Everything You Need to Know About Using iTunes and the iTunes Store

iTunes is a complex and powerful media tool, which means there's a lot to know about it. Here we'll help you learn the ins and outs of using iTunes and the iTunes store.

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The basics

iTunes logo
iTunes logo. image copyright Apple Inc.

These are the essentials you need for a complete foundation of iTunes features and functions. Whether you use a Mac or Windows PC, you'll learn how to install iTunes, create an account and Apple ID, authorize computers, what files iTunes can use, and the importance of deauthorizing a computer.

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AACs, MP3s, and CDs

Besides working with your iPod or iPhone, iTunes offers a powerful way to manage your music library. Use these articles to learn how to add songs to your library from CDs, how to burn your own CDs, and some of the hot issues in digital music. You'll also find out what the difference is between AAC and MP3 music files.

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Playlists, sharing, and iTunes Genius

iTunes Playlist
Andrew Wong/Flickr/CC By 2.0

Part of the fun of iTunes is creating playlists, sharing music with friends and family, and discovering new music with iTunes Genius. You may be unaware that your family can share music between members, for example, or that iTunes can offer suggestions of music you may like based on your tastes. You can even have iTunes build playlists for you automatically.

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Backing up and transferring iTunes

Screenshot of iPodCopy. image copyright Wide Angle Software

One area in which iTunes is pretty complicated is transferring an iTunes library to a new computer or restoring a library from a backup after a crash. This gets especially complex when iPods and iPhones are involved. Do you need special software for this? Can you give away your music on an iPod? These articles sort out some of the confusion for you and help you figure out what to do.

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Using iTunes with iPod, iPad, and iPhone

sync apps to ipad
Syncing apps to iPad.

The basics of using iTunes to manage an iPod, iPhone, or iPad will get you listening to your music on these devices. But there are a number of advanced features and tricks that can make life easier and more fun. 

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App Store

App Store logo
App Store logo. image copyright Apple Inc.

As anyone with an iOS device knows, the App Store is the thing that makes the platform truly versatile and exciting. While app reviews are one part of using the App Store, there's more to it than that. Learn the basics of installing apps, the costs of downloading apps, and whether you can use those apps across multiple devices—or do you have to buy the app for each device.

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iCloud and iTunes Match

iCloud logo
iCloud logo. image copyright Apple Inc.

As iTunes has become more integrated with the internet, making it much more powerful and intelligent. Two of the major features that have enabled this are iCloud and iTunes Match. Learn all about these features, and how to use them, in these articles.

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iTunes store and other digital music stores

While iTunes may be the first name that springs to mind when you think about buying music downloads, it's far from the only online music store that works with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Streaming music services like Spotify and Pandora offer different ways to access and discover new music. And iTunes Radio is another option for enjoying music.

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iTunes for parents

iTunes parental controls
iTunes parental controls.

There are few gadgets as popular with today's pre-teens, teens, and young adults as the iPhone. Some parents may have concerns about what their kids can access with these devices. But there are tools that can help manage what they have access to.

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Miscellaneous iTunes issues

What does it mean to jailbreak your iPhone, and will that affect iTunes? What can you do about duplicate songs in iTunes? Can you change the album art for music? Here are topics that don't fit the categories above, but offer useful information to round out your knowledge of iTunes.

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iTunes troubleshooting and help

Genius Bar logo
Genius Bar logo. image copyright Apple Inc.

Because iTunes is such a complex and powerful program, there's a lot to understand about what can do wrong and how. Finding how to fix a problem you have can sometimes be a challenge. If a song you purchased didn't download, that can be frustrating. This section help you find solutions.