iTunes, in your Applications folder, is the ultimate software jukebox (Figure 12-5). It can play music CDs; tune in to Internet radio stations; load up your iPod, iPhone, or iPad; and play digital sound files (including the Internet’s favorite format, MP3 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 originals.
Figure 12-5. Tip: The Music button is a pop-up menu. From it, you can jump to the lists of Movies, Music, TV Shows, and other categories on your Mac. You can also view the lists of stuff you’ve bought. The playback and volume controls are at the top-left corner. At upper-right: a search box that lets you pluck one track out of a haystack.
iTunes also lets you record your own custom audio CDs that contain only the good songs. Finally, of course, iTunes is the shop window for the online iTunes Store, which sells music, TV shows, movies, and iPhone/iPad apps.
The following pages present a mini-manual on iTunes. For the full scoop, plus coverage of the iPod and the iTunes Store, consult iPod: The Missing Manual.
The first thing to understand is that iTunes is three apps in one. It’s designed to be the viewer for all the music, videos, apps, and ebooks in three places: (1) on your computer, ...