Thursday, February 28, 2013

How to delete iTunes U files from iPod and other issues

The most read post on this blog is the one (actually there are several) about how to remove iTunesU files from your iPod. Until the recent upgrade to iTunes 11 that was a major problem. The great news is that with iTunes 11, this problem is finally taken care of.

Until now, iTunesU files would simply not show on the iPod, within iTunes and consequently they could not be deleted. Now, iTunesU has received its own -long in coming- folder as shown to the right. In there the files can be found and, provided you manually manage your iPod, can be at will deleted. In case you do not manually manage the pod, naturally the synchronization with iTunes will take care of that - as was one of the previously suggested solutions.

One more thing (or two)...

Of the five previously suggested solutions the two last methods were full-proof and both entailed a certain way of dealing with the iPod and with the subscription. I would like to point out that these approaches are still valid within iTunes 11.

1- Synchronize your iPod to iTunes.
I used to prefer to manually manage the pod, but in order to evade the iTunesU problem I have gotten used to letting iTunes synch my pod. It is still a valid way of dealing with the pod. You have to carefully select as what to synchronize. Generally I would not sync ALL music and not even ALL podcasts and iTunesU, but rather a selection, or a couple of specific playlists I manage centrally on iTunes.

2- Subscribe to iTunesU feeds as podcast
Copy the URL from the iTunesU section and then use the subscribe to podcast by URL method to subscribe. In my humble opinion, iTunesU series are not different from podcasts, so why not have them in that category and organize all of them together? This used to make sense, regardless of the deletion problem and therefore continues to be so. Do you have a problem finding the 'subscribe to podcast by URL' method in iTunes 11? So did I - I'll write about it in my next post.

As a last remark...

I have had an iPod nano since 2006 and have been using iTunes to manage the audio on my pod since. Once upon a time, iTunesU feeds were simply podcast feeds and the management was no different from podcast files. Somewhere around the release of iTunes 8 or 9, iTunesU got its strange state, since when the files are neither completely like podcast files nor completely like music files or audiobook files, for that matter. I first ran into the problem with the removal of those files from the pod early in 2010 and the endlessly requested post I wrote about it dates from August that year. So it has taken Apple two and a half years to solve this issue, which seems way too simple and way too critical to have had to take this amount of time.

This issue is only one of the examples of my frustration with iTunes and I am sure I am not the only one who is a disgruntled iTunes user. Before I go write about what I find wrong with iTunes, I'll have to write about the podcast subscription. Stand by.