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The iTunes Store

Hi! We’re back at the iTunes Store. I wanted to make another visit and take a closer look at the various features the store has to offer. I’m not talking about music, videos, movies or podcasts. I’m talking about how to navigate around the store and the different categories and sections that are available. I don’t really need to buy anything today, but who knows, I may find something I want. I often find my want list is much longer than my need list. However, I do have a birthday coming up so I justify that adding to my want list is okay!

When I opened the store from my iTunes Library, the first page had a marquee at the top that kept rotating through different ads for music and movies and television shows – each picture ad was a clickable link.

Below the marquee, there were six sections listed down the middle of the page.

1. New Releases
2. Just for You
3. What’s Hot
4. Staff Favorites
5. Free on iTunes
6. Indies

I was really interested in the “Just for You” section. The picks were based on my previous buys. If you remember, and if you don’t I’ll remind you, last week I used an iTunes gift card and bought the new CD by The Click Five, Modern Minds and Pastimes, along with the single “Voices Carry” by both ‘Til Tuesday and The Click Five. The section that was created just for me in the iTunes Store kept these purchases in mind and recommended music based on what might be of interest to me. Some of the picks were direct hits and some of the others were really off the wall. I find the same thing when I look at the recommendations that are made for me on Amazon.com.

I decided to explore some more and listen to some of the picks that were unfamiliar to me. Color me orange for “Duh”! It took me several minutes to figure out that all I needed to do was click on the song to get a 30-second preview. I was looking for something that said “Listen” or a little audio icon. The 30-second previews were perfect and gave me a quick idea of what I would and would not like to buy.

Next, I took a quick preview of the other information boxes that were on the page. They included:

• iTunes Store
• Top Movies
• Top TV Episodes
• Top Music Videos
• Quick Links
• Top Songs
• Top Albums
• Top Audiobooks
• Today’s Top Podcasts

In the iTunes Store section there’s a list of different media such as podcasts, music, videos and movies. I’m really impressed with how inclusive the iTunes website is. When I visited each section, a new page came up with other information boxes. Wow! I’m not a big website designer, but I appreciate the time and skill it took to build this site.

The “Quick Links” section is a listing of “housekeeping” type of stuff. You can go to your account, buy gifts, redeem gift cards and check out any alerts. Alerts are just little recommendations of things you might be interested in based on what you bought, sort of like the “Just for You” section.

There are two new links in the “Quick Links” section that I explored. One of the links I really took some time reviewing, the other I will save for another article.

“Complete My Album” is a nice feature. I bought two singles from two different albums last week and this feature gave me the choice of buying the rest of the tracks to complete the CDs for a discounted price.

There is also another feature, “iTunes Plus”, that I’m going to save for my next article. I really want to review this section and get a better feel for exactly what it is all about and what it has to offer.

One of the last things I want to write about in this series on the iTunes Store is overall browsing and searching for media and particular artists.

Right now, I have to go buy something! One of my alerts recommended Jude Cole and I forgot how much I liked him. I think I really need some new music today.

Have a great week!
Chel






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