Oct 06

I recently received a warning from Google Play Music that they are closing their Music service and migrating it across to YouTube Music. I wrote an article 4 years ago about the advantages of Google Play Music over iTunes. Unfortunately this has come back to bite me as I’ll now need to import all my songs back into iTunes again!

Google offered to transfer all my music for free from Google Play over to YouTube Music. I took them up on this offer, only to discover that ‘Youtube Music’ has ads unless you take up their paid subscription. So I paid Google to purchase these songs, and now I am required to pay a further subscription if I want to listen to them ad free through YouTube Music.

I have a lot of songs in Google Play Music – nearly 2000. Some of these are from CD. Some were purchased though iTunes, some were purchased through Google Play Music. At 0.99c a song that’s $2000 worth of music that I own. I don’t want to have to pay a subscription to listen to it!

Thankfully Google also has the option to download all of your songs. To do this you need to go to a website called Google Takeout.

When you are selecting what you want to export, it looks as if it won’t download the actual audio files (see this screenshot below.) But don’t worry, even though it says ‘list of tracks….in your library’ it will do more than just a list of tracks – it will send you the actual audio files.

You can then choose the compression type (zip) and maximum file size (I choose 50MB).

That’s how to export all your music files from Google Play Music.

A few hours later I received a link in an email to download all my music files:

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Jan 16

In Apple TV there’s an option called ‘Computer’ where you can stream movies that are stored on your computer. But these movies need to be shared from your computer to Apple TV. In Catalina Apple changed how you turn this sharing on and off from your Computer.

Previously you need to go into iTunes and select ‘Turn on Home Sharing’ from your iTunes App. In Catalina it’s been moved from iTunes into the System Preferences. (It’s not been moved to the TV app – that’s where I went looking!)

To turn on sharing for your media Library you need to go into System Preferences, then ‘Sharing’ and then select the box that says ‘Media Sharing’ and then select the box that says ‘Home Sharing.’ Now all the movies that were in your old iTunes Library will be available on your Apple TV.

Turn on Home Sharing to see movies in Apple TV

If you want to add files from a media server or external Hard Disk to be able to view them on your Apple TV as well, you can leave them in place on your media server but you need to drag them into the new TV app on your computer. Before you do this make sure you unselect the option that says ‘Copy files to media folder when adding to Library.’ If that box is selected it will try to copy your movies from your external drive to your computer’s internal drive, and fill it up. If you leave that box unchecked, it will make a link to your external movies (so that you can play them from Apple TV) but it will keep them on the media drive.

Turn off ‘Copy Files…’ to access files on an external drive without copying them across.
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Dec 02

To connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod to your home stereo you just need a 3.5mm to RCA cable like this cable above.  The two RCA connectors plug into the back of your stereo and the 3.5mm plugs into the headphone jack of your iPhone. Pretty much every stereo available has RCA inputs as the standard inputs on the back.  If you want the best possible audio quality, then an Apple iPod dock will make it sound even better, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

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Sep 13

I just purchased exactly the same song from iTunes and Google Play Music to compare them. If you are interested, here are the differences.

iTunes uses AAC, while Google Play Music uses mp3. Google Play uses a slightly higher bitrate, but that probably compensates for AAC being a better algorithm.  I can’t hear any audible difference. Read on to see the actual specifications of each music format.

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Sep 09

Call me old-fashioned but when I spend money on music I want to own the music myself. So I have not subscribed to Apple Music, Google Play or Spotify. I still purchase songs and albums as I want them. If that’s you, here’s how to share your purchased songs across iTunes and Google Play Music.

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Jul 23

We have an iPhone 4 that we love. It is running iOS 7.  But there are some apps that you cannot download to iOS7.  If you try to download them from the App store you get this message:

too old

To get around this, you need an older version of the app. But Apple don’t give you the option of installing older versions. To get around this and find an older version, you firstly need to download the newer version of App into iTunes on your computer.

Then when you go to your iPhone and find the app in the App Store, you will get the option to download the older version:

older app can install

SUMMARY: You cannot download older versions of Apps directly to your iPhone, but if you download a newer version to iTunes first, then you can access an older version from your iPhone.

NOTE: You need iTunes 12.6 to access the App store to do this. It won’t work in iTunes 12.7.

See this article for how to downgrade to iTunes 12.6.

I keep one laptop with 12.6 for this purpose. The rest are running iTunes 12.7.

 

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Jul 23

With iTunes 12.7 you can’t download apps for older iPhones. If you have an older iPhone and you want to download older apps for you need iTunes 12.6.

But Apple have introduced a security feature called ‘System Integrity Protection’ that stops you from deleting iTunes 12.7.

To delete iTuens 12.7 (and go back to iTunes 12.6) you can disable System Integrity Protection, remove iTunes 12.7, then re-enable the protection. It’s pretty hard core. I would say this is not recommended by Apple. Here’s how to do it…

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Sep 18

I just went to sync my iPhone and I was given this message. This ‘lack of space’ is not a lack of space in your computer, the ‘lack of space’ is on the iPhone. This is somewhat of a bug. I think it is because iTunes is wanting to do some updates to the iPhone and there’s not enough room on the iPhone for this to happen. Whatever the cause, the solution is quite easy. Just uninstall some stuff from your iPhone (e.g. movies, music or photos), sync it, then put the stuff back on. Here’s how.

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