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iTunes 9 Essential Training takes an in-depth look into Apple's popular music and media management application. Instructor Garrick Chow explores all aspects of this free application, from basic music management and playback to advanced iPod syncing options. Garrick shows how to browse and purchase music, TV shows, and movies from the online iTunes store, and how to find and listen to podcasts. He discusses the usefulness of Genius Mixes, the iTunes DJ, and the built-in backup features of iTunes. Exercise files accompany this course.
Let's start by opening iTunes for the first time. On a Mac you will most likely have your iTunes icon in your dock. So you can just click that. If you don't see it on your dock, you'll find iTunes in your Applications folder and you can either open it from there or drag that into your dock, if you want to keep it there. I'm just going to click the icon on my dock. If you're using Windows, you can also open iTunes from a couple of places depending on you chose to install it. You may have a shortcut to iTunes on your desktop or you can also go to your Start menu, to All Programs and find iTunes from there.
The first time you open iTunes, you will have to agree to the Software License Agreement. So read through that really quick just like so and click Agree. The first time you run iTunes you'll also see this iTunes Setup Assistant, which walks you through the process of getting iTunes set up on your computer using a series of questions. So just click Next. The first iTunes tells you about Internet Audio. Basically, asking if you want iTunes to be the default application when it comes to streaming audio from the Internet. Unless you have another application you want to use, you can keep Yes here checked and then click Next.
iTunes is also going to offer to find any music files that are already on my computer and copy them into my iTunes Music folder. Here my Mac is going to offer to look for both MP3 and AAC files. If you're on Windows it'll also ask you if you want to locate WMA files. Now if you choose Yes it will actually search your entire hard drive and find any files to copy into your library. My personal preference is to choose No. So I can add them later by myself, because my personal computer has a ton of audio files that aren't music files and I don't want or need them to be managed in iTunes. So you can decide what to do yourself here.
If you do choose Yes and you have a large hard drive, be prepared to wait a little bit as iTunes searches for all of your audio files. So I'm going to keep No selected and click Next. Next, I am asked whether I want to keep my iTunes media folder organized. What this means is if after I've imported music for example and I decide to fix an error in say the artist's name or maybe the song's name in iTunes, if I've chosen to have iTunes to keep my folder organized, it'll then move the files and rename them including any folders that they're kept in as appropriate. I suggest keeping Yes checked here, because unless you want to manually move files around for some reason you should just let iTunes handle all the behind the scene organizational work for you.
You can change this preference in iTunes Preferences later, but for now I'm going to keep Yes selected. Next we have the Download Artwork screen, which just tells you a little about how you can download album artwork to go along with the music files. Basically, this lets you see the artwork for the album from which your music came which is a nice touch. So you only have to go through the Setup Assistant this first time you run iTunes. Now if you've recently upgraded iTunes to a new version, you might have to agree to the licensing agreement again or read about new features or other things like that. But you should be able to make your way through these things without any problems.
Now I will click Done. New to iTunes 9 is this Welcome screen, which gives you access to some short video tutorials to help you get started. You only see this the first time you are in iTunes unless you check Show this window when iTunes opens. Now if you accidentally close this window and you want to get back to watch some of the videos, you can get to it by going to Help menu and choosing Welcome to iTunes, which brings it back. But I don't really need this right now, so I'll go ahead and close it. Now we're looking at the main iTunes window. Currently my iTunes Library is completely empty because this is a new installation of iTunes and I haven't yet imported any music, video or other files.
Another nice feature of version 9 of iTunes is that Apple has now added these ways for you to get started by either visiting the iTunes store to purchase music or to import music from your CD collection. There's even access here to some of those video tutorials to help you learn how to do these things. Of course, they aren't as thorough and don't exude as much as personality as the tutorial you're watching now, but they're pretty good. Anyway, we'll be talking about the iTunes Store and how to import music a little bit later, but first we'll take a look at and familiarize ourselves with the interface elements in the iTunes window.
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