Chapter 11. Organize and Sync Media Files with iTunes

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With iTunes, you get a program that does many things. It serves as a database for all the audio, video, book, and podcast files in your media library. It converts tracks from compact discs into digital files for iPads, iPods, and iPhones. And it even has its own online mall that you can pop into any time of day or night to buy the latest Stephen King audiobook, grab a copy of the new U2 album, or rent a digital download of Julie & Julia for the evening.

Another cool feature of iTunes? It syncs any or all of the items in its library to your iPad. You may have already dabbled in a bit of this in Chapter 7 with the iTunes App Store, or in Chapter 8 when you read up on the iBookstore. This chapter, though, focuses on the basics of iTunes: downloading iTunes Store purchases to your computer—and then getting what you want over to your iPad. (For more on mastering the art of iTunes, see Chapter 12.)

So if you’re thinking of syncing, flip the page.

The iTunes Window

iTunes is your iPad’s best friend. You can do just about everything with your digital music here—convert songs on a CD into iPad-ready music files, buy music, listen to Internet radio stations, watch video—and more.

Here’s a quick tour of the main iTunes window and what all the buttons, controls, and sliders do.

The light-blue Source panel on the left side of iTunes ...

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