Make iTunes Easier To See and Use
There are lots of very simple things which can improve the accessibility of iTunes for those with low vision and reading impairments. This tutorial will take you through them step by step.
Here's the original iTunes screen when I open it up to my own library. The print's small and there's not many visual clues aside from the text - but we can fix those things.
First, open the preferences window and set the source text and list text to "Large", as shown here with the red boxes. The "Source Text" is the text in the sidebar on the left, the "List Text" is text in the main window.
Compared with the first image, this is decidedly more readable, but there's still not much to help us differentiate the tracks from each other.
Open the iTunes Preferences again and select the "Store" icon at the top. Now select "Automatically download missing album artwork", you'll get a box warning you that iTunes needs to tell Apple the names of your tracks so it can get the right artwork so just press enter to confirm that's OK. iTunes will use your internet connection to do this, and it may take some time.
Depending on how obscure your musical tastes are, some of your album artwork may not be found by iTunes. It can only find artwork for music sold at the iTunes Store. To fill in the missing artwork, I suggest you use some of the "Managing Album Artwork" scripts from Doug's AppleScripts. There are other fancy ways to fill in album artwork that iTunes can't find but most of them cost money and this script is free. If you would prefer a more automatic solution, VersionTracker lists several programs which are related to iTunes Album Artwork.
Adding album artwork makes this much better visually! And once you have your cover art in order, investigate the buttons above the word "View" to the right in the header - you can check out different ways to view your music which are even more visual.
There's still a lot of text in the left sidebar though, so let's do something about that.
These checkboxes control which sources will be visible under the "Library" heading at the top of the sidebar. I don't put movies or TV shows into iTunes, so I've deselected those. "Applications" here refers to applications for the iPhone or iPod Touch, so you can deselect that if you don't have one. Some of these will pop up a warning sign if you deselect them, explaining that unclicking the "Show" button means they won't be shown in iTunes - you can ignore the redundant warning.
If you don't use the iTunes Store, you can open the "Parental Control" section of preferences with the icon on the top row, and disable the iTunes Store also. You can always come back and turn it back on if you decide to use it later. You may have to delete the "Purchased" playlist also if you've used the iTunes Store before - just command click/right click on the playlist's name in the sidebar and select "delete". It won't remove those songs from iTunes, it'll just delete that playlist.
There's definitely less clutter there on the left now, and if I unplug my iPod then the "Devices" section will disappear too. There are a lot of playlists though. Some of them are old and can be deleted now, others I can put into folders. Select "New Playlist Folder" from the File menu in iTunes to create a folder, then name it and you can drag playlists or other folders into it.
Wow! This is much more clear and usable than our original iTunes setup was. The new playlist folders can be toggled between showing and hiding their contents by clicking the triangle to the left of the small folder icon when I need the playlists in them. And all of these changes are completely reversible by going back to the Preferences and changing things back, if you decide you don't like the change.
- Ricky Buchanan