Controlling Your Media On Your Mac

I love using a Mac and have always found that most of the applications for it work almost intuitively.  The only application that I really can’t make myself like is iTunes.  I guess if I used an iPod I might be more motivated to work with it but as much as I have tried, it just seems too much like a lot of Microsoft apps in that it tries to take over and do things without you asking it to.

One of the things that aggravated me the most was that it would default to opening any media you double clicked on and not only does it open it – it copies it.  If you clicked on a video clip attached to an email it would end up with a copy in your downloads folder and a copy in iTunes.  That means that if you want to completely delete the file you have to delete it both places.  While not a huge deal it is still an extra irritating step, not to mention cluttering up your Mac.

I prefer to use Songbird which is an opensource media player that looks similar to iTunes but I usually just open audio files in VLC Player and video in Quicktime.

Today I learned that it needn’t be so! I am no longer a slave to iTunes! This may be obvious to more experienced Mac users but it’s one of those little things I didn’t know I needed to look for.

The first time you open a media file (you will need to do this for each kind – mp3, avi, whatever kind you want to open with another application instead of iTunes) – right click on the file and click get info. In the Open With section you can click the side arrows and see a list of the applications you can choose to set as default.  I use QuickTime Player for most things and then I sort files into folders the way I want to see them.  I can then have SongBird import what folders I want – you can do the same with iTunes if that is your preferred media player.

If you want to find your iTunes folders after reading this it is typically in Macintosh HD/Users/YouUserName/Music/iTunes
Your download folder is typically Macintosh HD/Users/YourUserName/Downloads

Now that you know where these things live and how to tell them where to live you can clean up your files and take control of your media.

This is also posted at PHS Computer Project Lab.  Hope you found it helpful!