In the iTunes 10.0.1 update, Apple added a Ping dropdown menu which appears next to the currently selected song name. Since I found this to be quite an eyesore, I used a similar trick as my previous post on removing the iTunes store arrow links.
First, close iTunes. Next, with a text editor, open C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunesPrefs.xml on Windows XP, or C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunesPrefs.xml on Windows Vista and Windows 7. Make sure to replace UserName with your own Windows user name. After the following lines:
add the code:
When iTunes is reopened, the Ping dropdown icon will be gone! This is a great way to disable that annoying menu. If you ever need to show the menu again, simply go back to the file and remove the lines.
By default, iTunes only allows song ratings in full-star increments (e.g., ). However, the program has the capability to display half-star ratings as well (e.g., ), but the setting to do this is hidden.
You can enable the assignment of half-star ratings by editing the user preferences file. To do this, first close iTunes. Then, with a text editor open C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunesPrefs.xml on Windows Vista/7/8 (or C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunesPrefs.xml on Windows XP). After the following lines:
add the code:
When you restart iTunes, you will be able to set half-star ratings in addition to the full-star ratings in the iTunes Library window by clicking and dragging the area in the ‘Rating’ column of a particular song.
However, changing the rating by right-clicking the iTunes icon in the system tray will still only allow you to assign full-star ratings. The ratings menu is also nested one level deep, and therefore takes a bit longer to access. Since I often use the tray icon to rate songs rather than switching back to the library window, I have developed a free software tool called iTSongRater which adds an improved iTunes navigation and rating icon in your system tray. When the iTSongRater tray icon is right-clicked, the pop up menu allows you to directly assign full and half-star ratings right from the start, and also allows other features such as changing the playcounts of songs. Try it out! It is much more useful than the default iTunes tray icon.View all iTSongRater Features
Tested on iTunes 10, 11 & 12
I keep my iTunes library sorted by Artist alphabetically, but when you click the Artist heading, the Album column gets sorted alphabetically as well. I recently discovered a trick to sort Albums by Year within each Artist group, while keeping the overall Artist order alphabetical.
Simply click the Album column heading twice. The heading will rotate from “Album” to “Album by Artist” and then “Album by Year.” This will sort the iTunes Library by Artist, then by Year. The following is a summary of the different combinations:
Sort by Artist alphabetically, then Album alphabetically.
Sort by Album alphabetically.
Sort by Album Artist alphabetically (or Artist if Album Artist is blank), then by Album alphabetically.
Sort by Album Artist alphabetically (or Artist if Album Artist is blank), then by Album chronologically.
For compilation albums things get a little confusing. The Album Artist is not always the same as Artist, so it is important to remember that for the last two options, these will be listed according to Album Artist. Also, if the Album Artist is blank, but the album is marked as a compilation, these songs will be found at the end of the library.
It is nice to have Albums listed chronologically within each Artist!
Back in iTunes 8, Apple removed the preferences option to disable the arrow links to the iTunes music store next to the name and artist of a highlighted song. I find these highly annoying, since I never intend to use them. For the Windows version of iTunes, I found two different ways to get rid of these arrow icons:
Go to Edit > Preferences > Parental Control, and check “Disable: iTunes Store”
While this is the simplest way of getting rid of the arrows, in the latest versions of iTunes, disabling the iTunes Store also disables Genius and automatic album art downloading. If you use these features, like I do, disabling the iTunes Store altogether is not an option. In this case, there is another way:
Follow the instructions found here. Basically, you first close iTunes, then with a text editor open C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunesPrefs.xml on Windows XP, or C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunesPrefs.xml on Windows Vista and Windows 7. Make sure to replace UserName with your own Windows user name. After the following lines:
add the code:
When iTunes is reopened, the arrow icon links will be gone! Since I use Genius and downloading album art, I used the second method and it works great in both iTunes 9 and iTunes 10!
Update: I have also posted how to remove the Ping dropdown menu in iTunes 10 for Windows as well.