iTunes 7 has a Preferences option to turn of the Genre column in the main window, iTunes 8 does not. This is very frustrating. I’m not in the least bit interested in seeing what genres are in my music library, and the Genre pane takes space away from the far more useful Artists and Albums pane.
So, here’s how to disable the iTunes Genre column, the hard way, for both Mac OS X and Windows.
Mac users have it really easy — just open Terminal and type:
defaults write com.apple.itunes show-genre-when-browsing -bool FALSE
If you subsequently go insane and decide that you want the Genre column back, just type:
defaults write com.apple.itunes show-genre-when-browsing -bool TRUE
Or you can just download the free TinkerTool utility, which lets you toggle the option.
Windows XP, Vista and 7 users have to jump through a few more hoops. First, you’ll need to download a text editor that won’t add its own special characters to text documents when you save them. Notepad is no use, but Notepad2 works a treat.
Exit iTunes 8 if it’s running, and then open an Explorer window ([Win]+ [E]). Type the following into the windows address bar to jump to where iTunes keeps its iTunesPrefs.xml file:
Windows XP: %AppData%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup Windows Vista: %AppData%\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes Windows 7: %AppData%\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\Backup
Make a copy of the iTunesPrefs.xml file, just in case, then start Notepad 2 and drag the original file onto the Notepad 2 window to edit it.
Scroll through the iTunesPrefs.xml file to somewhere near the end and look for the second-to-last </dict> tag.
Copy and paste the code below just before this tag.
<key>show-genre-when-browsing</key> <data> AA== </data>
Save the file, exit Notepad 2 and open iTunes 8. Note the lack of a Genre column.