we find in here is Store which is where you access the iTunes Store to purchase music, movies, TV shows, iPhone and iPod apps and podcasts and so on. We'll be looking a lot at the Store in its own chapter later on. If you've purchased content from the Store, you'll also find a Purchased category here on to the Store heading which is where you can quickly access all the content that you've bought in one location.
You also see a Downloads category up here when you're downloading purchased content. Next we have Shared for accessing and playing content from other iTunes Libraries on other computers connected to your home or office network. This is also where you can turn on the new Home Sharing function which is brand-new to iTunes 9 and for the first time allows you to copy content from another iTunes Library from another computer on your network to your own personal iTunes Library on your own computer. More on that later as well. Under that we have Genius which is a feature that examines your Library and automatically builds playlists and make suggestions of other songs or artist you might like based on what's currently in your Library.
If you don't see the Genius playlists, you can go back to Preferences and just make sure that this option is checked or if you don't like it, you can turn it off here as well. Again, we'll get more into this later. And our final category is Playlists. Playlists have of course been a part of iTunes from the start and you can still create regular and smart playlists like before and they will all be found under the Playlists heading. We'll discuss creating playlists a couple of chapters from now. Now, you will still see other items appear in the Source area. For instance if you insert an audio CD it will appear here under heading labeled Devices which refers to your CD player as the device.
So, I've a CD already to go, so I'm just going to insert that. You can see now the CD Goodnight To Everyone by the Jellybricks has now appeared in a new category heading called Devices here on my Source pane. If you connect your iPod or iPhone to your computer, it will also show up here under the Devices heading. Okay, so that's a rundown of the Source pane in iTunes 9. The most important thing to take away from this is depending on what you have selected in the Source pane, you'll see different things appear in the main portion of the window. So just keep that in mind as we continue to work with iTunes.
- Creating playlists, Smart playlists, and nested playlists
- Expanding a library across multiple hard drives
- Activating and using the Genius feature
- Setting up Home Sharing
- Understanding and utilizing the parental controls