What’s up with the Option key?

Learned something new today!   While reading about iTunes Match and how to replace your existing music files with higher quality matches from the cloud, I took a moment to examine smart playlists.  This led to a side search on finding duplicates and intelligently removing them.  In an Apple support article, it showed how to quickly find duplicates with the somewhat familiar File->Display Duplicates option.  I have used that option before but always wanted something more.

I wanted a way to discover duplicate songs only if they were on different albums.  i.e. there are times when I may want to hear an album in its entirety like for example if I want to just hear Kansas’ epic Leftoverture album.  There are other times when I may want to listen to every song by artist.  I’d search for Kansas and want to hear all of the songs but not listen to “Carry On Wayward Son” six times.  Obviously I have gotten off track, but the point is that in this support article, it listed a separate mode of discovering duplicates – “Display Exact Duplicates.”  This is only shown if you hold the Option key down while the menu is open.  WOW!  I didn’t realize Apple had hidden optional menu choices available for their various apps.  I am not a great fan of hiding behavior in menu’s particularly behind an option key, but I am happy to have this new menu item available.  It got me wondering what other cool features may be overlooked because they only show up while holding down the option key???

Back to my second music listening case above.  If I choose to listen to a particular Artist, I would still like to be able to quickly listen to all of their songs and not hear duplicates.  I am pretty sure that the Smart Playlists feature will let me do this but have never tried it.  This feature appears to offer a lot and sadly I have not realized its full potential.  Looking forward to taking a few minutes to build some interesting lists!

What have you done with Smart Playlists?  What are your favorite hidden menu options?  Add a comment and say hey!

 

46 thoughts on “What’s up with the Option key?”

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