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Ask the iTunes Guy: When a large iOS update won't fit your iPhone

Kirk McElhearn | Oct. 7, 2014
This week, Kirk McElhearn provides tips on updating an iOS device to iOS 8 if you don't have a lot of free space, using an older iPhone as an iPod, sorting songs alphabetically, and a way to keep iTunes Match from messing with your tags.

You can choose to display a number of columns for your music--and other iTunes content--according to the kind of track information you want to see. Each of these columns displays data about each track--song name, album name, artist, and so on. You can choose which columns to display in any list view by pressing Command-J and accessing the View Options window.

Once you've decided which columns to display, you can sort by any of these columns. If you want to sort by alphabetical song name, just click the header for that column. If the arrow in the header is pointing upward, the sort order is A Z. If it points down, it sorts in Z A order. To change the sort order, just click that column header again.

In the above screenshot, I've sorted my Bob Dylan collection by name, in alphabetical order. You can also sort by artist, album, time, year (if you've filled in the Year tags), and more.

Gifting without borders
Q: I want to send an app as a gift to a friend in Canada. I'm in the US, and I get a message from iTunes saying that I can't do this. Can you tell me what to do?
This is a common question, and, alas, there's nothing you can do. All of Apple's stores--the iTunes Store, the App Store, the Mac App Store and the iBooks Store--are country-based. You can buy content in one country and send gifts of content within that country, but you can't cross borders. It's a shame as there are no borders on the Internet, but my guess is that Apple has to enforce these limits because of differences in sales tax and VAT in different countries, as well as licensing agreements for the various types of content they sell. (Though the latter doesn't apply to apps.)

Don't mess with my tags!
Q: What happens to your existing tags if you use iTunes Match, then delete all matched songs that can be upgraded to 256 Kbps AAC, and then download the iTunes versions? I've spent a lot of time perfecting my tags and I don't want to lose what I've already done.
iTunes Match retains your tags, so there's nothing to worry about. However, I've found that if you have the Show iTunes in the Cloud purchase option enabled in the iTunes preferences, it will replace tags for purchased music. I accidentally loaded my iTunes library with that option switched on when I set up a new Mac from a clean install, and it reset all the play counts and last played dates for my iTunes Store purchases.


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