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Touring iTunes

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This chapter is from the book

The Other Members of the Band: The iPod and the iTunes Music Store

When it comes to citizenship, iTunes definitely gets an A+ because it plays so well with others.

The iPod might just be the coolest portable electronic device ever to hit the streets. Although the iPod is indeed an awesome piece of technology, it wouldn’t get very far without a tool to manage the music it contains. iTunes is that tool. iTunes and the iPod go together like a 1-2 combination punch, peanut butter and jelly, jalapenos on a pizza, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope (well, you get the idea). Using iTunes, you can determine which parts of your music library are on the iPod. iTunes manages moving the music files to the iPod and organizing them, so the process is simple (from your perspective anyway). In fact, iTunes will manage the process for you automatically if you prefer; when you connect your trusty iPod to your computer, iTunes will recognize it and then synchronize the music it has in your Library with that on your iPod.

When you get to Part III, you will learn in detail about the last part of the digital music triumvirate: the iTunes Music Store. With the iTunes Music Store, you can shop for music to add to your Library. When you find songs you’d like to have, you can purchase and download them into your iTunes Library with just a couple of mouse clicks. And you can do all this from within iTunes itself. It feels like the iTunes Music Store is just an extension of iTunes, which, in fact, it is. You access the iTunes Music Store from within iTunes, and the Store uses an interface that looks very similar to the iTunes interface. So, once you know iTunes, you won’t have any problems with the iTunes Music Store.

The Absolute Minimum

Now that you have met iTunes, I hope you are jazzed (pun intended) to get into it and start making its musical magic work for you. In the chapters following this one, you’ll learn how to do everything from listening to audio CDs and Internet radio to building playlists to sharing your music over a network. Here are the major topics you learned about in this introduction to iTunes:

  • You can use iTunes to do just about anything you want to with your music, from listening to CDs to putting your entire music collection on your hard drive to managing the music on an iPod.

  • The primary audio file formats you are likely to use with iTunes are AAC and MP3. However, you can also use WAV, AIFF, and the Apple Lossless format when you want to maximize sound quality or for other purposes (such as to export music to another application).

  • The iTunes Music Library is where you store and can work with all your iTunes music.

  • You can get music for your iTunes Library from audio CDs, the Internet, and the iTunes Music Store.

  • You add and listen to podcasts using iTunes and then move those podcasts to an iPod.

  • You can use playlists to create and listen to customized collections of music.

  • iTunes works seamlessly with the iPod and the iTunes Music Store.

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