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Restore the Master Library Container in iTunes


LibraryRemember when iTunes used to have a Library container that you could select as the basis for a search of ALL your content? That was nice. Now if you want to search for a TV show in the library you need to click on the TV Shows node before initiating a search.

If there were a keyboard shortcut to select each container I’d use it, but I don’t see any such shortcuts. Thanks to the king of AppleScripts for iTunes I’ve pulled together some pieces that give me a solution.

Hidden Preferences If you really miss the all-inclusive Library container you can add it back into iTunes using an AppleScript application provided by Doug Adams called Change Hidden iTunes Preferences. From there you can script selection of that container or you can go a step further: I’m using TextExpander to kick off a script that facilitates iTunes searching. The script can select the Library container or go on to select a container like TV Shows, Movies, or Podcasts. The extra step is only required if you prefer to have search results limited by media type.

The commands to select the Library container were provided by Doug. When hooks for selecting other containers weren’t readily apparent (maybe they’re there and I didn’t see them) I moved on to another strategy: Selecting the Library and then scripting arrow key presses to move down the tree. So far that works ok. Last step: Place the cursor in the search box. Doug’s page on automating keystrokes helps there too.

scriptThe simple script, shown in the screenshot, can be kicked off with a keyboard shortcut. For me it means not using the mouse, and that’s worth the effort. Still, the script isn’t working 100% of the time. For example, if the Library node is already selected it fails. Needs a little work…

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