Posted by Kevin Walli on Fri, Jul 05, 2013 @ 01:05 PM
Ten years ago iTunes came into the picture and music retailing has never been the same. iTunes started with 200,000 tracks available for download when it began in 2003. Today, over 26 million songs are available along with numerous apps, videos, movies and books. Over one billion songs have been purchased from the iTunes store and 50 billion apps have been downloaded for use on IOS devices (iPhones, iPods and iPads).
How did iTunes grow to be the dominant player in music and entertainment? iTunes success comes from the same vision that led Apple, their parent corporation. Steve Jobs saw Apple as the "digital hub" in every household. Using Mac computers, iPhones, Apple TV and iTunes every user could sync music, calendars, movies, TV shows, books, contacts and apps into a seamless experience that everyone could easily master. The center of this strategy is the use of iTunes to categorize and distribute music, phone contacts, apps and calendars and update on all devices.
Jobs’ vision contributed to how iTunes was marketed. iTunes stands out because it is interactive and user friendly. Ease of use is important to consumers and iTunes cards are easy to buy and downloads are easy (and affordable) to buy. Most importantly, iTunes give listeners more control which has translated into incredible brand loyalty. Of U.S. consumers who purchase downloaded music, 80 percent do so via iTunes.
In honor of iTunes’ 10 years of phenomenal growth, we thought we’d share some tips on a few features that are not well known but very useful for the average computer user.
On the iTunes home page under the Music tab there is a button on the top right for radio. Using the radio button you can access almost 2000 radio stations. If you like NPR they have dozens of NPR stations from around the country. If you want to listen to the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game live, you can tune to KMOX and get the broadcast. Radio has R & B, country, talk, 80s rock, alternative, blues, oldies, religious formats and more. Some of the internet radio stations are commercial free while the commercial radio stations have the advertising included. It is all there and it's free.
Podcasts are another way to get a large amount of cool topics at your fingertips and iTunes has them. You can subscribe to podcasts for golf, gardening, Photoshop, auto mechanics, whatever your interest is. Since these are video tutorials it is best viewed on a computer screen or on an iPad and you may want to be on WiFi since these can use a lot of your data plan or take storage on your device if you download them. Podcasts are free and the sky is the limit as far as what is available to you.
Ever dream of going to Yale University? iTunes recently launched a new feature called iTunes U. This service allows you to listen or view university lectures from the some of the world's finest colleges and universities. This service was created to distribute and manage lectures to make it more accessible to the public. The course with the most views currently is European Civilization 1648-1945. My personal favorite is The Masters of Photography from the National Geographic. With iTunes U, you can now attend great lectures from the comfort of your home.
Better known are the offerings of music, television, movies and books. If you happen to miss an episode of your favorite TV show you can buy it on iTunes and download it to your account. You can also subscribe to entire seasons of network TV and have a whole season of Game of Thrones on your iPad. Currently iTunes has 550 TV shows that can be downloaded and viewed.
iTunes is the center of the universe for apps regarding iPhones, iPads and iPods. Many apps have had millions of downloads such as Pandora, Facebook, Angry Birds, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and MLB.com. Most apps are free and can be used on all IOS devices if you happen to own multiple devices.
If you have a large collection of music CDs you can insert them into your computer and download them into your iTunes library. When you have collected a large number of songs you can design your own playlists for different occasions. Need something fast and loud for the gym? Make a workout playlist and select that on your device when you are on the treadmill (just remember not to sing out loud). Under the advanced menu you can download album art to show what you are playing on your device. The iCloud feature in iTunes will automatically download your new purchases to all of your IOS devices and computers.
iTunes has had a major impact on the music industry and our entertainment lives over the past 10 years. Tell us about your iTunes experience and let us know if you have tips to share.