a new milestone for the online music business, the iTunes
Music Store has sold more than 400 million songs (May,
2005), providing music fans with the best digital experience
on Mac or PC. It is considered the #1 music download
store according to Nielsen SoundScan. Now iTunes
offers even more ways to discover and enjoy music. More
Than 1.5 Million Songs to Preview, Buy and Download.
Featuring hundreds of thousands of songs from major music
companies including EMI, Sony/BMG, Universal, and Warner
Bros, the iTunes Music Store offers more than 100,000
new tracks from independent artists and record labels.
Music you’ll also find more
than 150 exclusive tracks from such artists as Eminem,
Gwen Stefani, Bob Marley and Andrea Bocelli, to name just
a few. What’s more, you’ll also find and dozens
of out-of-print Motown singles and jazz albums from the
Verve Vault, both available digitally for the first time.
Just 99¢ a Song, Plus Generous
Personal Use Rights
The iTunes Music Store lets you quickly find, purchase
and download the music you want for just 99¢ per
song. You can burn individual songs onto an unlimited
number of CDs for your personal use, listen to songs on
an unlimited number of iPods and play songs on up to five
Macintosh computers or Windows PCs. And the iTunes software
works so smoothly on both platforms that you can share
music with any combination of Macs and Windows PCs on
a local area network — regardless of whether you’re
running iTunes on a Mac or PC.
Browse Music in the Store or from
Your Own Library
You can cruise the store by genre — including Rock,
Jazz, Latin, New Age, Inspirational, Opera, R&B/Soul,
Reggae and Soundtracks — or by artist or album.
Double-click on track listings to hear 30-second, high-quality
samples and to see digital album art. Or you can search
by entering the name of an artist or composer, or the
title of a song — or even part of the title —
and clicking the Search button. Even easier, just click
a Quick Link on an artist in your library to see the band’s
entire repertoire. When you find something you like, buy
it instantly or save the store preview in a playlist on
your Mac or PC.
Make and Share Musical Discoveries
Want some help discovering great new music? The iTunes
Music Store features crisply-written editorial content,
complete with links to music. You can drag and create
links to any store page, and even share your new-found
favorites with friends by emailing them a link to a sound
sample, artist or album page. Even better, you can share
the playlists you make as an iMix on the store. Rate playlists
from other music lovers to move them up and down the charts.
See if you rate as a five-star music mixer.
Discover and Explore
Celebrity playlists will help you discover and explore
new music. View playlists hand-picked by celebrities and
with one click own all their recommendations. Read what
they say about what inspired their playlists. Already
have a few of their recommended tracks? No problem: simply
use the Buy Now button next to the songs that you don’t
have. Top Songs and Top Albums lists on the home page
let you know what’s hot, and you’ll find Top
Downloads lists and related music suggestions throughout
the store. Did you hear a song on the radio but don’t
know what it is? Now you can find out what’s playing
on more than 1,000 stations around the US and buy that
catchy tune. And here’s something brand new: some
singles and albums now come with a bonus music video.
Purchase and download the song or album, and you also
get a music video you can watch full screen any time you
Have a Favorite Artist?
If you just love the work of U2, The Beautiful South,
Joss Stone or Charlie Parker, you’d probably like
to know when one of their songs or albums arrive at the
iTunes Music Store. Then you’ll be anxious to try
out a new store feature. With “Artist Alerts,”
you’ll receive email as soon as music from your
favorite artists get added to the Store. It’s a
great way to stay informed.
Videos and Movie Trailers
If you have a broadband connection, you can check out
the exclusive full-length music videos that you can watch
right in the store. If you like what you see, just buy
the tune immediately. Or check out the latest movie trailers
in full screen, and buy songs from the soundtrack or an
associated audiobook. iTunes includes a well-stocked library
of best-selling audiobooks — 11,000 titles and counting.
The iTunes Music Store offers everything you need to grow
your music collection with ease, give music to friends
and family, and expand your musical knowledge in the process.
And it’s all waiting for you inside the world’s
best digital jukebox.
iTunes is a media player, written by Apple
Computer, for playing and organizing digital music, video
files, and purchasing digital music files in the FairPlay
digital rights management format. The iTunes Music Store
(also sometimes referred to simply as "i Tunes"
or "iTMS") is the component of i-Tunes through
which users can purchase digital music files from within
iTunes. The player has gained and maintained a reputation
as being easy to use, while still allowing users precisely
to organize their music (for example, features such as
the smart playlist). iTunes is used to fill Apple's popular
digital audio player iPod with songs. The program is freely
downloadable and is also supplied with Mac OS X as well
as Apple's iLife home-application suite. iTunes is compatible
with computers running Mac OS X, Windows 2000, Windows
XP, and Windows Server 2003 operating systems.
iTunes stores metadata about the audio files in two files.
The first is a binary file called iTunes 4 Music Library
that uses its own music library format, independent of
the audio format's tag capabilities (for example the ID3
tag). The second file, called iTunes Music Library.xml,
uses XML format, allowing developers to easily write applications
that can access the information (such as Apple's own iDVD,
iMovie, and iPhoto or Freshly Squeezed Software's Rock
File format support
iTunes can currently encode to MP3, AIFF, WAV, MPEG-4
AAC, and Apple Lossless, and can play anything QuickTime
can play (even video formats, as long as they have audio),
including Protected AAC files from the iTunes Music Store,
plus Audible.com audio books. It can be extended to play
other formats such as the free Ogg Vorbis audio format
through the addition of QuickTime components.
has been some criticism of the quality of Apple's MP3
encoder, at least with regards to variable bit rate encoding.
In a January 2004 double-blind public listening test of
six MP3 encoders encoding at 128 kbit/s, conducted by
Roberto Amorim, the iTunes MP3 VBR encoder came last.
The Windows version of iTunes can automatically convert
unprotected WMA files to other audio formats, but it does
not support direct playback or encoding of WMA format.
iTunes Library songs can be shared over a local network
using Bonjour (formerly Rendezvous)—Apple's implementation
of the Zeroconf (zero configuration required) open network
standard—which allows shared lists of songs within
the same subnet to be automatically detected. When a song
is shared, iTunes can stream the song but won't save a
copy on the local hard drive, in order to prevent piracy.
Songs in Protected AAC format can also be accessed but
authentication is required. Originally with iTunes 4.0,
users could access shared music anywhere over the internet,
in addition to one's own subnet, by specifying IP addresses
of remote shared song libraries. This feature was soon
removed by Apple with version 4.0.1, claiming that users
were violating the EULA. Music sharing uses the Digital
Audio Access Protocol (DAAP), created by Apple for this
purpose. (http://daap.sourceforge.net/) Just days after
the Windows version of iTunes was released, William Zeller,
a 20-year-old Trinity College student, wrote myTunes (http://www.cowpimp.com/),
a program which allows Windows users to circumvent the
iTunes restriction and download music from an iTunes shared
playlist over a network. The program quickly became popular
and is now widely used. There also exists a similar open
source Java client, called ourTunes (http://ourtunes.sourceforge.net/).
With the release of version 4.8 in May 2005, video support
was added to iTunes. With this, users can drag and drop
movie clips from the computer into the iTunes Library
for cataloguing and organization. Clips appear with a
movie camera icon in the library; however, categories
such as “album” and “composer”
continue to be used for these files, and no new “videos”
or “movies” genre has yet been added to accommodate
Synchronizing iPod and other players
iTunes can automatically synchronize its music library
with an iPod or other supported digital music player every
time it is connected. New songs and playlists are automatically
copied to the iPod and songs which have been deleted from
the library on the computer are also deleted from the
iPod. Ratings awarded to songs on the iPod will sync back
to the iTunes library and audiobooks will remember the
current playback position. Automatic synchronization can
be turned off in favor of manually copying individual
songs or complete playlists; however, iTunes supports
only copying music to the iPod and not from it, which
has inspired third party tools for that purpose. It is
also possible to copy from the iPod using ordinary Unix
command line tools. When an iPod is connected that does
not contain enough free space to sync the entire iTunes
music library, a playlist will be created and given a
name matching that of the connected iPod. This playlist
can then be modified to the user's preference in song
selection to fill the available space.
iPod owners in US markets are taken to
a one-time page within the iTunes Music store when first
connecting it to their computer. This page currently offers
a free album sampler from Lava and Atlantic Records where
either the whole album or individual tracks can be downloaded.
An album sampler from Universal Records was previously
available and may still be accessed via a special link
on the web. iTunes supports a number of other popular
portable music players with some limitations, most notably
the inability to play music purchased from the iTunes
Music Store. Supported players include a number of Nomad
players from Creative Labs, some players from Rio Audio,
and the Nakamichi SoundSpace 2 device. Other manufacturers
may also offer integration by way of a device plugin.
Though iTunes is the only official method for synchronizing
with the iPod, several projects have been made to allow
the iPod to sync with other players, most notably the
ml_iPod plugin for WinAmp, that allows users to manage
their iPod content through Winamp, and even allows functionality
not available through iTunes, such as the copying of music
off of the iPod.
iTunes Music Store
Version 4 of iTunes introduced the iTunes Music Store
from which iTunes users can legally buy and download songs
for use on a limited number of computers and iPods. Songs
purchased from the iTunes Music Store are copy protected
with Apple's FairPlay digital rights management (DRM)
scheme. To date, over 400 million songs have been downloaded
since the service first launched in April 2003. (http://apple.com/itunes)
people complain that the tight integration of the iTunes
Music Store with iTunes makes the sold music inaccessible
to users who use operating systems that don't have a version
of iTunes, most notably Linux. These complaints have resulted
in a number of published hacks or workarounds that allow
customers of the iTunes Music Store to use the audio software
or operating system software of their choice. The most
notable of these hacks was PyMusique, which Apple has
made several attempts at blocking.
with other applications
On the Macintosh, iTunes is tightly integrated with Apple's
iWork suite of applications and the rest of the applications
in iLife. These applications can access the iTunes Library
directly, allowing access to the playlists and songs stored
within. Music files from iTunes can be embedded directly
into Pages documents and can supply the score for iDVD,
iMovie and Keynote productions. In addition, any song
exported from GarageBand, Apple's music-making program,
is automatically added to the user's iTunes music library.
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