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How to Set Song Information in iTunes on Your MacBook

Each song that you add to the iTunes Music Library might have song information included with it. If you add music from a commercial audio CD, iTunes connects to a server on the Internet and attempts to find the information for each song on the CD.

If you download a song from the Internet, it often comes with some information embedded in the file already; the amount of included information depends on what the creator supplied. (It’s often misspelled as well —think Leenard Skeenard.) If you don’t have an Internet connection, iTunes can’t access the information and displays generic titles instead.

If iTunes can’t find your CD in the online database or someone gives you an MP3 with incomplete or inaccurate information, you can change the information yourself — you want at least the artist and song name! To view and change the information for a song, perform the following steps:

  1. Select the song in either the Music Library list or a Playlist.

  2. Press Command+I or choose File→Get Info.

  3. Edit the song’s information on the Info tab.

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Keep in mind that the more work you put into setting the information of the songs in your Music Library, the easier it is to browse and use iTunes. Incomplete song information can make it more difficult to find your songs in a hurry.

If you prefer, you don’t have to change all information about a song (it just makes life easier later if you do). Normally, you can get away with setting only a song’s title, artist, and genre. The more information you put in, however, the faster you can locate songs and the easier they are to arrange.

iTunes tries to help by automatically retrieving known song information, but sometimes you have to roll up your sleeves and do a little work. (Sorry, but the DataElves are out to lunch.)

iTunes can try to locate artwork automatically for the tracks you select. (Note that embedding large images can significantly increase the size of the song file.) Follow these steps:

  1. Select the desired songs from the track list.

  2. Click Advanced→Get Album Artwork.

You can set iTunes to automatically attempt the addition of album artwork every time you rip tracks from an audio CD, or when you add songs without artwork to your Music Library. Click iTunes and choose Preferences; then click the Store button and click the Automatically Download Missing Album Artwork check box to enable it.

Want to manually add album covers to your song info? Select one (or all) of the songs from a single album in the track list, display the Info dialog, and click the Artwork tab. Now launch Safari, visit Amazon.com, and do a search on the same album (or search an online artwork library such as AllCDCovers.com).

Drag the cover image from the web page right into the Info dialog, and drop it on top of the “sunken square” image well. When you click OK, the image appears in the Summary pane, and you can display it while your music is playing by pressing Command+G, or by pressing the Show or Hide Song Artwork button at the lower left of the iTunes window!

By the way, if you buy tracks or an album from the iTunes Store, Apple always includes album covers automatically.

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