Guest Author - Michelle Anne Cope
My gut reaction was to write an article comparing the pros and cons of Napster versus iTunes. I canít. It wouldnít be fair. I started using Napster and the Napster to Go service after receiving my first MP3 player Ė it was a Christmas present last year (2006). I was starting from scratch in the area of digital music and file downloads and I bought a Napster card at Kroger. Iím a sucker for those things you can get while you're in the check-out lines. Now, I love Napster, itís easy to use, and it was the first digital file service I researched and learned to navigate. So, itís sort of like the whole first love of your life syndrome for me. But, Iím willing to play the field a little when it comes to music services.
One day, I met iTunes.
I became editor of this site in the early summer and my best friend bought me an early birthday present Ė a green iPod Shuffle. My husband threw in a gift card and I was set to embark on a new technology relationship. Youíve been with me the past few weeks as I opened my Shuffle, charged it, downloaded my entire CD collection and finally built a play list. Together, weíve toured the store, made purchases of single songs and full albums. I clicked on links, read info boxes, and set up preferences. Today, I want to learn how to find music in my iTunes Library and find music to buy in the iTunes Store.
iTunes Library Search
I found this feature by accident. I actually thought that the little box at the top right was for the store. I thought it was neat that I didnít even have to go into the store to look for what I wanted. Now, Iím glad thatís not the case. At this point and time, I have 699 songs in my library. Now, I know thatís not a lot, but when I want to make a mad dash for that Clay Aiken song Iíve just got to hear right now, or I want someone to hear The Click Five for themselves, this feature is priceless.
The search box is at the top of the page, on the right; it has a little magnifying glass symbol to the left side of the box. Just type in the artist, the album, or the song you want, and like magic, it takes you to what youíre looking for. If you have songs or albums that have the same or similar titles, it will list all of them so you can choose the one you want.
iTunes Store Search
In the iTunes Store, the box is located in the same place. I found this to be a little trickier. You can find songs, artists, and albums using the same method as if you were looking at your own library. However, I wanted to see if there was a way that I could find music I didnít even know about. Iím also the Pop Music Editor for BellaOnline.com and I love to discover new artists and bands. I went back to the homepage of the store and found the browse and power search links. The browse feature gave me a screen that listed the categories of charts, audiobooks, movies, music, music videos, podcasts, and TV shows. Click on any of these and you can get a plethora (I love that word) of new categories and genres.
The power search feature lets you be very specific about your search. You can choose to fill in any or all of the boxes. The list includes: artist, composer, song, album, and you have a dropdown box to choose the genre.
I like iTunes. As I mentioned to you in an earlier article, I have one more section to review which is the iTunes Plus section. I just need to do a little more research and Iíll be set to write about it.
Have a great weekend!