UPDATE DEC. 2012: Starting with iTunes 11, iTunes DJ is no longer available. It has been replaced with Up Next. Learn how to use Up Next.
iTunes DJ is a feature of iTunes that lets you nearly randomly shuffle through your music library or playlists, but also allows you to see what songs are coming up and change them.
The name iTunes DJ gives a sense of where it could be used — it could be great for creating an ongoing soundtrack for a party — but it can also be a great way to listen to your iTunes library at random, but with some control.
Accessing iTunes DJ
iTunes DJ is one of the icons listed under the “Playlists” heading on the left side of the main iTunes window. To view iTunes DJ, just click the icon.
Choose Your iTunes DJ Source
Once you’ve clicked on the icon, you’ll see a long list of songs from your iTunes library, listed in random order. You can let iTunes choose songs from your whole library, or it can choose songs from a playlists that you choose.
Choose what source your music comes from by selecting the pull-down menu at the bottom of iTunes next to the word “Source.” Your full music library and all your playlists are listed there for you to choose from.
Adding, Removing Ordering Songs from iTunes DJ
Once you’ve selected the source of songs that you want, iTunes DJ will refresh its list of songs from that source. When you see what songs are coming, you can add songs that aren’t listed, remove ones you don’t want to hear, or reorder the list.
To add new songs: If there’s a song you want to add to iTunes DJ list that isn’t already there, you can add it by finding it in your music library and dragging it to the iTunes DJ icon on the left-hand side.
To reorder songs: To change the order of songs in iTunes DJ, select the song you want to move, then drag it to the position in the iTunes DJ list that you want it to have.
To remove songs: To remove a song from iTunes DJ, select that song and hit the delete key or use your mouse to delete the song. This will only remove the song from iTunes DJ, it will not delete it from your iTunes library.
iTunes DJ Options
There are a few options you can change to effect how you use iTunes DJ.
Play Higher Rated Songs More Often: If you want to influence the “randomness” of iTunes DJ to play that you’ve given higher ratings to more often, check this box. As long as you’ve rated songs in iTunes, you’ll hear songs you like more often. (Learn more about rating songs in iTunes).
Display Recently Played Songs: You can choose how many of the songs already played in iTunes DJ will be displayed. This is useful in case you make a mistake that jumps you ahead in a carefully crafted playlist and you want to return to songs you haven’t yet heard. You can display from 0 to 100 of the already-played songs.
Display Upcoming Songs: By choosing the number of upcoming songs you see, you have control over your upcoming songs. Choose to see anywhere from the next 100 songs for complete control to no upcoming songs for a surprise every time.
Refresh: If you just don’t like the list of songs you’re seeing, click the “refresh” button at the bottom right-hand corner of iTunes. This will clear the entire iTunes DJ list and replace it with a new selection of songs.
Coverflow: You can view iTunes DJ as both a list and through Coverflow. You can turn on whichever option you prefer by clicking the “View” buttons at the top right corner of the iTunes window near the search box.
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