Access Your Media Library with iTunes
24/7 Store for Music, Movies, Games within iTunes
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Import Music from CDs
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The Best Ways to Use iTunes
Unless you have been living on another planet for the last decade you have probably heard of or even used iTunes. However, if you are new to Mac computers or have just used a different program in the past, you might wonder what the iTunes hype is all about. iTunes is a proprietary application that was developed by Apple to be used to play, organize and manage digital media such as music and video files. It can be used on all Apple products including the iPod, iPad and iPhone and there is even an edition that can be used in a Microsoft environment. Most people are probably aware that they can play MP3 files with iTunes, but they might not know some of the other ways you can use this powerful application to organize, download and store your music and video files. Here is a breakdown of how to download iTunes, as well as some of the best ways to use it once you have it.
How to Download iTunes
Before you can get started using all of the robust features of iTunes you will need to download it to your computer or device. The first thing you will need to do is to make sure that your computer or device has everything you will need to effectively run the program. You will need to ensure that your drivers and sound cards are updated and that your computer has the minimum memory and speed necessary to use iTunes. You will just need a 500 MHz processor, which is not very fast by today’s standards. You will also need at least 256 MB of RAM. Since most computers and devices come with far more than this, then you probably already have everything you need to run iTunes. The requirements will be slightly higher if you want to use this program to play video.
The next step is to go to the iTunes homepage and download the application. This should only take a few minutes.
Next you will need to click, on “Download iTunes.” Be sure to uncheck all of the boxes unless you are interested in getting regular emails and update information from Apple. Although some people see these emails as an annoyance, they can actually be helpful, as they will let you know when there is a new version of iTunes available for download.
Next you will need to click on “Save” to save the application somewhere on your computer. Try to choose a location to save the file that is easy to find, like your desktop or in the main hard drive.
After it is done downloading you will need to install iTunes on your computer. You will be given an option to put a shortcut on your desktop, which is a good idea, as it will give you one click access to all of your music and video content.
Finally, the program will ask you if you want to import all of your current music files into iTunes. Click yes if you would like the program to automatically bring all of the music that is already on your computer into this application. It will automatically organize the music and video in a convenient way, which is nice as it allows you to have all of your digital media in one place.
Now that you have downloaded and installed iTunes on your computer, you will need to know how to use it. Here are some of the best ways you can use this program to organize, download and play your digital media.
Importing Music from a CD
One of the best ways to use iTunes is to import songs from audio CDs. Since many people still have old CDs that they want to save, this is a great way to protect the music you have already purchased. Since CDs will eventually get all scratched up and broken, it is best to convert your music library from CD to digital audio. Even if you still want to use your CDs, this will give you a backup in case they are broken or lost and will also allow you to listen to your music on your computer, iPod or iPad.
There are several ways to get your songs from CDs into iTunes. The easiest way is to simply insert the disk into the drive and wait for the prompt. Normally iTunes will ask you if you would like to import the music from the CD into your music library. If this prompt does not come up automatically then you can just click on the import button that is located in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
It should only take a few seconds for your songs to be imported. Once they are you can find them in your music library. This is a great way to backup and protect the music that you have on CD.
Importing Files from Your Computer
Whether you are using a Mac or PC you can import the files you already have on your computer into iTunes. This allows you to use and listen to music that you have previously purchased or downloaded onto your computer or advice. This could be music that you purchased from sites like Amazon or something that was shared by a friend or family member. Importing these files allows you to quickly organize them and to have them all in one convenient location. Instead of searching all over your computer for a file you can simply go to your iTunes library.
To import your files from your computer into iTunes you can simply just drag and drop the folder into your library. Even just dragging and dropping it onto the iTunes icon on your desktop will be enough to get them into your library. After they are imported you can delete the files from their previous location to avoid eating up memory with duplicate files.
Managing and Organizing your Music
Now that you have imported all of your music from your hard drive or audio CDs you can start to organize it and manage it using iTunes. As your list starts to grow you will probably notice that it is a bit more difficult to find the songs that you want. Luckily you can search for what you want by just typing the song or artist into the search bar at the top of the page.
In addition you can change how you view the list, either by song, artists or even artwork. Generally only the music that you have purchased from the iTunes store will have album artwork, but you can quickly add artwork to your file so that you can search through your music using the album covers.
To add artwork to your files you will first need to find and download the image from the net. There are a number of places where you can find this artwork. Next you will need to find the album or song in iTunes and highlight the songs you want to add artwork to. Click on Select File- Get Info, which will give you all of the information about the song or songs you have selected. Go to the artwork field and then click Edit –Paste and paste the image you have copied into the space. This will automatically add the artwork to the files you have selected.
You can also do things like have iTunes search for duplicate files, which will allow you to clean up your collection. You can also change the view of your library list by clicking on the tabs at the top, which will allow you to sort the music by name, album, artist, genre and rating. These “tags” are essentially all of the important information about the file. You can edit these tags by going back into the information about the file and then editing the different fields. This allows you to quickly organize and manage your music any way you want. If you are in the mood for hip-hop you can simply sort the music by this genre.
This is one of the most powerful ways to use iTunes, as it gives you complete control over how you store, view and play your music and video files.
Creating and Using Playlists
If you like to listen to random music then you can just go to your library and hit play, but if there are specific songs that you want to hear, or a specific order in which you want to hear them, then you can create playlists. There are a number of ways to create playlists in iTunes.
If you just want a random sampling of music from your library then you can just click on the iTunes DJ on the left side of the page. This will give you a random playlist. If you are not happy with the choices you can skip over individual songs, or just click on “refresh playlist” which will give you an entirely new list of songs.
If you want to create your own playlist you can just click on the “+” in the bottom left hand corner of the window. This will lead you to a blank screen. All you need to do is highlight, drag and drop the music you want to add to this black screen and it will automatically create your playlist. You can make this list as long or short as you want and can sort it the same way you sort your library. iTunes will automatically name your list “untitled playlist 1” but you can change this to whatever you want. It is best to give your playlist a name that will make it easy to recognize what is on the list, like “Christmas Songs.”
You can also make “Smart Lists” on iTunes, which allows you to control the rules for the playlist, such as what artist to choose, genre and many other parameters. Just click on “File” and then select “New Smart Playlist.” You will be given a box where you can set the parameters for your playlist. This allows you quickly make a playlist based on certain preferences without manually searching through all of your music. If you want to create a smart playlist using only songs from Johnny Cash that are in the genre of Country and rated 4 stars or above, then it is easy using the smart playlist option on iTunes.
If you would like to listen to songs from your iTunes library on a CD player then you can easily burn songs onto a CD using iTunes. The first thing you will need to do is to create a playlist using the same methods described above. If you look at the bottom of the page you will see how much time and space your playlist is taking up so that you will know if it will fit on a regular audio cd.
Next you need to insert a blank CD into your drive. iTunes will automatically prompt you to do open or ignore it. You can simply click ignore, unless you are already prepared to burn your list. If the songs you have chosen will not fit on the disk you might have to delete a few to clear up some space.
Then just go to “File” and select “Burn playlist to disk.” You will then be given options for what speed to do the burn and other technical details. If you want the best quality you should not use the fastest speed, but if quality isn’t really a concern just choose the fastest speed available for the burn.
Get More From Your Music
If you really want to get the most from your music collection then you should give iTunes a try. This program is very intuitive and easy to use and gives you a number of different ways to organize, manage and play your digital media. If you are interested in this powerful application, now is the time to visit the iTunes website and get started.
If it’s been a while since you’ve downloaded iTunes, or if you are one of the handful of people on the planet that hasn’t used iTunes ever, you’re going to want to look at the new iTunes features that have recently been rolled out with its newest version.
Far and away the most popular digital music management solution and marketplace, there is a reason why iTunes has been downloaded hundreds of millions of times across millions and millions of devices – and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down whatsoever.
But if that hasn’t convinced you to download and use the most popular media management software or jump headfirst into the largest music and media marketplace with iTunes, maybe a quick look at these popular iTunes features will!
Let’s jump right in!
It handles absolutely EVERYTHING for you
This isn’t exactly new to the latest version of iTunes, but ever since the first version of this software was released it has been designed from the ground up to manage all of your digital music, (and later) all of your digital media, and every single one of your digital purchases.
There are very few (if any) digital files that iTunes cannot have dragged and dropped directly into your library, filling the software with all kinds of metadata so that you can easily manage, group, and move of those files around inside and easy-to-use platform.
The iTunes marketplace is gigantic
Another of the killer iTunes features that has been around for a couple of years now is the inclusion of the iTunes marketplace or iTunes Store.
With just a few clicks of a button on your mouse, you can go from your library to one of the largest collections of digital music, media, and other content all available 100% free of charge or for a nominal fee – and you can click and purchase all of that media and have it directed into your library in an instant!
The iTunes marketplace has just about guaranteed people the ability to check out music, artists, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and so much more that they never would have discovered on their own – and much of it is thanks to the power of the Apple software that the marketplace runs off of.
How about iTunes radio?
A recent development, one of the killer new iTunes features that has really been getting a lot of attention in the last few cycles is the inclusion of iTunes radio.
A lot like some of the other online radio services out there (but nowhere near as complicated, difficult to use, or underserved with content), iTunes radio allows users of this software to create their own customized radio stations based off of the music that they like, the music that they’ve downloaded, and the music that they’ve purchased.
This is available to all users of iTunes 100% free of charge, and works across a number of different devices (including mobile ones).
ITunes cloud support
Whether you are looking to store your music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, documents, or books on the cloud, the iTunes features that you’re going to want to look into our the iCloud syncing solution and all of the different development tools that go along with it.
This practically guarantees that you are able to enjoy your content no matter where you are, with absolutely no headache or hassle whatsoever. It’s never been this simple or this straightforward to check out all of your content across multiple devices even if you aren’t storing them on the local storage solution you have on hand. It can all be broadcast over the net, and instantly accessed thanks to these powerful iTunes features!
If you’ve been searching high and low for the ultimate music and media management piece of software, you’ve probably come across the iTunes platform – and have been pretty tempted to download, install, and begin using it just as soon as humanly possible.
And who could blame you?
After all, you don’t create a piece of software that has been downloaded millions and millions of times – hundreds of millions of times, maybe – if it isn’t a high quality solution and exactly what people need. Sure, there are a couple of iTunes drawbacks or shortcomings that we will address in this quick break down and review, before the most part you are going to be blown away with everything that iTunes brings to the table.
Shall we get started?
What exactly is iTunes anyways?
First of all, to say that iTunes is nothing more than a media management piece of software would be the understatement of the millennium.
Not only is iTunes capable of handling all of your media management needs (storing, arranging, organizing, and allowing you the ability to customize music, movies, TVs, books, and more), but it is also capable of giving you complete and total control over your media in ways that were never possible before.
You’ll be able to create your own playlists, collections, edit metadata, find songs that you thought you had lost forever, and so much more just by using the stock iTunes interface.
And that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the iTunes Store and everything that the marketplace brings to the table.
We are talking about instant access to all kinds of music, movies, TV shows, books, and other media (including apps and magazines) – all always just a single click away. You’ll be able to instantly access the iTunes Store from right inside your iTunes installation, and can link your account with Apple directly to that store so that you can purchase songs, albums, and anything else available for sale and begin downloading in record speed.
There’s also iTunes radio to consider, as well as a handful of other newer features that even older users of iTunes are going to want to look into before they decide whether or not it’s time to upgrade the software.
Why are people excited about using iTunes?
Well, where do we begin?
For one, the iTunes platform is one of the easiest and most straightforward solutions to use when it comes to managing hundreds and hundreds of thousands of different pieces of media all in one central location.
With a pretty simple to grasp drag-and-drop interface, as well as Apple’s world-renowned user interface and graphic design elements throughout, you’re going to fall in love with using iTunes the moment that you fire it up.
On top of all of that, iTunes is 100% free of charge. That’s right, you’ll be able to use as this incredibly potent and powerful software solution without having to spend a single penny in the process!
Are there any drawbacks to using iTunes?
Like any other piece of software out there, iTunes isn’t exactly perfect – though it may come closer than just about anything else out there.
Sometimes iTunes (and particularly the iTunes Store) will give you a bit of a hard time when you’re trying to do something that you want to with your media, and sometimes the entire system can slow down to a crawl when managing multiple files.
Outside of that, and the fact that it’s not available (yet) on Android devices, this is a pretty special piece of software.
At the end of the day, you’re going to have a difficult time finding anything that can rival the power and potency of iTunes. If you want to manage media, purchase new media, and push that media out to all of your mobile devices (except for the Android ones – without a workaround, that is), iTunes is the tool you want to have.
If you’ve been using a computer to manage your digital library of music, videos, and other media in conjunction with your iPod, iPhone, or other media player, the truth of the matter is that you’ve probably been using iTunes all along.
Apple’s version of the digital jukebox, iTunes was initially conceived of as the perfect way to interface directly with your iPod – putting your music and other files on the device as easily as humanly possible. However, iTunes quickly transformed into what it is today – a one-stop solution for music, movies, and other media that we can purchase and download directly to all of our devices.
ITunes has created a digital revolution
Until iTunes came along, managing our digital library of music and media was next to impossible.
Sure, there were a number of software solutions already out there promising to give us the moon and the stars when it came to results – but none of them were as easy to use or manipulate as iTunes was (and still is).
Then, the iPod slammed onto the scene – changing the face of music and movies forever. Apple recognized that there was a need for a software solution to control this device, and while iTunes was originally only a Mac OS program, a Windows version quickly rolled out to much fanfare your iTunes quickly establish dominance as a the ultimate solution for taking care of your music when you wanted to put it on your iPod – but the implementation of the iTunes store changed everything once again.
With the iTunes store, Apple was able to complete the dominate the selling of music and movies – killing the CD earlier than most people had originally anticipated
With Apple understanding that digital media was going to be the next wave when it came to storing, sharing, and purchasing media, they quickly rolled out new functionality in their iTunes software that created the iTunes store.
Originally just selling music, the iTunes store quickly began selling movies, applications, books, and a whole host of other digital files – finally becoming the one-stop shop that so many of us had been looking for. Selling media at a dramatic discount than we would be able to purchase through a traditional retailer (or even anywhere else online) – while also offering it to us instantly to put on all of our devices – the iTunes store gained dominance that it has never really let up.
ITunes makes it infinitely easier than anything else to get exactly what you’re looking for
Whether or not you’re looking for a specific iTunes download of music, movies, or other media you’re going to find that iTunes make sure you’re able to get exactly what you want with zero fuss whatsoever.
With maybe the friendliest pricing practice in the industry – something that has now become completely standard for those selling digital media – the iTunes download option is the number one way that people are consuming their purchased media as far as the digital world is concerned. More and more songs (and even entire elbows) are sold in a single day as an iTunes download and then on all of the CDs around the world, something that most people never could have conceived of previously.
But what really makes the iTunes download and iTunes software solution of the perfect system is how tightly integrated it is into every one of our devices and the iTunes software in general. With the one-stop shop set up allowing for you to control, manipulate, and sync all of your information to your different devices – as well as purchase whatever it is you’re looking for with a direct iTunes download – it’s never been easier to take care of your media than it is right now.
Of course, once the iPhone rolled out everything changed once again for iTunes and iTunes downloads
Not one to just sit back on their success in weight until a competitor could come along and penetrate something that they had worked so hard to build, the iPhone was the answer to combining the iPod, the laptop, and the cell phone into one handy device.
And while it was a revolutionary new device all on its own, the truth of the matter is that it once again change the industry just by implementing iTunes directly on the device. Now, when you want to make an iTunes download you simply have to go to the included iTunes store on your iPhone or iPod – provided that it’s connected to the Internet – and you can make that iTunes download directly.
This iTunes download is saved to your iTunes profile and accessible through your computers that you have connected to your iTunes account (as well as your other devices) which makes it even easier to manipulate the iTunes platform.
Having iTunes on the go has increase the rate at which people are using iTunes and making iTunes downloads – building Apple’s business through the backend even more so than people had originally anticipated. And this has made iTunes one of the key fixtures in the Apple business library, helping them to increase the amount of money there able to make through each and every single iTunes download.
We can’t forget about iTunes apps
Of course, it would be impossible to talk about the iPhone and iTunes downloads without talking specifically about apps and the iTunes App Store.
As the iPhone again to become more and more of a robust device – changing all of what we thought we knew about the cell phone industry as a whole – the need for new applications became critically important. People were looking to iTunes when they wanted to put new apps on their phone or other devices like the iPad, and Apple obliged by making it easy to download applications directly through the iTunes system.
Applications have transformed the entire is this platform of the iTunes store, giving independent developers the ability to make their own income by selling iTunes apps through the iTunes download options. This means that anybody can make money as an iTunes app developer by selling their applications directly through iTunes in the form of an iTunes download – something that was never possible before.
Far and away the most popular piece of music software on the planet, Apple has had a runaway smash success with iTunes almost since the day that it was first released.
A single piece of software that has become the “be-all, end-all” solution for digital music management – and later the ultimate solution for digital media management – iTunes is downloaded and installed on literally millions and millions of different devices across the globe.
However, the iTunes history of this software is a little bit unique. First of all, it wasn’t even called iTunes in the early stages, and was almost completely and totally scrapped altogether – and would have been without the intervention of (who else) Steve Jobs.
To learn a little bit more about iTunes history, sit back, relax, and check out the rest of this quick guide.
The early days
Long before the idea of the iPod even came to Steve Jobs or anyone else at Apple, for that matter, the company decided to purchase an MP3 player system then known as Sound Jam MP. This was way back in 1998, when iTunes was just getting up off of the ground, and mostly was envisioned and imagined to become a somewhat sophisticated music player – but little else.
Originally designed and developed by engineers Bill Kincaid, Jeff Robbin, and a handful of others, iTunes didn’t really become iTunes until January 2001 after the rest of the Apple team got a crack at turning it into the original version of the software that we would come to know today.
The Mac-only days
However, iTunes was only available for those that had a Mac operating system and an Apple device – there was no such thing as cross-platform compatibility, and absolutely no plans to do so, either. In fact, iTunes was a pretty much Mac OS application for the first year of its life, and it wasn’t until another little game changer (you may have heard of it before) the iPod came along and transformed absolutely everything.
When Steve Jobs released the iPod to the global community, iTunes went from being a simple little MP3 player for Mac computers to the number one platform for managing and listening to MP3s. The original iPod (that old, soap looking like device that most of us fell in love with) sold millions and millions of units in its first year – and pave the way for the iPod and iTunes to eventually take over the multimedia landscape.
Open for (almost) everyone!
Unfortunately, there was still one block standing in front of Apple and world domination, at least when it came to music and multimedia. Even though Steve Jobs was (and remained until his death) dead set against making Mac solutions compatible with any other operating system, he compromised his beliefs this time around so that he could catapult the popularity of the iPod and iTunes by releasing it on Windows as well.
This happened in 2003, a full two years after the first iPod hit the market, and again it transformed absolutely everything. Now just about everyone and anyone could own an iPod and use iTunes, and with later devices like the iPod Shuffle, iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad rolling out all leveraging iTunes as well it has cemented its position at the top of the multimedia purchasing, managing, and listening world.
The future of the iTunes software
The future of iTunes software is as wide open as the interesting past and iTunes history that it has moved through in its development cycle. It’s tough to remember that this piece of software is a little bit more than 10 years old, but that’s mostly because it continues to develop, adapt, and change with the demands and desires of the multimedia community at large.
The iTunes history has been exciting, and most are betting that the future of iTunes will be as well!