How iTunes works

How iTunes works on Windows

If you haven't done so yet, the first step you need to take is download iTunes to your PC. You must know, however, that there are two versions of the program: one specific for Windows 10 downloadable from Microsoft Store and one for all versions of the Microsoft operating system (from Windows 7 onwards) to be downloaded via the Apple's website.

At the level of functions there are no differences between the two, but the version of iTunes available on the Microsoft Store could give problems with some third-party software, such as those to explore the iPhone memory and those to jailbreak.

Having made these necessary clarifications, let's take action. If you use Windows 10, you can download iTunes from the Microsoft Store by opening this page, pressing the buttons Get e apri and then, after opening the store, by clicking on the button Install. You may be asked to sign in to your Microsoft account.

If you use a previous version of Windows or prefer the "classic" version of iTunesinstead, connect to the Apple website and click on the link first Windows that you find next to the item Are you looking for other versions? (below) and then on the button Download iTunes for Windows (64-bit) now. If you have a 32-bit operating system, click on the item instead Are you looking for the 32-bit Windows version? Download the app from here placed at the bottom.

Then open the .exe file obtained, click on the button NEXTscegli se add a shortcut to iTunes on the desktop e whether to use iTunes as the default player for audio files (by ticking the appropriate boxes) and complete the setup by clicking in sequence on Install, Yes, Yes e end.

At the end of the installation, regardless of the version of iTunes you have installed, start the program through its link on the desktop or in Start menu (the one accessed by clicking on pennant Windows) and accept the condizioni d'usoby pressing the appropriate buttons. Once this is done, you can start taking your first steps in the famous Apple software.

How iTunes works for music

One of the main functions of iTunes is that relating to the management and reproduction of musical contents. Going into more detail, Apple's software allows you to import, manage and play songs in all major file formats (except FLAC); access the contents of the music streaming service Apple Music and purchase digital music from DRM via theiTunes Store integrated.

In this chapter of the tutorial I will focus on managing music locally, while in the following chapters I will deal with Apple Music, the iTunes Store for purchasing digital music and iTunes Match: a service that allows users who do not have a Active Apple Music subscription to sync your music across multiple devices.

So let's get started. You can import all the music already on your computer disk into your iTunes library. To import music into the program library, first make sure you have the item selected Music from the drop-down menu located at the top left.

Once this is done, simply click on the menu first Fillet (top left) and then on the item Add files to library ... or on the item Add folder to library that you find inside the latter and select the files or folders to import into the software library. More info here.

If you want advice, before importing music into iTunes, go to the menu Edit> Preferences> Advanced of the program and check the box Copy files to iTunes Media folder while adding to library- This way, all files copied to your library will be stored within the same folder on your computer, making it easier for you to export your iTunes library in the future.

You can also import the Music CDs in iTunes and transform the songs they contain into compressed files (ie files that take up little space on the disc, while maintaining good sound quality). To do this, just insert the disk into your computer while iTunes is open and respond Yes at the request to import the album into the library. More info here.

In case you are wondering, you will have to do absolutely nothing to add covers and other information to your media content added to your iTunes library. In fact, iTunes automatically downloads album art and information about albums and songs. In case, however, you want to manually change the information of a song or an album, you can do it with a simple right click on the same and then selecting the item Track / album information give the menu answer.

To organize the music in playlistInstead, all you have to do is go to the menu File> New Playlist, to create a new playlist, and drag the songs of your interest to the title of the same, which in the meantime will appear in the left sidebar. You can also create smart playlists, that is, playlists that update their contents automatically based on the parameters you set (eg date of addition, number of plays, evaluation and so on). More info here.

If you wish, you can too burn playlists to CD / DVD, creating standard audio CDs or MP3 discs. To do this, put all the songs you want to burn into a playlist, right-click on the playlist name in the iTunes sidebar and select the option to Burn playlists to disc from the menu that opens. More info here.

play a piece of music (or any other media content added to your iTunes library), just double-click it instead. Once you start playing a multimedia content in iTunes you will be shown the player commands through which you can forward and / or backward the same, stop and resume playback and perform various other operations, at the top.

If you want to make the player less cluttered, you can go to the menu View> Switch to Mini Player and activate the reduced version of iTunes.

How iTunes works with Apple Music

If with its iTunes Store Apple had revolutionized the world of music, kicking off the digital download market for songs and albums, with the advent of streaming services à la Spotify it found itself having to chase it. So here we come Apple Music: a subscription service that allows you to access a vast catalog of music belonging to all genres and eras, which can be both streamed and downloaded locally.

Apple Music predicts 3 months free trial without commitment and then personal plans from 9,99 euro / month o 99 euro / year with the possibility to cancel at any time and at no additional cost. The music hosted by the service, as easily understood, is protected by DRM (digital anti-copy locks) and therefore can be reproduced or downloaded only on certified devices and software (iTunes on Windows, the application Music on Apple devices and the application Apple Music on Android). Furthermore, it is not possible to copy the songs to other devices, play them in other players or burn them to floppy disks.

Apple Music, however, also gives access to the iCloud music library: a free service that allows you to upload to the cloud and synchronize the songs loaded in the iTunes library on all your devices, even if they are not present in the catalog of the streaming service of the Cupertino giant. This means that it is possible to create aunique music library on the cloud, automatically synchronized on all devices associated with your Apple ID, including both Apple Music and local contents.

To enjoy Apple Music through iTunes, select the tab Discover of iTunes (in the section Music software) and click on the item to execute theaccesso (if you are already subscribed to Apple Music) or on that for try the service for 3 months (if you are a new user), then logging in to yours Apple ID.

If you don't see the option to activate Apple Music in iTunes, go to the menu Edit> Preferences> General and check the box Show Apple Music features. For more information, read my guide on how Apple Music works: it really explains everything there.

How the iTunes Store works

Now let's move on to what, at the beginning, made iTunes famous in the world and, coupled with the iPod, revolutionized the world music market: the possibility of buying songs and albums (along with other multimedia files) on theiTunes Store.

To browse the various contents of iTunes Store, select the type of content you are interested in (eg. Music o Videos) from the drop-down menu located at the top left in iTunes and then click on the tab Store, up. In this way you will find yourself in the presence of the highlighted contents and you will be able to browse the entire vast catalog of the service (with New music, Special price album, Compilation etc. and a side menu for the choice of musical genres).

Prices for content available on the iTunes Store range from 1,29 € for single pieces of music ai 4,99 € and beyond for full albums. You can listen to a brief preview of the contents before purchasing them, by pausing with the mouse pointer on them title e premendo sul pulsating (▶ ︎) that appears.

To complete the purchase, of course, you will need to log in with yours Apple ID or create a new one by following the instructions on the screen (then associating it with a valid payment method, such as a credit / debit card). Once purchased, the songs all end up in the software library and can be used freely, as they are not protected by DRM.

Movies and other media, on the other hand, are DRM protected - to find out more, you can take a look at my tutorial on renting movies on iTunes.

How iTunes Match works

If streaming services like Apple Music aren't for you but you don't want to give up the ability to sync your favorite music across all devices, you can think about activating a subscription to iTunes Match.

iTunes Match is a service that for 24,99 euros / year (therefore a quarter of the price of Apple Music) allows you to upload your songs to the cloud and have them synchronized on up to 10 devices.

The songs are DRM-free, but to download them you need to use iTunes on Windows or the Music application on Apple devices, connecting with your ID. Also there is a limit of 100.000 tracks that you can have in your library.

To activate iTunes Match, you need to go to the section Music iTunes, then in the tab Store, scroll the screen to the bottom and click on the item iTunes Match. More info here.

How iTunes works with photos, videos, and podcasts

While music remains iTunes' core business, Apple's multimedia software actually lets you manage it too film (and more generally video), podcast, books e photo.

Regarding, film, podcast e books, all you have to do is follow directions similar to those I gave you for music: the steps to be taken are almost identical, both to add the contents in the library and to purchase them through the internal store.

Regarding photo, however, these cannot be managed either by iTunes, but it is only possible to synchronize them on the iPhone / iPad / iPod by following the instructions that you can find in the dedicated chapter of this guide.

Finally, data such as contacts e Calendar are synced to your computer via the iCloud client).

How iTunes works with iPhone, iPad and iPod

Many users start using iTunes only because it is the software that allows you to manage iPhone, iPad e iPod from the computer. So let's see how to make use of this possibility too.

To connect your Apple portable device to iTunes, physically connect it to your computer via the cable Supplied. If this is your first time connecting, answer affirmatively to the authorization request that appears on both devices and then type the unlock code see iPhone / iPad / iPod touch.

Once this is done, you can start managing your device by clicking on its icon pop-up at the top left of the iTunes window. You will then have access to a screen with, on the left, a menu to manage all the contents of the device and, on the right, all the options available to you.

In the Riepilogo find information about the device and the buttons to update iOS, backup and restore data. Furthermore, in the box dedicated to options (below) there are boxes for sync via Wi-Fi e manually manage music and videos: I recommend that you activate both. By doing this you will be able to synchronize your device with the computer without physically connecting it to the same (as long as they are both connected to the same Wi-Fi network) and you will be able to copy music, videos and other contents to the iPhone / iPad / iPod without synchronizing them with the library of iTunes.

What is the difference between simply copying music, videos, etc. on a device and synchronize the device with the iTunes library? It seems quite obvious to me: in the first case, you simply copy files to the device connected to the computer, and then have the possibility to manage them as you prefer; in the second case, however, the iTunes library is copied entirely or partially (e.g. only some albums or playlists) to the iPhone with a reciprocal relationship, according to which all changes applied to the library are automatically reported also on the iPhone / iPad / iPod connected to the computer (and vice versa).

To copy files to iPhone / iPad / iPod without syncing iTunes library, you need to select a content category (ex. Music o Videos) from the section On the device, in the iTunes sidebar, and then drag the files of your interest into the program window.

To synchronize the iTunes library with your mobile device, however, you must select a content category (eg. Music, Videos o Gallery) from the section Settings, in the iTunes sidebar, you must check the boxes relating to the contents to be synchronized (you can choose whether to synchronize the entire library or individual items) and click on the buttons Apply e end, bottom right.

For more information, I refer you to my tutorials on how to copy music to iPhone, iPad and iPod; how to copy videos to iPhone and iPad; how to copy photos to iPhone and iPad; how to insert ringtones on iPhone and how to transfer files from PC to iPhone (in which I explained how to copy files in third-party apps as well).

Please note: if you have activated the iCloud Music Library and / or iCloud Photos on your device, you will not be able to manually copy or synchronize the contents between your phone and iTunes. You will need to copy the content of your interest to the cloud library.

How iTunes works on Mac

I use a Mac? In this case, there are important distinctions to be made based on the version of macOS installed on the latter. If you are using a version of macOS equal to or lower than 10.14 Mojave, you find iTunes pre-installed and you can use it following the same instructions seen in the previous chapters dedicated to Windows.

If, on the other hand, you are using macOS 10.15 Catalina or later, you should know that iTunes is no longer included by default in the operating system, nor can it be installed. It has been "broken down" and replaced by other applications.

  • You can use the application to manage your music library and access Apple Music Music (the one with the musical note icon). Its interface is practically identical to that of iTunes, so you can use it without problems following the directions I gave you earlier.
  • To manage iPhone, iPad and iPod from your computer you need to use the Finder (the smiling face icon located on the Dock bar), by selecting the device icon from the left sidebar. The operation is similar to that of iTunes, but the menus to access the sections dedicated to music, movies, etc. they stand high instead of to the side.

  • To manage videos, podcasts, books and photos you need to use applications TV (which also allows you to access the video streaming service Apple TV +), , Books e Gallery.

Thankfully it's all very intuitive, so you shouldn't have any difficulty using these solutions as well.

How iTunes works

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