5 iTunes Tips For Your iPad [Mac]

itunes tipsLike its mobile cousins, the iPhone and iPod touch, the iPad includes an iPod app, or more popularly referred to as iTunes. Its features are similar to the iTunes app on the other devices, but with its larger screen real estate, the iPad makes iTunes a great digital jukebox for playing music and displaying album covers.

If you know how to navigate the iTunes music player on your computer, then you won’t be scratching your head trying to figure out iTunes on your iPad. But if you’re new to the device, here’s five iTunes tips that you will want to be familiar with when using the application.

By the way, the iPod application on the iPad looks like the icon at the top of this article.

The Interface

itunes tips

The iTunes interface is pretty easy to understand. It consists of the following:

  • If you hold your iPad in landscape position, on the left side of iTunes is the Library of playlists that you have synced from your iTunes on your computer to your iTunes on your iPad. If you haven’t yet synced music to your iPad iTunes, check out my article, Syncing Your iPad with Your iTunes.
  • Notice also that you can add music to your iTunes via the iTunes Music Store without having to connect to your computer. Simply click the iTunes app on your iPad, which is different than your iPod app. When you download songs and albums wirelessly this way they will appear in the Purchased playlist under your library.


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  • At the top of iTunes are the navigation controls to play selected songs. The middle button is for play and the two other buttons on each side are for skipping backwards and forward in a playlist. On the left side is the volume control.
  • At the bottom of the interface are the song and album views. Notice that when you click on the Music library in the left column and then select the Artist view, it will show you the artists and how many songs are in your library for each artist. This is useful for when you sync a mix of singles and albums to your iPad iTunes.


  • Again on the left side panel at the bottom is where you can actually create a playlist on your iPad. More about that below.

Playing Music

iTunes on your iPad is the only application which can be played in the background. So when you start playing a song or playlist, you can close out the application and open others. If say you’re browsing in Safari and you want to change or stop the currently playing song, you can double-click the Home button on your iPad and it will bring up a mini iTunes control which you can used to navigate iTunes without leaving the application you’re presently in.


Creating Playlists

One the of newest features of iPad iTunes is the ability to actually create playlists and Genius playlists within the app itself. So say you have a few hundred songs that you have added to your iPad iTunes library. You can create a new playlist from your collection.

  • Click on the + button at the bottom-left of the interface. Type in the name of the playlist.


  • The resulting window will bring up your entire library of songs. From there you simply click the + button for each song you want added to the playlist. When you’re done, click Done.


After creating your playlist, you can still come back and edit it, deleting and adding more songs.


Genius Playlists

If manually creating playlists is not your thing, Apple came up with a really easy way to put together a playlist based on the songs you have in your library. It’s called Genius, and basically what it does is makes a playlist based on a song that you select. Here’s how you do it:

  • Select and start playing the song which you want the playlist to be based on.


  • Now click the Genius button on the bottom-left of the interface next to the + button. This will create the resulting playlists. The playlist is typically based on a random selection of songs similar to the one you’re playing. Many of them will be a part of the same genre.
  • If the results of your genius playlist are not quite what you’re looking for, you can click the Refresh button at the top and it will deliver you another list. You might also choose to play another song to see if you get the results you want.
  • Finally, you can simply play the list and/or save it for later playing.

More Navigation & Display iTunes Tips

The best thing about the iPad is the awesome way it displays visual content. With iTunes, you can not only play music, but you can use the iPad to display full screen the album covers of songs you’re listening to.

While the iTunes interface is open, simply click the Now Playing album cover icon.


This will expand the cover to full screen.

itunes tips

Tap in the middle of the screen size album and it will flip it around to reveal the album’s playlist and other navigation controls.

itunes tips

This full screen feature is great for parties when you want to show off album covers as songs are playing.

While you can’t carry around the iPad in your pocket like you can with the iPhone and iPod touch, it nevertheless is a great music player. Let us know how you like the iPad iTunes. Do you keep your iTunes brimming with songs? Let us know a few of your own iTunes Mac tips by sharing how you use the program.

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