How To Use iTunes FULLY in Japanese
You might have noticed that when you have created your Japanese iTunes Store account, a lot of the music have romanized song titles and artist names. Now of course, to some, this is a big plus, but for people who are picky and like to use the correct tags, there is a solution. It’s a simple fix, actually all you have to do is launch iTunes in Japanese. Doing so also adds new functionality to iTunes which I’ll show you further down in this post.
This is a tutorial for iTunes on Mac OS X Snow Leopard, if you know how to do this on Windows, please let me know in the comment section at the end of this post and I’ll gladly add a tutorial for Windows users too. Also, if you don’t yet have a Japanese iTunes Store account, you can followprovided by austrian otaku to create one without needing a credit card or gift card.
UPDATE (February 7, 2010): This tutorial shows you how to do this without any third-party applications. There is an even simpler solution to do this, and that is by installing an application called Language Switcher. The application is very easy to understand, just launch it, select iTunes and the language you want to launch it in. Just like in the tutorial below however, this is not a permanent change, you have to repeat the procedure every time you relaunch iTunes. Thanks to Jenny (see comments section) for letting me know about this application!
UPDATE 2 (February 7, 2010): To do this on Windows, you simply just have to go into the settings of iTunes, change your language, relaunch iTunes and log in and out with your Japanese iTunes Store account. (Screenshot) Thanks to .
Open up System Preferences and click on Language & Text.
While in the Language tab, drag Japanese to the top. As you do that, you’ll get the message seen in the second section below. You have two options here, if you want to use your whole OS X in Japanese, you can log in and out. But if you want to just run iTunes in Japanese and everything else in English or some other language, start iTunes and then drag English back up to the top of the list.
If you go with the second option, you have to repeat this procedure every time you quit iTunes. For me that isn’t a problem though as I very rarely quit iTunes.
Enjoy iTunes and the iTunes Store FULLY in Japanese!
Now before you start using iTunes in Japanese you have to know the pros and cons. iTunes will automatically turn things into Japanese as you listen to music. This means that your Pop genre will turn into ポップ (Poppu) for example, this doesn’t happen right away though, it only happens when you actually start listening to a song in the Pop genre. Only the most usual genres change automatically like this, like pop, rock and jazz. Whether that is a pro or con is of course up to you, but personally I see it as a pro as I like to use iTunes completely in Japanese.
The only time you actually need to use the iTunes Store fully in Japanese is when you purchase music, so they get downloaded with the right tags.
Step 5 (Optional but Recommended)
If you do decide to use iTunes in Japanese there’s another thing you might find useful, something that I use diligently. And that is the ability to see the readings of artist names and song titles when they use kanji. This feature exists when you use iTunes in English as well, but is then known as sorting rather than reading.
As you can see above in section 1 and 2, I’ve added hiragana readings to both song titles with kanji and artist names. This alone is very useful if you library is big like mine, it’s just too hard to remember all artist names in kanji. But even more useful is that when you do add this, you can also search in hiragana/katakana instead of having to search in kanji. This makes iTunes MUCH easier to use. If you’d like you can also add a fourth section (I use the comment field for this), where you can put translations of titles. In the comment field you could also add the romanized version of either the artist name or song title (or both), if you want to also be able to search in romaji.
To make these fields visible, just right click somewhere in the fifth section seen above. You can of course sort these columns to fit your needs by dragging and dropping.
And finally, to add the readings, right click on an item and go to the tab shown in the picture above, song titles at the top and artist names just below. You can of course select a whole album, and even a whole discography and add the artist name reading instead of doing that one by one. The second section of this picture is where you add translations, romaji or anything you like to the comment field (the large field at the bottom).
And you’re done!
This really adds some great functionality to your library when using Japanese tags. It also enables you to finally learn all those song titles with complicated kanji, and if you add translations you’ll eventually learn the meanings as well ;)
Again, if you know how to do this on Windows, please let me know!