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Does anybody know the latest version of Mojave that will successfully run iTunes 12.6.5.3 (the last version to offer app management)?
If you haven't already, you should get Apple's Configurator 2 application. It provides a lot of iDevice management options that will be useful if (when!) Apple stops allowing users to run iTunes 12.6.5.x or if one of the workarounds stops functioning.
 


I just updated to macOS 10.14.6, using the downloaded Combo Updater. I had to go through the same procedure with iTunes 12.6.5: copy the info.plist from the Mojave iTunes package to the iTunes 12.6.5 package. iTunes 12.6.5 would then launch. However, it would not sync with any of my existing devices, failing with an error, and showing no previous backups, even though I had recent backups.

I then restored the previous info.plist for iTunes 12.6.5 from before the Mojave update. Then, iTunes 12.6.5 launched and synced fine, showing all of the previous backups in Preferences -> Devices.

What I learned this time was that I had to attempt at least one sync, which would fail, before this process would work. If I knew more, I could probably figure out what needs to be edited in the info.plist file, but this works well enough now.

Yes, I downloaded Configurator, as the above process is unlikely to be sustainable.
 


FYI, it appears that iTunes 12.6.5, the version that still supports the App Store and app management, has been discontinued. The support download article now contains a note that wasn't there a few weeks ago that the article (and presumably the associated software) has been archived and is no longer updated.

Presumably, this is in advance of the iOS 13 release, which iTunes 12.6 will apparently not support.
 


I've been using a mid-2010 13" MacBook Pro running Sierra and iTunes 12.8.2.3 as my personal iTunes "home base." In recent weeks, I've been noticing a fair amount of audio distortion from the internal speakers, even at moderate volume.

Before I go off on a potentially lengthy troubleshooting process or just decide to retire a machine, I wonder if anyone has seen a degradation in iTunes sound quality. My initial thought is that it is probably a problem with aging hardware, especially since the sound is okay when played through headphones, but then again, perhaps there is something funny in a recent Apple software update, as playing music through other apps, like Amazon Music, seems fine. I don't see any obvious changes in iTunes equalizer settings or system settings. Any thoughts?
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... perhaps there is something funny in a recent Apple software update, as playing music through other apps, like Amazon Music, seems fine. I don't see any obvious changes in iTunes equalizer settings or system settings. Any thoughts?
I wonder if an iTunes parameter/plist got messed up somehow, leading to some software confusion about digital volume levels or some such.
 



I've been using a mid-2010 13" MacBook Pro running Sierra and iTunes 12.8.2.3 as my personal iTunes "home base." In recent weeks, I've been noticing a fair amount of audio distortion from the internal speakers, even at moderate volume.
Before I go off on a potentially lengthy troubleshooting process or just decide to retire a machine, I wonder if anyone has seen a degradation in iTunes sound quality. My initial thought is that it is probably a problem with aging hardware, especially since the sound is okay when played through headphones, but then again, perhaps there is something funny in a recent Apple software update, as playing music through other apps, like Amazon Music, seems fine. I don't see any obvious changes in iTunes equalizer settings or system settings. Any thoughts?
The primary diagnostic for distorted sound is comparison of the output from the headphone jack with output from the internal speakers. Your own experience indicates probable failed speakers.

Replacement speakers are relatively easy to replace in this model. iFixit, among others, has the parts and guide. The most recent operation I performed took about 20 minutes, not including preparation -- clean static-free work surface, tool kit, parts, and guide. I used my client's work table for the job.
 


I've been noticing a fair amount of audio distortion from the internal speakers, even at moderate volume.
At first I was going to say find out if Sound Check was inadvertently turned on; that will certainly distort even at low volume. But then you said it sounds fine through your headphones, which rules out Sound Check as the culprit. If a speaker is damaged, it would be surprising (though possible) that both speakers were damaged at once. Try listening to the right channel only then the left channel only.
 


Any Apple Music users? I’m thinking of switching from Spotify and wonder if there are any caveats.

Spotify is OK, but the interface is confusing. Also I really miss the old iTunes feature that evened out the volume from some poor digitizing. They seem, upon cursory glance, to have about the same set of tracks.

Just looking for some advice of experience.
 




I just tried this web app and, unless I sign up for Apple Music, I am not allowed to sign in. Perhaps I am not understanding the concept of "signing in" on the site.
I confess that as Apple has turned into just another subscription-based "services" company aiming to extract every penny it can from its users while apparently devoting less attention to creating the best possible computing experiences, I've gotten much more wary about "signing in" to anything from Apple that I'm not deeply familiar with, lest I find new monthly charges showing up on my credit card statement. That hasn't actually happened to me yet with Apple, but given how hard Apple seems to push Apple Music and other subscriptions through its software, I fear it's only a matter of time.
 


Any Apple Music users? I’m thinking of switching from Spotify and wonder if there are any caveats. Spotify is OK, but the interface is confusing. Also I really miss the old iTunes feature that evened out the volume from some poor digitizing. They seem, upon cursory glance, to have about the same set of tracks. Just looking for some advice of experience.
I used Spotify for several years then switched to Apple Music a couple of years back. I like iTunes and wanted playlists to include not just Apple Music but music I own, some of which is not available otherwise. I could kind of get Spotify to do this, but it wasn't pretty and wouldn't sync to my phone. The results have been great, but I did have to learn some stuff along the way.

I don't recall what tool(s) I used to recreate my Spotify library on iTunes. I do remember they were hit or miss, and I needed to rebuild parts of my library by hand, i.e. by browsing and downloading from Apple Music.

iTunes with Apple Music works quite well. There are a few interface quibbles, of course, but once you're used to them, it runs fine. Here are a few things to get used to, using iTunes for Apple Music. I'm running Mojave, but these things hold going back several releases, at least to El Capitan. Some of this will change under Catalina.
  • Apple Music is accessed through the iTunes search box, or through three of the five tabs at the top of the window: For You, Browse, and Radio. I only use search and Browse. Once you find an album or track, click "Add" to add it to your library.
  • Once you have the music in your library, it behaves just like the music you own, with one difference: you can leave it in the cloud for streaming, or you can download it to sit on your Mac. Either way, you will find the tracks mixed in with the stuff you own and can mix and match in playlists, update the metadata, and almost any other feature you can apply to your own music.
  • Use iCloud Music Library to see and play your playlists from your iOS device or Apple TV (and, I guess, Apple Watch).
    • There is no additional charge for storage—it's covered under your Apple Music subscription.
    • It's very convenient to not have to connect your iPhone to sync.
    • Most of your owned music will upload, but a small percentage might not—there are some rules regarding music format and bit rate.
    • In the same article, familiarize yourself with the iCloud status indicators.
    • When cloud activity is underway (uploads/downloads), there is an animated icon in the upper right hand corner of the iTunes window. It's easy to miss. Click it to see what's going on.
    • Initial cloud activity is tragically slow. Patience is required with any of Apple's iCloud services.
  • If you like the classic list view, chose View > View As > Songs, then View > Show View Options and select Show Artwork (Always Show) and iCloud Status.
 


Richard, this was great (really informative). You mentioned a feature important to me but wonder if you can answer an additional detail re:
... not just Apple Music but music I own, some of which is not available otherwise.
I have a lot of live recordings that I play in iTunes. These would never be issued in Apple's library (recordings of friends, or playing with friends). These work fine in iTunes; how do they work with Apple Music? Will they sync to my phone?

Thanks again.
 


I have a lot of live recordings that I play in iTunes. These would never be issued in Apple's library (recordings of friends, or playing with friends). These work fine in iTunes; how do they work with Apple Music? Will they sync to my phone?
Yes, they will if you use iCloud Music Library, unless “the song file is larger than 200 MB, is longer than two hours, or was encoded at 96 Kbps or less.” Also, I think the format must be AAC or MP3; I’m not sure about Apple Lossless or other formats.
 


Last night when I fired up a copy of iTunes for Windows, version 12.9.6.3, on my PC tower I was presented with a dialog box asking if I wanted to download and update to version 12.10. I have downloaded the update, turns out it is version 12.10.0.7 and released on 9-11-2019, but I have not installed it as of this moment. I also maintain a copy of iTunes for Windows version 12.6.5.3 on a PC laptop which I use mainly to maintain my iPod devices. That version does not ask me to update.

There is scant information on the reason for this update. I am not sure if it will be required going forward with devices running iOS 13. The only information I have been able to find is a listing with other Apple security updates.
Apple security updates
iTunes 12.10 for Windows
This update has no published CVE entries.
Will this be the last update to iTunes for Windows?
 


There is scant information on the reason for this update. I am not sure if it will be required going forward with devices running iOS 13. The only information I have been able to find is a listing with other Apple security updates.
[FYI:]
Wikipedia said:
iTunes 12
12.10.0.7, September 11, 2019
  • Adds iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 support.
  • Windows only
Incidentally,
Apple Community said:
iTunes Version 12.10.0.7 in Windows 10 build 1903 no longer allows devices to sync
Just upgraded to iTunes 12.10.0.7 in Windows 10 build 1903. None of my devices when connected show up in iTunes like they used to. So I cannot back them up or sync them.
 


Wikipedia said:
iTunes 12
12.10.0.7, September 11, 2019
  • Adds iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 support.
  • Windows only
Thank you, Simon. Was originally looking at this at 3AM. Not the best time to be doing
Incidentally,
Apple Community said:
iTunes Version 12.10.0.7 in Windows 10 build 1903 no longer allows devices to sync
Just upgraded to iTunes 12.10.0.7 in Windows 10 build 1903. None of my devices when connected show up in iTunes like they used to. So I cannot back them up or sync them.
The above user-reported problem was easily fixed by reapplying a USB driver update that had been overwritten, something Apple has done repeatedly in the past.
 


There is scant information on the reason for this update.
It turns out that each version of iTunes comes with release notes about what's new/changed with that version. On Windows, you can find it in (and I believe this is also displayed on the installer screen):

C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.Resources\en.lproj\About iTunes.rtf

On macOS it's in the "Read Before You Install iTunes" file on the dmg.
Will this be the last update to iTunes for Window?
No, iTunes is continuing on indefinitely for Windows, and macOS prior to Catalina.
 


Grumble. I am re-ripping all 1,400 of my CDs from mp3 to AAC. You would think that by now, iTunes/Gracenote would have better data than "Various Artists" and empty composer fields. It seems that my old license for TuneUp still works, but why doesn't iTunes have its act in gear?
 


Grumble. I am re-ripping all 1,400 of my CDs from mp3 to AAC. You would think that by now, iTunes/Gracenote would have better data than "Various Artists" and empty composer fields. It seems that my old license for TuneUp still works, but why doesn't iTunes have its act in gear?
It seems that TuneUp uses Gracenote, also, so I'm left with “How does good metadata for CD rips sell more Apple Music tracks or Macs that have no CD drives? Fuhgeddaboudit!”

For years, I've been ripping and tagging with XLD (donationware), which hooks into MusicBrainz, Discogs and freedb.org, not to mention the sugar of multi-format conversion, cover art, accurate rip, filename flexibility and more. I just stuck my only classical rip through it, and it seems fairly complete, but I understand that metadata aficionados can be fussy.

If you can afford 1400 CDs, you might afford the storage to rip and tag to lossless AIFF or WAV (or maybe compressed Apple Lossless or FLAC or…), putting them in cold storage separate from iTunes, so when the time comes, you can cross-convert, including the precious and laborious meta.

XLD is powerful (modulo learning curve). The learning curve is probably worth it when ripping hundreds of CDs (ref. XLD Configuration). In particular, it can rip and convert to multiple formats in one pass. For example, you can rip to AIFF for archiving, and on the same pass, make an AAC with the same tags to move to iTunes. See also a web search for something like 'xld workflow'.

It occurs to me that the XLD method, which can require some tag source selection, review and edits, may be more time-consuming than iTunes with TuneUp, especially if you like TuneUp's results. But if you're spending a lot of time cleaning up metadata in iTunes rips, you might try XLD for no monetary cost.
 


Grumble. I am re-ripping all 1,400 of my CDs from mp3 to AAC. You would think that by now, iTunes/Gracenote would have better data than "Various Artists" and empty composer fields. It seems that my old license for TuneUp still works, but why doesn't iTunes have its act in gear?
Not to mention that when ripping a CD into iTunes, there doesn't seem to be a good way to preview the choices when iTunes suggests multiple possible Gracenote choices for the CD's metadata.
 


XLD is powerful (modulo learning curve). The learning curve is probably worth it when ripping hundreds of CDs (ref. XLD Configuration). In particular, it can rip and convert to multiple formats in one pass. For example, you can rip to AIFF for archiving, and on the same pass, make an AAC with the same tags to move to iTunes. See also a web search for something like 'xld workflow'.
By the way, there was an update released yesterday of XLD.
 


Grumble. I am re-ripping all 1,400 of my CDs from mp3 to AAC. You would think that by now, iTunes/Gracenote would have better data than "Various Artists" and empty composer fields.
I suppose we can assume that you didn't perform the original rips on that Mac (or a Mac that was migrated from the one that performed the rip). Otherwise, iTunes should have had the metadata associated with the CD that you entered at that time.
If you can afford 1400 CDs, you might afford the storage to rip and tag to lossless AIFF or WAV (or maybe compressed Apple Lossless or FLAC or…)...
Somehow, I don't think he bought those 1400 CDs just today. If his collection is like mine (I also have over 1000 CDs), they have been purchased individually over a period of decades (in my case, since 1988).
 


I suppose we can assume that you didn't perform the original rips on that Mac (or a Mac that was migrated from the one that performed the rip). Otherwise, iTunes should have had the metadata associated with the CD that you entered at that time.
Somehow, I don't think he bought those 1400 CDs just today. If his collection is like mine (I also have over 1000 CDs), they have been purchased individually over a period of decades (in my case, since 1988).
[Laughing...] I started ripping my CDs with whichever version of iTunes offered ripping, so I have migrated Macs probably a dozen times. I remember having to enter all of my own data in the early days, and I spent dozens of hours every weekend cleaning things up.

It would be so nice if iTunes "replace existing" had an option to grab the metadata from whatever was being replaced.

And, no, I don't have the funds to rip lossless, because I am saving my quarters and half-dollars for a new Mac Pro, because my "trashcan" Mac always runs throttled, due to heat.
 


It would be so nice if iTunes "replace existing" had an option to grab the metadata from whatever was being replaced.
Yeah, that's the problem. If you're re-ripping, I don't believe there is any direct way to associate existing custom metadata from the old version of a song to a new version of a song.

I think it would be possible to write a script that could extract the data from the current iTunes library XML file and use that to create an updated library file with correct metadata associations, but I'm pretty sure that it would be a non-trivial task.

Have you investigated trying to use iTunes Match? It's certainly not perfect, but it might substantially reduce the amount of re-ripping you need to do.
 


And, no, I don't have the funds to rip lossless, because I am saving my quarters and half-dollars for a new Mac Pro, because my "trashcan" Mac always runs throttled, due to heat.
Years ago, I ripped most of my CD catalog into iTunes. After some experimentation, I brought everything in as ALAC. I budgeted 500 MB (0.5 GB) of space for each disc, even though many came in well below that. Dark Side of the Moon, for example, is closer to 250 MB (0.25 GB) in size. Using that information, a 1000-disc collection would come in at under 500 GB (0.5 TB) in size, almost trivial with the cost of storage being what it is today.
(Note that I am talking about CD discs and not CD albums.)
Somehow, I don't think he bought those 1400 CDs just today. If his collection is like mine (I also have over 1000 CDs), they have been purchased individually over a period of decades (in my case, since 1988).
Had a roommate who would go to Turtle's and come back with twenty or more CD albums at a time. I was constantly helping on weekends to add stickers to his savings cards for him to go back and get more. Other parts of the weekend were spent alphabetizing and recatagorizing the collection. To this day, I figure I would have a much larger collection than I do, except I did not have to purchase any for years. He had most everything I would listen to at the time.
 


Yeah, that's the problem. If you're re-ripping, I don't believe there is any direct way to associate existing custom metadata from the old version of a song to a new version of a song.

Have you investigated trying to use iTunes Match? It's certainly not perfect, but it might substantially reduce the amount of re-ripping you need to do.
I found this website:

Step 4 of the instructions are slightly different under Mojave:
- Select all the songs in the playlist, right-click and "remove download"
- Edit the Playlist rules to change iCloud Status is Matched and iCloud Status is Purchased to Location is iCloud and Location is not on this computer, and change Any to All.

Now select all, right-click and select Download. iTunes will show as "Not Responding" for a while, and then the songs will start downloading and will show as "Matched AAC file" in your library. I only have 9,000 more to go, but I have noticed that sometimes only a handful of songs on an album are being downloaded, so there is still some debugging to do.
 


I think it would be possible to write a script that could extract the data from the current iTunes library XML file and use that to create an updated library file with correct metadata associations, but I'm pretty sure that it would be a non-trivial task.
[FYI:]
Years ago, I ripped most of my CD catalog into iTunes. After some experimentation, I brought everything in as ALAC. I budgeted 500 MB (0.5 GB) of space for each disc, even though many came in well below that.
My 334 discs, ripped as Apple Lossless, average 273 MB per disc, assuming that iTunes is using base 10. The total size is 91.11 GB.
 


My 334 discs, ripped as Apple Lossless, average 273 MB per disc, assuming that iTunes is using base 10. The total size is 91.11 GB.
Yes, that seems to be very typical, Michael. Have you noticed any differences in quality? When I did try to compare a CD versus an iPod containing the same content in ALAC, I was hard pressed to tell the difference. Felt very comfortable in making that commitment. Since then, Apple has made ALAC open source and royalty-free, allowing it to now be used by other software and hardware devices. It has only been Apple's manhandling of my data within iTunes which has turned me off of late.

With a current maximum of 80 min/700 GB per CD disc, I could have used a lower estimated value at the time, but I gave myself plenty of wiggle room, as ALAC was fairly new. (Besides, it was easier to use the numbers I did for quick math when sizing my RAID for this task.)
Wikipedia said:
Apple Lossless - Codec
According to Apple, audio files compressed with its lossless codec will use up "about half the storage space" that the uncompressed data would require. Testers using a selection of music have found that compressed files are about 40% to 60% the size of the originals depending on the kind of music, which is similar to other lossless formats. Furthermore, compared to some other formats, it is not as difficult to decode, making it practical for a limited-power device, such as older iOS devices.
 


Thanks. I figured Doug would have something along those lines. Still, even with his script, it requires some planning, and it's not a procedure for the faint of heart. To write a robust, safe, highly automated script would be very challenging, given the limited nature of the information captured in the XML file. Definitely have good library backups before attempting anything like this.
 


Yes, that seems to be very typical, Michael. Have you noticed any differences in quality? When I did try to compare a CD versus an iPod containing the same content in ALAC, I was hard pressed to tell the difference.
I use XLD to rip. When I get a perfect rip, which is almost always, the lossless rip sounds the same as the source CD.
 


Thanks. I figured Doug would have something along those lines. Still, even with his script, it requires some planning, and it's not a procedure for the faint of heart. To write a robust, safe, highly automated script would be very challenging, given the limited nature of the information captured in the XML file. Definitely have good library backups before attempting anything like this.
I didn't mean that this script can extract from the XML file. This script copies the metadata from one track to another. What you can do is temporarily rename the existing album in iTunes, re-rip the CD, then use the script to copy the metadata from the old album to the newly ripped tracks. (These procedures have been discussed previously on MacInTouch.)
 



[FYI:]
My 334 discs, ripped as Apple Lossless, average 273 MB per disc, assuming that iTunes is using base 10. The total size is 91.11 GB.
We've discussed some of this before on MacInTouch (iTunes and alternatives), as I was (and still am) in the process or re-ripping my 7500+ CDs. I have my simple way (post-14389) of keeping all my meticulously curated metadata from previous rips. I'm ripping to Apple Lossless now too, so that I can easily convert between lossless formats in the future, if I have to. :-)
I have a dedicated 4TB drive for iTunes media, including original MP3 rips, lossless audio, music videos, laserdisc music concert rips, digital music videos, etc.
 


Not to mention that when ripping a CD into iTunes, there doesn't seem to be a good way to preview the choices when iTunes suggests multiple possible Gracenote choices for the CD's metadata.
I generally select one, and if the first information is sloppy or inaccurate, I try another option. I pick whichever one is least error-riddled. I edit everything I want fixed before I import the CD.

I'm not sure why "Get track names" had to be moved from where it was in iTunes 11 to an iTunes 12 dropdown menu invoked by the tiny settings icon at the upper left. For classical tracks, I always end up having to edit whatever Gracenotes gives me. My approach is that the CD title should actually be the title as shown on the CD (call me crazy}, that track info should match the track info given on the CD (no braindead initial caps treatment of everything, etc.), and that the info should be consistent (for example, not using a mix of Roman and arabic numerals to list movements within the same piece). I also have my own conventions about naming, arrived at after many hours of ripping and organiziing: composers listed by last name, then first name plus birth–death years. In the Comments field, I enter the label and catalog number (e.g. Decca 4787 2661).

Whenever I find a CD that is really error-filled, I submit my corrected track names, but who knows if those submissions ever make it into the database?
 


Not to mention that when ripping a CD into iTunes, there doesn't seem to be a good way to preview the choices when iTunes suggests multiple possible Gracenote choices for the CD's metadata.
I just select one, see what garbage it is, go back to Gracenote, try again, repeat... decide on the closest one, dig out the CD or album cover and correct the mess. I think Gracenote saves me some typing.
 


It would be so nice if iTunes "replace existing" had an option to grab the metadata from whatever was being replaced.
Unfortunately, that would be ultimately doomed to fail in really frustrating ways, since the algorithm to match the new file against what's in your library will never be perfect. Users of iTunes Match are very familiar with what can happen when matching algorithms break.

My only advice is of no help to you now but might help for the future, so you don't have to do this a third time:

When ripping CDs, be sure to make all your edits to the CD's metadata before you rip the disc. Then, after it all looks good, perform the rip. The imported tracks will have whatever you entered on the CD and (most importantly) the iTunes CD database will also have the data. So the next time you insert that disc, it will have what you entered.

The last time I looked for this database, it was stored in ~/Library/CD Info.cidb, but I think it must have moved at some point, because the file on my system was last updated in 2017, and I've rippled plenty of CDs since then.
 


When ripping CDs, be sure to make all your edits to the CD's metadata before you rip the disc. Then, after it all looks good, perform the rip. The imported tracks will have whatever you entered on the CD and (most importantly) the iTunes CD database will also have the data. So the next time you insert that disc, it will have what you entered.
Yes. This is the key point and best practice when ripping CDs. Worth [emphasizing], in my opinion.
 


It would be so nice if iTunes "replace existing" had an option to grab the metadata from whatever was being replaced.
A number of years ago, I replaced many discs I had previously ripped [at 256Kbps] with new rips of Apple Lossless. The secret was to make sure that all the metadata matched between the disc and the previously ripped tracks. If the match was good enough, iTunes replaced the lossy files with lossless and kept all the metadata, including play count and last-played time stamps.
 


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