Q: I've got five adult children and we've always juggled shared content on my iTunes account, but we are limited to five authorized computers. The kids are now getting married and moving out, but a lot of the music on the 'family account' is theirs. Can you suggest a way to work around this limitation without having to repurchase all the music, movies, and apps?
Unfortunately, no. As you noted, Apple's limit is five computers, so there's no current way you can continue sharing content if your children are going to have enough computers to put you over the limit.
Note that the iTunes Store now sells songs without DRM, so any musical purchase you've made since January 2009 will work whether or not a computer is authorized. TV shows and movies, however, still carry such restrictions.
Q: When I have iTunes in Albums view, albums are sorted by the first name of the artist, such as Bob; and not last, such as Dylan. So albums by Bob Dylan are next to those by Boz Scaggs. Is there any way to sort by last name?
iTunes offers Sorting tags to accomplish what you're asking. If you select all the items of an album, then click the Sorting tab, you can enter the sort criterion you would like to use. So for your Bob Dylan albums, enter Dylan, Bob in the Sort Artist field. This won't affect the Artist tag, or the way artists display in Artists view, but it will change the sort order.
Q: Sometimes when sending a song file via email, the album artwork isn't included within the file itself. Any idea how to force iTunes to attach artwork to song files?
I can't speak for everything, but if you purchase music from iTunes, album art is not embedded in files. If you want to embed the album art in those files, do the following. Select one file, press Command-I, then click the Artwork tab. Click the artwork to select it, then press Command-C to copy it. Click OK to close the Info window.
Now reselect the track, or the album if you have more than one track, then press Command-I. Click the Artwork tab, paste the artwork, then click OK. Note that if it's a single track, you'll want to click the existing artwork first, press the Delete key, then paste the copied file to prevent duplicate art in your local file.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.