Q: What is itunes?

A: iTunes is a digital media player application, introduced by Apple Inc. on January 9, 2001at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, for playing and organizing digital music and video files. The program is also an interface to manage the contents on Apple's popular iPod digital media players as well as the iPhone. Additionally, iTunes can connect to the iTunes Store via the internet to purchase and download digital music, music videos, television shows, iPod games, audiobooks, various podcasts, feature length films (available only in the USA and Canada), Movie Rentals and Ringtones.

iTunes is available as a free download for Mac OS X, Windows Vista, and Windows XP from Apple's website. It is also bundled with all Macs, and some HP and Dell computers. Older versions are available for Mac OS 9, OS X 10.0-10.2, and Windows 2000. Although Apple does not produce iTunes for other operating systems, it can be run on Linux through Wine.

iTunes is available for both Macintosh and Windows operating systems. With iTunes, you can do the following:

  • Listen to CDs: iTunes will play your music CDs like a regular CD player.

  • Import music from your CDs: iTunes can import (or rip) music from your CDs. You can import in AAC (the codec underlying MP4), MP3, AIFF, WAV, or Apple Lossless Encoder formats. The music will then be stored on your hard drive for access anytime.

Note: UITS does not condone importing or trading music from CDs you do not personally own. To do so is a violation of the US copyright law.

  • Listen to and view podcasts: Through the iTunes Store, you can search for and subscribe to podcasts. Whenever you open iTunes, the latest episodes of these free audio and video programs will download automatically to your iTunes Library.

  • Buy music and videos online: Through the iTunes Store, you can purchase music, audiobooks, movies, and episodes of television shows.

  • Create playlists: Once you have stored your music on your hard drive, you can play it in any order you like by creating a playlist. You can organize your music according to artist, album, or song title as well.

  • Burn CDs or DVDs: iTunes can burn your files to a CD or DVD. Once you have created your playlists, you can create your own CD with a CD-RW drive, or DVD with a DVD-R drive. The most recent versions of iTunes support some external CD-RW and DVD-R drives. Consult Apple's and the manufacturer's documentation to see if your drive is supported.

  • Synchronize with your iPod: When you plug in your iPod, iTunes will synchronize automatically at high speeds over FireWire or USB 2.0.

  • Export to a non-Apple MP3 player: You can export your playlists to a non-Apple commercial MP3 player through USB or USB 2.0. To upload files, drag them to the MP3 player icon.

  • Listen to Internet radio: iTunes features a built-in Internet radio tuner that will find Internet radio stations by genre.

  • Play movie trailers: You can view movie trailers available on Apple's web site. To do so, search the iTunes Music Store from within iTunes, or visit Apple's Movie Trailers page.

  • Convert music to a different format: After you have imported your music files into iTunes, you can convert them to a different format (e.g., MP3 to AAC or WAV to MP3).

  • Listen to music shared across the network: You can choose to make your Library available to other iTunes users on your local network, and you can likewise access others' iTunes playlists. The available playlists appear in iTunes automatically.

  • Visualize your music: iTunes includes a music visualizer that plays a light show along with the music.

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