Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pimp your iTunes
Every astute watcher of the Zeitgeist from Walt Mossberg to John Hodgman knows that iTunes is the mackdaddiest music player since Antonio Stradivari slapped spruce to maple and lubed it all down with some sweet-ass black-market Arabic gum. But the out-of-the-pipe iTunes can leave today's suburban uber-hipster a little gobsmacked, especially if your particular disorder leans toward the attention-deficit or home-schooled vintages. Fortunately, the Oh, For God's Sake! how-to team is here with these handy iTunes tips!

1. Crossfade to black
Back in the good old days, people used to actually listen to entire "albums" before right-clicking the mouse (or whatever they did!) to advance the "needle" to the next "record." Some old-timers even claim the silence between tracks served a purpose: cleansing the palate and providing negative space for the next song. Schhhhhwhatever! If you do find yourself listening to an entire song by accident (it could happen), don't settle for iTunes' default maddening silence between songs. You want another song and you want it now! Arrrrgh, that silence! Make it stop! Hurryhurryhurry! Here's how to change the setting so All American Rejects melds into Arctic Monkeys before even one nano-second of silence can let Satan whisper suggestions about boiling oil in your cube farm:

Choose Edit, Preferences.
In the Prefences dialog box, click the Playback tab.
Click to select "Crossfade playback"
Click on the scrollbar to toggle to a setting you like, from 1-12 seconds.
When Windows crashes, reboot and return to where you were.
Play some songs and experiment with the settings to get just the effect you want.
Click OK to lock in the setting.

Imagine the perfect crossfade setting, then blink your eyes. (Not too hard; you don't want to poot!)

2. The pump don't work 'cause the vandal took the Handel
Thanks to iTunes, stealing music has never been easier! On a LAN, it's a piece of sachertorte to steal more music in one afternoon than you can listen to in a lifetime. (In fact, this presents a curious conundrum for the digital age: If you steal music but don't listen to it, is it really theft? But that's beyond the scope of Oh, For God Sake!'s team of legal theologists' pre-granola mental bandwidth, so we'll save that for some day's post-lunch post.) Besides music, you can also steal movies, TV shows, and other proprietary media some have the brass neck to call "intellectual property," as if intellectuality could be ownnnned, man. What might surprise you is that, in addition to popular media formats, the iPod also allows you to pilfer all kinds of other cool stuff, from your boss' Faberge egg to your hot neighbor's virginity. Here's how:

On the Edit menu, choose Infiltrate
In the Infiltrate dialog box, click the Neighborhood tab.
Click the Browse button.
In the Browse dialog box, choose the neighbor you want to infiltrate.
When Windows crashes, reboot and return to where you were.
In the Infiltrate Neighbor text field, type the action you want to perform.
Click OK.

Focus your ch'i on the action you want to perform.
Hold down the Apple key and hum Kenny's portion of the theme from South Park.
Build a small shrine in your bedroom to how cool this command is.

3. The Leftover Salmon of Doubt
One of iTunes' many undocumented features is its ability to determine whether or not there is a god. A word of warning: use this trick only if you are prepared to hear the answer. Also, while not officially sanctioning the procedure, Apple has issued a statement advising that users keep a bottle of shiraz handy and add Yusuf to their shuffle playlists. (This technique is not available on Windows.)

Choose Play > godcast
Sip wine, listen to Yusuf
Relax afterwards by downloading some porn and photoshopping the images to suit your personal sense of aesthetics.

That's it for this edition of Pimp Your iTunes. Be sure to add this page to your Favorites and come back next week, when our tech team will explain how to drive your Prius through a wormhole to Gliese 581C, where the Paneras have drive-thru make-your-own smoothie machines!

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