Episode #84 – Ask Doug and Kirk: AirPods, Ripping Optical Discs, and Moving iTunes Libraries

By Kirk on December 22, 2017

We answer a few listener questions about Apple’s AirPods, how to rip optical discs (other than CDs), and moving and merging iTunes libraries.

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  • Kirk and Doug are interesting and PRACTICAL. So many digital tech authors and commentators write or talk over the heads of their audiences. These guys are expert at keeping the more technical aspects of their program easy to understand. Both (IMHO) would have made excellent teachers in another life!
    I never miss a Next Track podcast. I have told several people about it and they are now listeners.
    Thank you gentlemen. I have not only been entertained but I have been exposed to a tremendous amount of information that has helped me use my computer, phone, and pad not only more effectively but also has increased my enjoyment of these marvels of the modern world!


  • I use Audacity to edit audio files I record. I try to use Fade In and Fade Out where necessary, but I don’t know what most other editing filters accomplish. Please do a demo of using Audacity editing filters. Perhaps w emphasis on improving the recordings sound as well.

    • Or the demo can be done in Fission, maybe I need to switch. I record using Rogue Ameoba. I’m interested in improving a poor recordings sound, and what filters do.

  • I do not like Apple AirBuds but I absolutely love the AirPods. Seems that removing the wires make them soooo… much more comfortable and convenient. I use them every day for my iPhone, iPad, Mac and listen to old TV and Stereo receiver via a Taotronic Blue Tooth transmitter plugged into the headphone jack. I even occasionally listen to a Sony SRF-M97 FM-AM Walkman that I have had for years, I just plug in the Taotronic Adapter and stick it in my pocket. The AirPods also let me keep peace with my wife. I can listen to what ever I want and still hear what is going on around me. I know they are a little expensive and I was hesitant to buy them but I am glad I took a chance. I actually forget I have them in. Easy to set up and switch between different devices. The tap functions are nice but i rarely use them. I still use my Bose QC 35 Earphones if I want to cancel noise when walking on my treadmill but find that I use the AirPods for everything else.

  • Hi. Thanks for the podcast, as always a good one. One quick question regarding iTunes now hiding CD action settings if no drive is attached: will it see a drive attached over the network via “Remote Disc”? Thanks

  • “Remote Disc” can play DVDs, not just data discs. I’ve never tried to play or import a CD that way. I would need to buy and attach a physical drive to do that I suppose. Thanks.

  • Yes, I would love to hear an entire episode on Mac audio editing tools. I have used older versions of Sound Forge Pro (originally from Sonic Foundry, then Sony, and now Magix), both the Windows and Mac versions, and would be interested in hearing about other alternatives. High quality vinyl click and pop removal and noise reduction audio restoration tools are high priority features for me.

  • Kirk’s instructions on how to rip audio from optical disks that aren’t CDs using Audio Hijack struck me as a bit ridiculous, when there are much easier and quicker options. For ripping audio from any DVD, including DVD Audio discs, DVD Audio Extractor works fantastically well, and is Mac compatible. It can also make sense of audio on Blu-ray Discs, but they must be ripped and decrypted first.

  • It’s true that the chances are better than good that some metadata or playlists will get lost, perhaps irretrievably so, if you initially do it wrong. But it’s not as if you can’t ever get a clean library again as far as the songs themselves are concerned. That’s easy!

    Contrary to what was said in the podcast, there’s more than one way to move an iTunes library, even if you initially screw it up. The key is understanding what the Preference settings do, when to edit them, when not to, AND the difference between “keeping” deleted songs and deleting deleted songs. 🙂

    Always keep the two checkmarks in the Advanced tab check marked, so that songs added to iTunes get copied and kept organized.

    Dragging songs into iTunes associates or re associates them, depending on circumstances. It also copies the songs into whatever location specified in Preferences if that’s check marked. And it should be!

    Let’s say iTunes correctly knows about some songs but not others. And you don’t want to go through them all to find out which ones are orphaned or ghosted. Let’s also say that you’ve dutifully kept the two checkmarks in the Advanced tab check marked, so that songs added to iTunes get copied and kept organized. And let’s even say iTunes already knows where its Media folder is. Nevertheless, stuff happens.

    Select all songs and “delete” (not truly delete) them by pressing the Delete key. At the resulting dialog, choose to Keep the files. Otherwise you WILL delete the songs for real. (If you initially choose to Delete songs and there’s no resulting dialog asking if you want to Keep them, that’s because iTunes couldn’t see those files anyway, and so, couldn’t delete the actual files. So this is still OK.)

    iTunes should now appear to be totally empty. Drag the iTunes Media folder into the iTunes interface.

    And wait.

    Based on the Preference settings already mentioned … iTunes will attempt to “add” every song within the iTunes Media folder into the library, but since the songs are already in the correct location, the result will be that no files were actually copied, but iTunes now knows about them all because they’ve been re-associated.

    Whenever you’re editing your iTunes library, Quit out of the application frequently, as you go along. Quitting iTunes is the ONLY way that the database changes (metadata edits, song associations) get saved … leaving iTunes running 24/7 can be a bad very idea.