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Touring iTunes

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There's no question that iTunes and the iPod have revolutionized the way we listen to music. If you aren't familiar with iTunes, or if you think there's some feature you're missing (and there probably is), this chapter will give you the run-down on iTunes and how it will change the way you listen to music.

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In this chapter

  • Figure out why iTunes will rock your world.

  • Learn to speak in three-letter acronyms (TLAs), such as MP3 and AAC.

  • Visit the Library.

  • Learn the best three places to get music for your Library.

  • Play with playlists.

  • Meet the digital music triumvirate.

With not-very-sincere apologies to Mr. Edison, Apple's iTunes is the best thing to happen to music since the phonograph. This amazing application enables you to do things with your music you might have never dreamed possible. Of course, you can use iTunes to listen to audio CDs, but that is certainly nothing to write home (or a book) about. Any two-bit boombox can do that. That basic task is barely a warm-up for iTunes. If you have never used iTunes before, prepare to be impressed (and if you have used iTunes before, be impressed anyway).

What You Can Do with iTunes

I could fill a book (or at least Part II of this book) with all the great things you can do with iTunes. Following are some examples just to whet your appetite:

  • Listen to audio CDs.

  • Listen to Internet radio and podcasts.

  • Store all the music you like in a single place so you never need to fuss with individual CDs again.

  • Search and organize all this music so listening to exactly the music you want is just a matter of a few mouse clicks (and maybe a few key presses).

  • Create custom albums (called playlists) containing the specific songs you want to hear.

  • Create custom albums (called smart playlists) that are based on a set of criteria, such as all the jazz music you have rated at four or five stars.

  • Use the iTunes built-in Equalizer to make your music just right.

  • Burn your own music CDs to play in those oh-so-limited CD players in your car, a boombox, or in your home.

  • Share your music collection with other people over a wired or wireless network; you can listen to music other people share with you as well.

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