The iTunes interface

iTunes is a piece of software created for media organization, purchase and playback. iTunes is integrated into the iLife media suite and is available for Macintosh and Windows machines. iTunes is also integrated with the Apple iPod and contains an easy to use interface for downloading music, video and podcasts for use either on a computer or iPod. iTunes is available for free download at:

iTunes is no longer supported as of Catalina (Mac OS 10.15)

Building an iTunes Music Library

Your iTunes music library contains all the files you play through iTunes. To get to the library in iTunes, click on the library link on the left side of the program interface, this should open the library in the main frame. You can also get to this folder outside of the program. On a mac, open Finder and click on the Music link of the left, then open the file labeled iTunes and then the file labeled iTunes Music. Inside that folder you will find a group of folders which organize your music files based on artist. Open any of these folder to access the music files of that artist.

To add music files to your library, open iTunes, go to the File menu and choose Add to library. A box will open which will allow you to search through your computer to find the files you wish to add to your library. You may also use this method to add files from a CD. Note: you may add more than one file at a time by selecting an entire folder or holding down the shift key and using your keyboard arrows to select multiple songs.

Using the iTunes Music Store

You can also add files to your library by downloading them from the iTunes Music Store. To use the iTunes Music Store, click on the Music Store link on the left side of the iTune program. Note: you will need to be connected ot the internet in order to access the Music Store. In the store, most commercial music costs $.99 per song or $9.99 per album. There are also many free downloads available.

Subscribing to Podcasts

There are many podcasts available online nowadays. With iTunes there are two basic ways to subscribe to a podcast. The first is to use the iTunes Music Store (see above for details) to find and subscribe to podcasts. In the music store, use the Choose Genre drop down menu to select Podcasts. You may then browse the different types of podcasts and select the one you are interested in. Most podcasts are free and once you have subscribed updates will be automatically downloaded to your iTunes library every time you open the program.

The second way to get podcasts is to enter the xml address (a type or URL) directly into iTunes. Most websites which produce podcasts will have a link to the xml, you need to right-click (or control+click) on the file and choose Copy link location. Then open iTunes, go to the Advanced menu and choose Subscribe to podcast. A box will open up, paste the URL in the box then click Ok. You will now be subscribed to the podcast and it will auto-update just as if you had subscribed to it through the Music Store.

Creating Specialized Playlists

To create a specialized playlist, start by going to the File menu and choosing New Playlist. This will create a playlist which will appear on the left side of the program. Name your playlist. Then go to the Music Library and click on any files you want in the playlist and drag them in. The files you add to the playlist will remain in the library as well as the playlist. This way you can access the song from multiple paths.

Syncing Your iPod with iTunes

Syncing an iPod should be a very simple task. All you need to do is plug your iPod into your computer with the cable provided, and open iTunes. The computer may want to run updates, but barring those the computer will sync your iPod automatically. Remember, syncing your iPod means that all the music and playlists from iTunes will be copied onto the iPod exactly as it is. If there was a song on your iPod what is not currently in your iTunes library, it will no longer be on your iPod when syncing is complete. Also, you are limited in the number of computers you can sync with, so keep that in mind when working with multiple machines!

Creating a backup for iOS devices in iTunes

Apple's family of iOS devices consist of the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. These devices sync and back themselves up via iTunes. This allows you to manage the data on the device and create a backup incase the device is lost or the data is erased. To start, you need to have iTunes downloaded and installed on your machine. An iOS device can only sync with one iTunes library, so be sure that you sync it with a computer that you will have continued access to. Next, plug in your device and iTunes will automatically launch and begin the syncing process. Durring the sync process, your iOS device will automatically backup.