With version 4.0 of iTunes, Apple introduced the amazing Music Store. This is an online source of hundreds of thousands of songs and albums you can search and browse for music in which you are interested. When you find music you want to add to your Library, you can purchase that music and download it with a couple of mouse clicks. Because you access the Music Store from within iTunes, it is very convenient to use. And because songs are only 99¢ (and sometimes even less when you purchase albums), adding music from the Music Store is an economical way to build your Library.
What's the Catch?
Because of copyright concerns, there are some limitations on the music you purchase from the Music Store. Fortunately, these limitations aren't likely to ever be noticeable to you. The only two meaningful restrictions are the following.
You can play music you purchase on only three Macs at the same time. The Mac on which you play music from the Music Store must be authorized to play it; this is done by configuring a Mac with a Music Store account. You can deauthorize a Mac when you want to use the music on a different machine, sell it, and so on so it doesn't count against the three-Mac limitation.
You can burn the same playlist that contains music you have purchased from the Apple Music Store onto only 10 CDs. However, you can always change the playlist and burn it onto additional discs or add a song to a different playlist to put it onto a CD.
Two sources appear in the Source pane related to the Music Store. One is the Music Store itself. When you click this source, the Music Store appears inside the Content pane. The other is the Purchased Music playlist; all the music you download is added to this playlist so you can easily see the music you have purchased (it is also added to your Library).
If you use the Shopping Cart preference (explained later in this chapter), the Music Store source contains the Shopping Cart and the Purchased Music playlist.
All music in the Music Store is in the AAC format, which means standard MP3 players won't be capable of playing that music. However, the Apple iPod can play AAC music, and putting your music on an iPod does not count against the three-Mac limit.
To purchase music from the Apple Store, you need to configure an account on it. If you already have an account at the Apple Store (via its Web site), you already have an account for the Music Store because they use the same account. If not, you must obtain an Apple Store account.
It is probably clear already, but to use the iTunes Music Store, your Mac must be capable of connecting to the Internet.
You don't have to have an account to browse and search the Apple Music Store, so you can check it out before you bother creating an account.
To sign in to an existing account or create a new one, use the following steps:
Click the Music Store source in the Source pane. The Music Store fills the Contents pane (see Figure 16.10).
Click the Sign In button in the upper-right corner of the Music Store window to see the Sign In account dialog box. This dialog box presents two options. In the upper part of the dialog box, you can click the Create Account button to create a new account. In the lower part of the dialog box, you can enter your existing Apple ID and password to sign in to your current account.
If you need to create an account, click the Create Account button and follow the onscreen instructions to do so.
If you need to sign in to your existing account, enter your Apple ID and password and click Sign In.
After you have signed in to your account, your Apple ID appears in the Account box to show you the account to which you are currently logged in. When you see this information, you are ready to shop.
Following are the two ways you can make purchases from the Apple Music Store:
With the 1-Click method, you select and purchase songs or albums with a single mouse click (thus, the method's name) and they are immediately downloaded to your Mac. This method is designed for people who use a fast Internet connection, such as DSL or a cable modem.
With the Shopping Cart method, you select songs and albums and they are added to your shopping cart. When you are ready to purchase that music, you check out of the store and all the music in your cart is downloaded to your Mac at the same time. This method is designed for slow Internet connections because downloading music inhibits shopping for other music at the same time. If you prefer to be able to select music and think about it before purchasing it, this can also be a useful option.
You can configure your shopping preferences on the Store pane of the iTunes Preferences dialog box:
Open the iTunes Preferences dialog box and click the Store button. The Store preferences appear (see Figure 16.11).
To disable the Music Store, uncheck the Show iTunes Music Store check box. If you do this, the Music Store source does not appear in the Source pane and you can't access the store. If you select this option, you are missing out on some good stuff.
To use the 1-Click shopping method, click the "Buy and download using 1-Click" radio button; to use the Shopping Cart method, click the "Buy using a Shopping Cart" radio button.
If you want songs to play immediately after you download them from the store, check the "Play songs after downloading" check box.
If you use a slow Internet connection, check the "Load complete preview before playing" check box. You can listen to a 30-second preview of the songs available in the iTunes Music Store. This enables you to check out music before you decide to buy it. If you check this box, the preview is downloaded to your Mac before it begins to play. This option is useful when you use a slow Internet connection because the preview plays smoothly if it has been downloaded to your Mac, whereas it might not if you try to listen to it while it is being downloaded.
Click OK to set your preferences.
The Music Store works just like most other Web sites you have seen. You click links, make choices on pop-up menus, and search to move around. You can search for music, browse genres, and so on to find music in which you are interested. When it comes to the Music Store, if you can see it, you can probably click it to move to some music.
To search for music in the iTunes Music Store do the following steps:
Select the Music Store source. The Music Store fills the Content pane.
Click the Magnifying Glass icon in the Search Music Store box.
On the resulting pop-up menu, select the criteria by which you want to search, such as All (to search all fields), Artist (to search for a specific artist), and so on.
If you select Power Search, the Music Store is replaced by an advanced search window that enables you to perform very precise searches.
Type the text for which you want to search in the Search field. As you type, the music that meets your criteria is shown in the Contents pane (see Figure 16.12). At the top of the Contents pane are albums that correspond to the search, top songs related to the search, and top artists related to the search. In the lower part of the pane are the songs that meet the criteria you entered.
Double-click a song to listen to a preview.
You can also browse the store by clicking the links that appear at the top of Content pane. For example, click the House button to move back to the Music Store home page. As you view specific content, a hierarchical list appears; you can click any of the links in this list to move to that location, such as all the music by an artist. You can view album covers to see a list of their contents. You can also click song names in "top" lists to see albums that contain those songs.
When you find music you want to buy, how you buy it depends on the method you use.
To buy music with the 1-Click method, simply click the Buy Album button next to an album you want to buy or the Buy Song button to buy that song. The album or song is immediately purchased, downloaded to your Mac, and added to your Library.
To buy music using the Shopping Cart method, use the following steps:
Click the Add button next to the song or album you want to buy. The song or album you selected is added to your Shopping Cart.
Continue adding songs or albums to the Shopping Cart.
When you are ready to purchase the music, click the Buy Now button. All the music in the Shopping Cart is purchased and downloaded to your Library.
After you have purchased music, Apple sends you a receipt via email (the receipt contains information about purchases you made in a certain period of time rather than listing only individual purchases).
After you purchase music, it is just like any other music in your Library (with the restrictions listed earlier in this section).
Click the Purchased Music playlist to see and listen to the music you have purchased. Of course, you can browse and search in your Library to work with your purchased music. Here are some other points about the Music Store to consider:
You can move songs you purchased to other Macs by copying them across a network, putting them on a CD, and so on. After you have moved the music to the next Mac, you can add it to the Library using the Add to Library command. However, to play purchased music on a different Mac, you must authorize that Mac (see the next section for more information). You can authorize music on up to three Macs at the same time.
If a download is interrupted before all the music has been downloaded to your Mac, select Advanced, Check for Purchased Music. This enables you to recover any music you have purchased but have not downloaded.
You can download music only one time! This means that, if something happens to the Mac on which your purchased music is stored, you can't download it again without paying for it again. You should always back up your purchased music on a DVD, a CD, or another Mac.
To play music from the iTunes Music Store on a Mac, that Mac must be authorized to play it. This happens when you sign in to your Music Store account.
If you want to deauthorize a Mac so it doesn't count against the three-Mac limit, select Advanced, Deauthorize Computer. After you confirm your choice by entering your account name and password, that Mac is no longer capable of playing any music purchased from the Apple Music Store.
Music on Multiple Macs
If you have more than one Mac, you might want to install your music Library on each Mac so you can access it from that machine (if your Macs are connected over a network, you can share music from one machine to the others instead). To copy music from one Mac to another, put that music on a CD or DVD and copy it to each Mac. Or, you can use file sharing to copy the music files from one machine to another. Then, use the Add to Library command to add that music to the iTunes Library on the Mac.
You can replicate a music Library on another Mac, or for another user on the same Mac, by copying the iTunes folder in the Music folder under one user's Home folder and using it to replace another iTunes folder under a different user account. The Mac to which it is copied must also be authorized for it to play any music purchased from the Apple Store.