How to Set the Playback Preferences in iTunes

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You can set the playback preferences in iTunes in order to adjust some of the audio and video settings. Options in the Playback Preferences tab allow you to control effects, adjust volume, run sound checks, set the Smart Shuffle, and allow iTunes to play videos. Here's how you can do it:

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • iTunes account
  • Boot-up iTunes. Open iTunes from your desktop by double-clicking the icon or select it from the programs listed in the Start menu.

  • Open the Preferences pane. For the Windows version of iTunes, Preferences is located in the Edit menu on the menu panel of the iTunes main screen. In the Mac version, click the iTunes menu and highlight Preferences.

  • Open the Playback Preferences tab. The Playback Preferences tab is at the top of the Preferences menu, fourth from the left.

  • Set the Crossfade effect. If you check this box, iTunes will make it so that one song fades out at the same time another fades in, making for a somewhat seamless transition. You can adjust the slider to the right of the box to control how fast this transition takes place. If you uncheck the box, a song you're listening to will end cleanly before the next song begins.

  • Adjust the Sound Enhancer. If you check the Sound Enhancer box, iTunes will adjust the loudness of the volume depending on where you set the slider located to the right of the box.

  • Click the box labeled Sound Check. If some of your files are playing at a louder volume than others, checking the Sound Check box will have iTunes adjust the volume of all files to a standardized level.

  • Adjust Smart Shuffle settings. The slider labeled Smart Shuffle allows you to adjust the likelihood of hearing the same song from the same artist or album in the Party Shuffle mode.

  • Tell iTunes what to Shuffle. Beneath the Smart Shuffle slider are three choices. You can have iTunes randomly select songs from different artists, albums, or groupings.

  • Enable iTunes to play videos. By checking the box labeled Play Videos, a drop-down menu becomes available. Clicking the arrow on the drop-down menu allows you to choose where iTunes plays videos. Choose from playing in the main window, a separate window, or full screen.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try setting the Crossfade at a medium level. Too much can sound a bit awkward.
  • If you want the Party Shuffle to play a wider variety of music, set the Smart Shuffle too so that it is less likely to play from the same artist as opposed to setting it on random. Sometimes the random setting can be redundant.
  • Make sure you don't set the sound enhancer or volume settings beyond the capability of your sound system. If your settings are too loud, you may blow a speaker.
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