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iTunes and You

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This chapter is from the book

A high-performance automobile is little more than an interesting amalgam of metal and plastic if it's missing tires and fuel. Sure, given the proper slope (and, perhaps, a helpful tailwind), that car is capable of movement, but the resulting journey leaves much to be desired. So, too, the iPod is a less-capable music-making vehicle without Apple's music player/encoder, iTunes. The two—like coffee and cream, dill and pickle, and Fred and Ginger—were simply meant for each other.

To best understand what makes the iPod's world turn, you must be familiar with how it and iTunes work together to move music (and pictures, in the case of color iPods) on and off your iPod. In the following pages, you'll learn just that.

Ripping a CD

Apple intended the process of converting the music on an audio CD to computer data to be painless, and it is. Here's how to go about it:

  1. Launch iTunes.
  2. Insert an audio CD into your computer's CD or DVD drive. By default, iTunes will try to identify the CD you've inserted and log on to the Web to download the CD's song tracks—a very handy feature for those who find typing such minutia to be tedious. The CD appears in iTunes' Source list, and the tracks appear in the Song list to the right ( FIGURE 3.1 ).

    Figure 3.1 This album's song tracks were downloaded from the Web automatically by iTunes.

  3. To convert the audio tracks to a format compatible with your iPod—AAC, MP3, Apple Lossless, AIFF, or WAV—click the Import CD button in the top-right corner of the iTunes window. (To import only certain songs, choose Edit > Select None and then click the boxes next to the songs you want to import. Click the Import CD button to import just those selected songs.) iTunes begins encoding the files via the encoder chosen in the Importing tab of the Advanced pane of the iTunes Preferences window ( FIGURE 3.2 ). By default, iTunes imports songs in AAC format.

    Figure 3.2 iTunes' default file-encoding settings

  4. Click the Library button. You'll see the songs you just imported.
  5. To listen to a song, click its name in the list and then click the Play button or press the spacebar.

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