How to Use iTunes

iTunes is Apple’s free media software that allows users to sync media from their computers to their iPods, add media to their library and play music from their library through their computer speakers. iTunes is fun and easy to use, but as new features are added, beginners may need a little help getting started. With this guide, you’ll learn how to add media to your library, manage songs and create playlist.

You will need

  • Mac OS 10.2 or later
  • Windows XP or later
  • iTunes (free)
  • An Audio CD
  • Music files on your computer (optional)


Importing music from an audio CD

  1. Open iTunes by clicking on the icon; if it is the first time you’re launching it, an assistant will appear to help you set some basic preferences. Make your choices or leave them all to default and continue.
  2. Insert an audio CD into your computer.
  3. A dialogue box should appear asking if you would like to import the CD you have inserted. Click yes and continue. If the dialogue box does not appear, click the Import button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
  4. iTunes will now import your CD; once a song is completely imported, it should start playing. If you do not want it to play, click the Pause button in the upper left hand part of the window.
  5. You will hear the “Complete” sound when iTunes has finished importing your CD.
  6. Eject the CD by clicking the eject button next to the name of the CD in the Devices section of iTunes’ toolbar.
  7. Click on Music in the Library section of the sidebar to view the songs you’ve imported; they’re ready to be played.

Adding music from your computer

  1. Locate the folder containing the music files you want to add to your iTunes Library.
  2. Ensure iTunes is open.
  3. Click on File > Add Folder to Library.
  4. Find the folder in the browsing window that appears, and click OK.
  5. Wait for iTunes to finish importing the files.
  6. Check that only one copy is in your Library by clicking View > Show Duplicates. Ensure to leave at least one copy in the duplicate view when deleting duplicates; deleting everything in the duplicate view will erase all copies of those songs from your Library.

Using playlists

  1. To create a playlist click the + sign button in the bottom left hand corner of the window.
  2. By default, the new playlist will be called ‘untitled playlist’ and will appear at the bottom of the Playlists section.
  3. Give your playlist a name indicative of its use or contents, and then press Enter on your keyboard.
  4. To add music to the new playlist, select one or more songs in your Library and drag them to the playlist.
  5. Smart playlists allow you to specify rules for any playlist, so that songs matching these rules are automatically added to that playlist. To create a smart playlist, follow points 6 through 13.
  6. Select File > New Smart Playlist.
  7. There will be a drop down list set to default: ‘artists’. Choose any criteria you would like.
  8. In the next drop down list, choose the operator. The options available here will depend on what you’ve chosen in the first drop down list.
  9. The last section is a text field or a rating picker box. Here you choose what your previous selections must comply with.
  10. Add as many rules as you want by clicking the + sign button to the right.
  11. To limit the size of the playlist, check the first box and enter your maximum amount of songs; customise how the songs should be selected.
  12. Press OK.
  13. Name your playlist.

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