Working With iTunes

Over the past several years many have told me they are confused with iTunes; most of them are non-Macintosh users. So I decide to write this post in hope of giving, the many whom I have yet to speak to about this topic, some guidance.

To understand how to work with iTunes you will first need to understand the terminologies associate with iTunes.


The music management application installed on your computer is called “iTunes“. Within the application you have access to the “iTunes Store“, where you can purchase apps for iOS devices, and depending on the country you live in, you may be able to purchase music tracks, rent or purchase movies and TV shows.

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Apple’s iTunes Related “Unforgettable” Announcement [Updated]

Apple posted a teaser message onto their web site and in iTunes Store about an announcement to be revealed Tuesday, November 16 (07:00 PDT US).

Apple in the past never puts such announcements in their iTunes Stores, the current message only appears in iTunes Stores that have a music component (ie. USA, UK, Japan, Australia, etc.). One can therefore speculate that this announcement has to do with iTunes, iTunes Store or music.

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New Elements of iTunes 10

Here are several aesthetic changes and new functionality in the latest version of iTunes application.

The first thing you will notice with this latest version of iTunes is that the icons on the left panel has all lost their 3D/colour effects. Many critics have complain that the change is ugly, this may be true, but I think the new design places the focus back on to the content: music tracks, videos, apps and the iTunes Store.

The problem seem to be the inconsistent applications of these 3D effects. Some controls have gain the latest Apple aluminum hardware look but others has the Aperture styling. These inconsistencies make the application feel unfinished, and continues the theory that iTunes is Apple’s platform for experimenting with OS X UI designs.

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iTunes: Your Credit Card Was Declined Issue [Updated]

Not sure if it was a coincident or not, but many people who has an iTunes Store US account had encountered the “Your credit card was declined. Please enter valid credit card information” issue shortly before the launch of iTunes 10. I personally encountered this problem several hours after I began using iTunes 10.

It began when I tried to upgrade an app within iTunes. I am presented with the following message in a dialog asking me to enter my iTunes Store credentials.
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Battle of the Online Music Stores

Yesterday Apple launched 4 more “localized” version of its ever popular iTunes Music Store in the nordic countries: Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the neutral country Switzerland.

Today Yahoo officially “soft” launch; since it still have the “Beta” lable, its music subscription service, ” Yahoo Music Unlimited”.

Unlike Apple’s offering, Yahoo’s new sevice is subscription based like those from its competitors: Napster’s “NapsterToGo” service and RealNetworks’s “RealRhapsody” service. Also like its competitors, it requires Microsoft Windows’ proprietary technology to play these tracks from the service, and the Windows OS platform to use its client software.

Where as Apple’s offering is open (some what), at least its client application is available on both Windows OS and Macintosh OS platforms. Tracks purchased from iTunes Music Store are playable on the dominant portable music player, iPod. This is due to the embedded DRM (Digital Rights Management) system.

It looks like Micrsoft may be doing it again. Getting content providers: Napster, RealNetworks, AOL and now Yahoo, plus the numerous hardware manufactures: Creative Labs, Dell, iRiver, to use its Windows DRM system.

Not that Apple is giving away its DRM software but Microsoft’s approach is try to force its technology onto everyone else. Instead of Apple’s approach of adopting or convicing the Standards bodies to adopt its technology as the official standard.

There’s really no need to say which way I think is the right way. Although, Apple had done this before with Macintosh OS and now it owns only 3% of the personal computer market.

Therefore, it is worrysome to me; and should be to all consumers, that manufactures and software developers are continuing to focus on revenue and profit rather than devloping Standards to move technologies forward. The ones that will lose in the end are us, consumers of technology and the services they deliver.

Someone please do the right thing.