Use Power Search in iTunes 11 with a URL Trick

Mar 21, 2014 - 4 Comments

Power Search in iTunes

Power Search for iTunes is a feature that allows many additional search parameters to be used when looking for all media types offered on iTunes, including music, apps, movies, TV shows, books, podcasts, and iTunes University. But what was once built directly into iTunes has been removed by Apple for some reason or another from the latest versions of iTunes 11, and unlike other things gone missing, now there’s no known way to return the enhanced search feature as a native functionality.

But not all is lost, because it turns out that Power Search can be accessed and used in iTunes 11 by using some fancy URL magic, which you can open from any web browser. Yes, you use a web browser to access a feature in iTunes… that may sound weird but there’s not much to this, though you will need to click through from Safari, Chrome, or Firefox to get Power Search working.

Power Search URL’s for iTunes 11

The first link is the general “all” media category search, which will look through every single thing offered from iTunes, whether apps, movies, or music. It defaults to having two options, ‘title’ and ‘artist’, but can be narrowed down into categories by pulling down the “Power Search” menu within iTunes:

Power Search apps with iTunes

If you’d rather jump directly into sectional power searches, use the following URL’s instead:

Specific iTunes Category Power Search URLs

Click any topic link to launch iTunes Power Search for that category:

This is undoubtedly nice for all media categories, but Power Search is particularly useful music, which allows you to search by artist, composer, song, album, and genre.

Power Search Music in iTunes

For movie buffs, Power Search may be the most useful though, because you can search iTunes movies by actor, director / producer, year, closed captioning, whether it’s available for rent, amongst other search parameters like genre that are still included in the general iTunes search features.

Power Search Movies in iTunes

Why Power Search went missing by default in iTunes 11 is a bit of a mystery, but considering it’s popularity perhaps we’ll see a resurrection in future versions of iTunes. In the meantime, use these URLs, they should work for Mac OS X and Windows.

These Power Search URL strings first appeared on the Apple Discussion Forums and resurfaced recently when posted on Kirkville, who figured out you can use the “itms://” prefix to bypass the interstitial iTunes page, what a great find!

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iTunes, Tips & Tricks

4 Comments

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  1. Cliff says:

    Cool tick. I used the link to create a apple script, and now can access the Power Search option straight from iTunes with the script.

  2. Howard Brazee says:

    I used to search for data in my comments field. Or find all music either written by or sung by, say Bob Dylan.

    I clicked on some of the links above, and got some searches that appear to search the iTunes Store. Do you have links that allow me to better search my library giving lists of songs the old iTunes way?

  3. Catia says:

    For advanced searches inside your music collection try making a smart playlist. That can find info in any / all of the mp3 tags fields.

    Be sure to switch to “Match ‘All’ of the following rules” if you’re looking for something that may be in artist or comments for example.

    Does that do what you need?

    • Howard Brazee says:

      I’ve done that occasionally. It’s clumsy overkill to do what iTunes used to do very easily. Then I delete the smart list when I have found the song(s) I am looking for.

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