iTunes was introduced to the world on January 9, 2001 and has seen many innovations over the past sixteen years.

iTunes in 2004:

📸 MacWorld

iTunes has come a very long way in its innovation of how we interact with, not only our music, but movies, TV, apps, and much more. Today, iTunes is a Mac user’s comprehensive media management tool with fully integrated front- and backend systems to pull everything together. What I’d like to do today is break down the interface of iTunes on macOS, Apple’s latest operating system. Let’s have a look.

iTunes Controls

iTunes Store Homepage

When you launch the iTunes app on macOS, you see a window similar to this. As of this writing, some featured artists shown above are:

  • Bryson Tiller
  • Sigrid
  • Sean Combs
  • and more.

In iTunes, you can keep up-to-date with the hottest new artists, albums, and tracks and purchase them to be downloaded to your Mac, PC, iPhone or iPad, and also listen to them on your Apple TV.

iTunes Album Page

Here you see a new Harry Styles album with each song listed, giving you the ability to sample a 30-second clip and purchase each song individually, or purchase the whole album.

Each song is numbered and you can hover your cursor over the number identifying the song you want to sample, and the number transforms into a “play” button. Click there and enjoy the 30-second sample. On the far other side, to the right of the song title, artist, time, and popularity, you’ll see a price (typically $0.99 or $1.29).

If you choose to purchase individual song(s) as opposed to the whole album, you can click that price button and it will reveal a pop-up dialog box asking to enter your AppleID and password and confirm your decision to purchase.

If you want to purchase the entire album, you’ll find the BUY button below the album image in the upper left corner of the album’s page. Click that and you’ll see a similar dialog box used to confirm your purchase. If your children are purchasing an item and you are designated to approve those purchases, you’ll receive a notification just as we talked about in my last post about iCloud Photo Sharing.

Movies Homepage

John Wick, Captain Phillips, and Logan are three incredible guys, but also incredible movies! On the iTunes Movies homepage, you’ll see that these are three of the featured films available for you to purchase (or rent).

📸 Apple

Just like with purchasing music that we just discussed, you’ll see similar options for movies. You have the option to PREVIEW (or watch the trailer), BUY, or RENT. You can add any movie to a built-in Wish List, as well.

  • When you BUY a movie, it is downloaded to your AppleID account and this allows you to access it anytime, on any device (device must be logged in with the AppleID used to purchase the movie) for the rest of your life. 🙂
  • When you RENT a movie, you have the option to stream or download the rental. Once you click the RENT button, you have 30 days to START watching a movie after renting. Once you’ve started watching, you have 24 hours from the start time to finish it. You can watch the movie as much you’d like within that 30-day period. The movies you rent through iTunes will disappear from your library (or TV app on Apple TV) once the rental period expires.

TV Shows Homepage

iTunes TV Shows can be purchased or rented in iTunes Store.

TV Shows on iTunes are changing the way we watch television. We have not yet reached the day where you only pay for what you watch but I do believe we are pretty close to seeing that dream become a reality. Until then, the best thing in my opinion is iTunes TV Shows.

You have FIVE options for purchasing television content via iTunes:

  • Purchase ONE EPISODE
    • If there is a specific episode of a particular show you would like to purchase, you can search and find that episode, buy it, and it will download to your iTunes library.*
  • Purchase ALL AVAILABLE EPISODES
    • This option gives you the opportunity to find a particular season of a show you like and download all available (AIRED) episodes. Please note that if you choose this option, you will have to purchase any additional episodes individually as they become available on iTunes.
  • Purchase a SEASON PASS
    • This is the more value-packed version of the previous option “ALL AVAILABLE EPISODES.” Not all television shows offer “Season Pass“, but if you find a show that is currently airing episodes within its latest season, you can purchase the SEASON PASS and get immediate access to all previously-aired episodes from that respective season. In addition, you will receive automatic downloads of any remaining future episodes in that season as they air.
  • Purchase a COMPLETE SEASON
    • Much like SEASON PASSES, but the only difference is that you are purchasing the entire season of a show in which all episodes for that particular season have previously aired.
  • Purchase a MULTI-PASS
    • For programs that are not like your traditional “seasons,” you can purchase a MULTI-PASS. The most recent available episodes are available for immediate download and future episodes will download as they become available. Examples of this are news programs.

You can purchase entire seasons of past and future TV shows, and be notified of new episodes when they air!

*Please note that it’s often a better value to purchase a entire season as opposed to a few individual episodes.

Podcasts Homepage

Podcasts are a growing industry and an innovative channel for communicators, all available on iTunes!

Podcasts are what I like to call the next generation of what we know now as radio. Podcasting, however, comes in many forms, two of which are audio and video (vodcast). iTunes has you covered in this area as well, with a seemingly unending variety of anything you can think of.

Check out specific podcasts on topics that interest you and subscribe to them easily using iTunes!

Audiobooks Homepage

Don't have time to read? Check out the iTunes Store and see all the great releases available to purchase!

As we increasingly become more and more mobile in our daily lives, the desire to lug around a book everywhere is less and less appealing. I mean, why worry about keeping up with one book when you can have thousands of eBooks and audiobooks right on your iPhone or iPad? Currently, Apple has separated their iBooks and iTunes platforms, so you can’t get eBooks on iTunes. Audiobooks are a different story (no pun intended). 😛

Purchase audiobooks directly through iTunes and listen to them on any of your Apple devices!

iTunes U Homepage

Did you know that you can get textbooks, many of which are FREE, in iTunes using "iTunes U?"

iTunes U delivers educational content such as lectures, courses, and tutorials right through iTunes. As seen below, you can find materials to help you with math and many other subjects.

Need help with your math homework? iTunes U (via iTunes) has many free educational curriculum and lessons that you can download to help with your studies!

Apps Homepage

Just like the App Store on your iPhone and iPad, iTunes has an App Store on your Mac that will download apps directly from your computer to your iOS device!

Here on the Apps homepage, you can find, well, apps for your iPhone and iPad. Much like the App Store on your iOS devices, but with a much easier user interface, you can find apps for your iPhone and iPad and download them via your computer and they will automatically be downloaded to your phone.

You can download Instagram for your iPhone directly from your Mac using iTunes!

That about covers it. iTunes is very straightforward but if you have any questions, feel free to let me know!

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