Beginners Guide To iTunes
why would I use iTunes?
- you are already using iTunes to manage your music collection?
- you have an iPod?
- you want to use Smart Playlists?
first, what doesn't work?
- SqueezeCenter does not use iTunes Music 'sharing'.
- SqueezeCenter does not play music purchased from the iTunes Music Store with DRM.
- SqueezeCenter cannot be controlled from iTunes.
- iTunes does not support FLAC, SqueezeCenter's preferred lossless compression format.
so, what does work?
- SqueezeCenter can use iTunes to locate music as well as, or instead of, searching the filesystem
- iTunes playlists can be used in SqueezeCenter
- iTunes Podcasts appear under their own menu
- SqueezeCenter can perform AutomaticVolumeAdjustment using iTunes SoundCheck data
and how does it work?
The interaction with iTunes occurs when SqueezeCenter does a music scan. By default, a full scan occurs when you start SqueezeCenter and then an incremental scan every time the iTunes Library changes and the iTunes rescan interval has elapsed. This process can take some time (e.g. 20 minutes for 10,000 tracks) and uses a lot of SqueezeCenter's time. As a result the quality of music playback and interface response times may be affected during the scan. The following steps are taken during the scan:
- SqueezeCenter parses the iTunes Library XML to find the location of your music files. Therefore you do not need to run iTunes on the same machine as SqueezeCenter. However, SqueezeCenter needs to be able to see and access the iTunes Music Library XML file. The location of this file is configured in Settings->iTunes->iTunes Music Library.xml Location. If you're running on UNIX make sure that the SqueezeCenter user has read access to the file.
- SqueezeCenter looks for those tracks. Therefore SqueezeCenter also needs to be able to see the music files. /Does the path in iTunes XML have to match with SqueezeCenter's view of files?/
- SqueezeCenter copies the iTunes playlists. If they are Smart playlists, what you see in SqueezeCenter is a snapshot of the state of the playlist at the time of SqueezeCenter's scan.
ok, so where do I start?
If you installed SqueezeCenter on a Windows machine with iTunes already installed, you'll probably find that iTunes integration has already been configured automatically. /Is this true on OSX?/
Using the SqueezeCenter web interface, select browse playlists. By default, playlists scanned from iTunes are prefixed with 'iTunes:'. If you can see your iTunes playlists here you're done!
If not, return the home page and choose Settings and check the 'iTunes' setting. If there is no 'iTunes' section see here for advice.
If the section is there but 'do not use iTunes' is selected, select 'use iTunes' and click the change button. This will start the scan of the iTunes library.
Now return to the web interface home page, and check your playlists again once the music scan completes.
I'm still having problems!
The following issues are addressed in the FAQ:
- How do I access my iTunes playlists if I am using iTunes on Microsoft Windows?
- Some of the songs in my iTunes library don't show up on Squeezebox or say STOPPED when I try to play them. What's up?
- my iTunes playlists are not appearing in SqueezeCenter! Some Windows users have successfully fixed their problems in this area by stopping the SqueezeCenter service and running slim.exe, performing a library scan and then reverting to the SqueezeCenter service. /but why would this help?/ Other people have reported they can get their iTunes playlists to show by reinputting the location of their iTunes Music Library .xml file in Settings->iTunes->iTunes Music Library.xml Location. It is also worth checking that you are using the correct file path for your iTunes Music Library file. Some people have reported finding two or more versions on their hard drive. If you cannot get playlists to work, search for all .xml files and try inputting each of them in turn at Settings->iTunes->iTunes Music Library.xml Location
- SqueezeCenter performance is bad during the iTunes library scan The default setting is to rescan the iTunes library every time it changes and more than an hour has elapsed. If your iTunes scan takes some time and is affecting playback you may wish to increase the interval or disable automatic scanning completely - set the option to 0. You can then use the Rescan plugin to schedule a daily rescan at a convenient time.
What else can I do with iTunes & SqueezeCenter?
- iTunes Update (record listening stats to iTunes) - see PluginsAudio
- iTunes Party Shuffle (play iTunes party shuffle playlist on SqueezeCenter) - see PluginsAudio
- TrackStat (import your iTunes stats to SqueezeCenter) - see PluginsAudio
- SaveITunesartworktofile.Js (load SqueezeCenter with iTunes artwork.. if your SC is pointing to iTunes music..)