iTunes 5, Folders and Bongos!
So an updated Version 5 of iTunes... I fail to understand why this is a full release, as the list of new/improved features is kinda small. Pretty, but small--like a kitten. It looks sharper, with that obnoxious brushed metal gone (what's next? diamondplate steel themes?) as well as the buttons, frames and pseudo-LCD having been cleaned up and smoothed out. Another interesting addition is the way the iTunes Music Store preview clips fade in at the beginning and out again at the end. So instead of a sheared-off 30 seconds of music, we get 10 seconds of music almost too low volume to hear. It sounds sophisticated, though.
Anyway, the reason for this column is tips 'n' tricks for Apple apps. One of the new additions to iTunes is the ability to add folders to the "Source" frame, usually full of playlists. This makes organizing your grooves into neat packages even easier than it already is, thanks to Jobs & Co. So you're putting on a party, and for the first hour you want some good background tunes while the guests are arriving and getting settled (or lit, as the case may be), then you want the playlist to shift gears, up or down, and finally the end of the night as all is winding down (or wobbling off), the beats change to an ambient groove. Folders in iTunes can do that now--instead of making one big playlist of all that and trying to navigate in the middle of kegstands (or Monopoly), make a folder with the requisite playlists in it and set it to go.
To create a folder in iTunes, either hit the "hotkeys" (Shift / Option / OpenApple / N -- all at the same time!) or just go to the File menu (with iTunes open, of course) and select "New Folder." That creates a new folder that is just itching for you to rename it something like "Bob's Bongo Beats," and when you're done naming your new creation, it needs to be populated, like any empty space (no political jokes, please). Just drag and drop playlists onto the blue bar named "Bob's Bongo Beats," and voila (literally: voila) you have the whole night ready to bongo!!! [Britt Godwin]