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Comprehensive Guide to iTunes

iTunes is the ultimate organizer for various types of media. It allows you to play music and movies right there from your computer or sync the media to another device (such as a phone, tablet or iPod shuffle). You can search for what you want, download it and sync it to your player all within a few moments.

Note: This article is updated for the use of iTunes 12.5.1

Update iTunes

If you have iTunes installed on your computer but it isn’t the most recent version, updating it may improve the way it functions. This video tutorial walks you through the process of updating iTunes on either a Windows PC or a Mac computer.


When you open iTunes without any devices connected to the computer, you will usually land in your iTunes library. This includes media that you have collected in iTunes via the iTunes store or otherwise. The user must set up an Apple ID account to purchase media through iTunes. The Library includes music, movies, podcasts, etc.. and you can change which types of media are view-able at one time.

There are a variety of icons shown on the left sidebar. These will sort the music in iTunes depending on what options you choose. All of these categories are designed to help you find what you’re looking for.

Recently Added:Sorts music by when you added it to iTunes. It separated by “Today”, “This Month”, “The Past 3 Months”, etc…

Artists:Sorts music alphabetically by artist. All albums and songs by that artist are listed together.

Albums:Sorts music by name of album. All songs in the album are listed. If the song does not have an album it will be titled under “Unknown Album”.

Songs:Lists every song file. This can be sorted by many options by right clicking on the top bar (as as shown in the video) and clicking the category you want to be sorted.

Genres:Sorts the music by genre.

On the left sidebar, you can also see all the playlists you’ve made. A playlist is a collection of songs you can customize and group together to listen to after another. This is useful if you’re burning a CD or if you want to add a pre-made playlist to your device later.

If you want to change the type of media you are viewing, you can switch that by going to the drop down bar on the top left. You can choose from Music, Movies, TV Shows and Podcasts. If there is another mode of media you would like to view, click on “Edit Menu” to customize your options.

Finding Music

There are a few options for searching music with iTunes.

For You: includes suggestions based on what your past preferences have been. You don’t need to pay for each song you listen to, but a monthly fee is required for an Apple Music account (this is different from an iTunes account and is not required to use iTunes).

Browse:Here you can browse different songs available in iTunes. This is a good way to keep up with what’s new.

Radio:You can stream music stations and news.

Store:This is where you are able to purchase songs through iTunes. Once purcahsed they will be ready to sync to your device.

You can add new music to your library by clicking on the iTunes store and searching for the song(s) you would like to purchase. You can set up your iTunes account to be connected to your payment information. Once your account is set up properly, it’s easy to purchase songs directly from iTunes.

There are a huge variety of artists that sell their music on iTunes. There probably aren’t very many songs or albums you won’t be able to find, unless your artist of choice isn’t yet established. When it comes to viewing media on your device, you don’t have to worry about a lack of choices. iTunes has more than 85,000 movies and over 300,000 TV shows. You can also add media to iTunes by uploading files from a CD or a USB if the files are in the correct format.

Connecting a Device

It’s simple to add media to your device from your iTunes library. If you connect the player to the computer with a USB cable, it will show up on iTunes (on the left sidebar). You can then see what music is already on the player. To add music from the library to the device, go to the library tab and simply drag and drop the songs, movies or podcasts to your device on the left side of the sidebar.

Help Video Library

Download /Install on Computer

Update iTunes

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