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Drag itunes selection to the Desktop or elsewhere Apps
I just accidently dragged a selection from iTunes to my Desktop, and the files appeared on the Desktop complete with names in the format that they are in in iTunes (mp3 » mp3; aiff » aiff, etc.)

It also works when dragging to a folder.

[robg adds: Yes, this is a basic hint, but in working with less-experienced Mac users, I was surprised at how many never thought to try this, perhaps given the way iTunes looks. iPhoto also works in this manner, though in my experience, more people seem to have discovered this on their own -- is there something more obvious about dragging a photo versus a song file?]
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Drag itunes selection to the Desktop or elsewhere
Authored by: MJCube on Mar 05, '07 09:59:18AM

"is there something more obvious about dragging a photo versus a song file?"

I think so: iPhoto shows the content of each photo even in thumbnails, but iTunes shows only a list, and songs must be played to get the content.

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An aside
Authored by: DougAdams on Mar 07, '07 08:11:17AM
This observation--iPhoto shows the "content" and iTunes does not--explains a lot about how people think about audio files. Unlike other file entities, audio files are not visual like photos and do not have visually comparitive elements like text files; nor can two audio files be compared as easily as, say, two text files, with things like "search" and "diff". This goes to explain why iTunes users are frustrated with duplicates:

"Audio files are not like text files. You can't examine them to see if two are the same. (OK, you can compare tags and kind and size information, but even this can produce mixed results, as users of the iTunes "Show Duplicate Songs" command generally atest.) Tracks represent sound files. So, you have to listen to them. This seems odd to computer users because we are used to applications that can sniff out the similarities of files very quickly. But when you get right down to it, despite the text-based nature of audio file ID3 tags, only a device with ears can be the final arbiter of what a duplicate sounds like compared to the original. You have ears, I think. Right?"

Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes

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Drag itunes selection to the Desktop or elsewhere
Authored by: simX on Mar 05, '07 07:43:35PM

Honestly, I have never thought to try this (and I would consider myself an advanced Mac user). I agree with the previous poster: the fact that you can see the content on a photo makes it more obvious that you can just drag it to put it wherever you want; having something in a list makes me less inclined to get at the content by dragging the list item.

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Drag itunes selection to the Desktop or elsewhere
Authored by: Clarence on Mar 05, '07 09:14:54PM

You can also drag files out of iTunes to iChat / Aim to send files. Makes it a lot easier to send your friends songs (non-copyrighted songs of course!) directly from iTunes rather than searching through your files.

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Drag itunes selection to the Desktop or elsewhere
Authored by: scotty321 on Mar 05, '07 10:28:31PM

The reason people have discovered this in iPhoto is out of necessity:

Apple gives absolutely no way to attach photos from iPhoto to any web-based email system (such as Yahoo, GMail, Hotmail, etc.), or upload photos from iPhoto any photo websites (with the exception of a few websites that have created their own iPhoto plug-ins).

Therefore, users have to go through the laborious process of dragging photos from iPhoto onto the desktop, and then attaching them to their web-based emails from there, and then throwing away the photos on the desktop after that. It almost defeats the whole purpose of having the photos stored in iPhoto to begin with, because you always have to move the photos out into the Finder before doing anything with them anyways.

Obviously, any user who has tried to navigate to their "Photos" folder in an open dialog box is very quickly horrified to discover that they can't access their iPhoto Library with any sort of rhyme or reason.

What Apple really needs to do is give us a "Media" button in all open dialog boxes, just like they have a "Media" button to Keynote & Pages, so that users can QUICKLY & VISUALLY upload photos to any website where necessary.

I find it very hard to understand why the engineers at Apple haven't introduced this feature already. I work with new Mac users every single day on the Mac, training them on using the Mac for the first time, and inevitably this is the #1 problem that they encounter on a daily basis. It's almost as if the people who work at Apple are woefully out of touch with how beginning users (and even advanced users) really use their computers.

I'm also not going to switch people who are perfectly fine using webmail systems to pay extra $$ to get a POP-based system just so they can use Apple's Mail program instead. This is not the solution. The solution is that it needs to be addressed by Apple.

What makes this whole situation even worse is that this entire process of "attaching photos" within open dialog boxes works SEAMLESSLY on Windows, but it doesn't work AT ALL on the Mac. Absolutely SEAMLESSLY & BEAUTIFULLY on Windows, but doesn't work at all on the Mac?

What in the world are the Apple engineers thinking? They're obviously not thinking about what customers REALLY need.

- Scott Rose

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Drag itunes selection to the Desktop or elsewhere
Authored by: ezpkns on Mar 06, '07 01:08:09AM
I agree that adding a media section to all Finder-related dialogs is the most elegant solution - especially as Apple posits the iApps as being all the regular user needs for media management (and creation). I like how you've envisioned this and hope Leopard brings it to us.

However, I disagree that one "must" drag a photo to the desktop to attach it to web-based email. I also doubt that Apple's engineers are THAT out of touch with their users. You must admit that for those who use POP email with Apple Mail, attaching photos is pretty painless, even easy, fun.

So, those who are content with or confined to web-based email must take an extra step, but only because they have special needs. Attaching photos in Windows only works if you know where the file resides. How is that different for web mail on Mac?

It's not as though iPhoto hides its photos behind some random or impenetrable filing scheme, if one knows the filename, what year it was taken, and what Film Roll (View > Film Rolls) one can easily find any picture in any dialog. Or, you can right-click / control-click any picture in iPhoto and select Show File. Or, and I never knew this but had to try it (because I was pretty sure it would work), if you drag a photo from iPhoto to an open dialog in a web-browser, it will automatically switch to that photo's folder (why it doesn't finish the job and actually select that photo is beyond me, but we both know Apple's not perfect).

Now here's my beef... you can't drag a song from iTunes into an email message (you have to use the right-click- Show In Finder long-way-'round). I suppose this is to make it ever-so-slightly harder for people to share unprotected copyrighted music, but since it's trivial to bypass, I'd rather the drag/drop work as expected. I use iTunes to do all the mp3/AAC conversion of my own recordings, and frequently email rough mixes - sometimes several times a day - and I find iTunes drag and drop inconsistencies more than a little annoying.

PS I didn't check that iPhoto drag and drop trick extensively, I was too busy composing a painfully long-winded post.

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Drag itunes selection to the Desktop or elsewhere
Authored by: CajunLuke on Mar 06, '07 07:41:28AM

Have you ever tried dragging the picture from iPhoto to the open box? I've never used iPhoto, but this works everywhere else I've tried it.

Need to open a document in a deep folder and have the folder open? Open the program's "Open" dialog box/sheet and drag the file into the file browser in there. It will be highlighted, ready for you to hit "Open".

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Drag itunes selection to the Desktop or elsewhere
Authored by: mortimerpa on Mar 06, '07 02:19:13AM

What I found is that you can drag on your desktop, or in subdirectories. But it's still not the normal "ubiquitous" dragging of a file you would have with normal files in Finder. For example, you cannot drag the file to the terminal window.

An even more annoying thing: you cannot drag a file to an external USB key. iTunes or Finder do not give any error, but nothing happens. You first have to drag to your desktop, then to the external folder...

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Drag itunes selection to the Desktop or elsewhere
Authored by: joab on Mar 06, '07 05:29:25AM

This works when you're only dragging a couple of songs but when you get up to about 500 songs iTunes will think for a moment and then decide to ignore your request.

I do this quite a lot for DJ gigs when I don't want to bring the external drive and then I need to drag the songs out in smaller batches instead of all at once... Very annoying.

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Drag itunes selection to the Desktop or elsewhere
Authored by: david-bo on May 09, '08 06:19:04AM

The reason your drags fails is that you can not drag songs with identical titles. Remove all duplicates and the drag will work as expected.

Henrik Stigell

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