iTunes Tip: Make Your Own Genres

If you organize your music, movies or TV shows by genre, and use genres to search for them in iTunes, on an iOS device, or on an Apple TV, you should know that you’re not limited to using the genres that Apple gives you. You can create any custom genre just by typing it in the Genre field when tagging files:

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Above is a recording of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians, and I’ve set the genre as Minimalist. I have other custom genres for my music: Chamber Music, Keyboard, Opera, Organ, Dead (for Grateful Dead and related artists), and many more.

When you click the arrow on the button to the right of the Genre field, you’ll see all the genres that exist in your iTunes library. Some of them won’t be for music; you can see below that many of these genres are for films (Epic, Family) or books (Fiction, Fantasy).

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Since you can set your own genres, think about the best way to categorize your media. For music, I have 37 genres, some very specific (Dead, Bach Cantatas), others vague (Rock, Orchestral, etc.). For movies, however, I don’t really pay much attention to genres. I don’t have enough of them that I look for films that way; the same is true for TV shows.

006.pngAnd for apps, I ignore genres. I find it odd that apps even have genres, since there’s no genre view in the Apps library. I would actually find a genre view useful for sorting through apps when I want to decide what to delete.You can actually sort by Genre when viewing apps, as you can see here; at least you’re supposed to be able to do so. When I set the first sort to Genre, nothing changes, and my apps still appear in alphabetical order. You can, however, sort apps by genre when in list view, as below:

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With all this in mind, you may find it useful to create custom genres at least for your music, so you can use smart playlists to find more specific selections of music.

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