How to Buy Digital Media from the Apple iTunes Store

The iTunes Store is the hottest spot on the Internet for buying music and video. You can reach it from the cozy confines of iTunes. (That is, as long as you have an Internet connection.) If you’re not in iTunes, go to the Apple store link.

Click the iTunes Store item in the Source list, and after a few moments you’re presented with the latest offerings. Click a link in the store list to browse according to media type, or click the Power Search link to search by song title, artist, album, or composer. The Back/Forward buttons at the top of the iTunes Store window operate much the same as those in Safari, moving you backward or forward in sequence through pages you’ve already seen. Clicking the Home button (which, through no great coincidence, looks like a miniature house) takes you back to the Store’s main page.

To display the details on a specific album, track, video, podcast, or audiobook, just click it. If you’re interested in buying just certain tracks (for that perfect road warrior mix), you get to listen to 30 seconds of any track — for free, no less, and at full sound quality. To add an item to your iTunes Store shopping cart, click the Add Song/Movie/Album/Video/Podcast/Audiobook button (sheesh!). When you’re ready to buy, click the Shopping Cart item in the Source list and then click the Buy Now button. At the time of this writing, tracks are usually 99 cents a pop, and an entire album is typically $9.99 . . . what a bargain!

The iTunes Store creates an account for you based on your e-mail address, and it keeps secure track of your credit card information for future purchases. After you use the iTunes Store once, you never have to log in or retype your credit card information again.

The tracks and files that you download are saved to a separate playlist called Purchased. After the download is finished, you can play them, move them to other playlists, burn them to CD or DVD, share them over your network, or ship them to your iPod, just as you can any other item in your iTunes Library.

You can also put the Genius button to work for you, in league with the iTunes store. Click the Show Genius Sidebar button at the lower-right corner of the iTunes window; it looks like an arrow inside a square. iTunes displays the Genius Sidebar, where iTunes recommends music that you can buy from the iTunes Store that’s similar to the albums in your Music Library. Click the button again to banish the sidebar.

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