iTunes 3: The CD and MP3 Jukebox

iTunes, in your Applications folder, is the ultimate software jukebox (Figure 10-4). It can play music CDs, tune in to Internet radio stations, load up your iPod music player, and play back MP3 files (sound files in a popular format that stores CD-quality music in remarkably small files) and other popular audio formats. It can also turn selected tracks from your music CDs into MP3 files, so that you can store favorite songs on your hard drive to play back anytime—without having to dig up the original CDs. In fact, iTunes can even load your MP3 files onto certain portable MP3 players. And if your Mac can burn CDs, iTunes even lets you burn your own custom audio CDs that contain only the good songs.

The Shuffle button plays the selected songs in a random order, so that you don’t have to listen to them in the same order every time. The Loop button behaves like the one on a CD player: When you click it, your playlist plays to the end and then repeats. If you see a tiny digit 1 superimposed on this button, the current song, not the whole playlist, will loop.

Figure 10-4. The Shuffle button plays the selected songs in a random order, so that you don’t have to listen to them in the same order every time. The Loop button behaves like the one on a CD player: When you click it, your playlist plays to the end and then repeats. If you see a tiny digit 1 superimposed on this button, the current song, not the whole playlist, will loop.

iTunes can also burn MP3 CDs: music CDs that fit much more than the usual 74 minutes of music onto a disc (because they store songs in MP3 format instead of AIFF). Not all CD players can play MP3 discs, however, and the sound quality is slightly lower than that of standard CDs.

The first time ...

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