Many people who don’t even own an iPod enjoy using Apple’s iTunes software and Apple’s iTunes Music Store service. Some people use just the iTunes software. Others use both. No iPod required. Some people even use iPods who have never even visited Apple’s iTunes Music Store!
I get emails from MacDailyNews readers all the time. Here’s a conglomeration of paraphrases that explain how some people use iPods, iTunes, and/or the iTunes Music Store:
• I own an iPod and use iTunes, but not the iTunes Music Store. I have ripped all of my 600+ CDs using Apple’s iTunes software in the AAC format at 192 kbps. I hope to visit and use Apple’s iTunes Music Store soon, but I just haven’t gotten around to exploring that option, yet.
• I don’t own an iPod, but I use iTunes and the iTunes Music Store. I have purchased over 200 tracks from Apple’s iTunes Music Store, though! I listen to my music on my Mac at home and on my PC at work, either with my stereo speakers, headphones, or stream it wirelessly to my stereo via Apple’s Airport Express.
• I don’t own an iPod or use the iTunes Music Store, but I use iTunes. Call me old-fashioned, but I use iTunes to rip my CDs to make mix CDs that I listen to in my car and home stereo and at the beach and at parties. I also listen to the iTunes Radio stations.
There are many permutations of the examples above, but they help to make the following points clear:
• You can own an iPod and never need to use Apple’s iTunes Music Store. In fact, some people insist on buying CDs for their higher quality and using iTunes to rip those CDs at very high quality for use in their iPod. They would never settle for 128 kbps iTunes Music Store tracks.
• You can use iTunes without owning an iPod. Many people just use iTunes to organize their digital music collections, create playlists, burn mix CDs, listen to iTunes’ included Radio streams, etc. They’ve never used the iTunes Music Store.
• You can use iTunes and the iTunes Music Store feature without owning an iPod. Some people buy tracks from iTunes Music Store and just listen to them on their desktop and/or laptop computers. Others do that and also burn CDs for use in CD players everywhere. Some just burn CDs. Some stream music from iTunes to their home stereo. Some people just use the iTunes Music Store to see what’s popular, explore music, find new music that suits their taste, and/or find out about new releases.
• You can use an iPod without using iTunes at all. Some people use their iPods to store data only. Like the portable drive it is, some people use iPod for backup and other things. My oldest iPod has no music on it – it has my Home folder on it – it’s become a backup drive. Which reminds me, I need to update that backup!
I could go on, but by now you should see my point. The iPod, iTunes, and the iTunes Music Store are completely different things that can be used all together or in parts or independent of each other. The iTunes Music Store can (or could, depending on what works or doesn’t today) even be accessed without iTunes, but for the purpose of this article, let’s just say that iTunes Music Store requires iTunes use. The iPod doesn’t require using the iTunes software or the iTunes Music Store service. iTunes doesn’t require using an iPod or the iTunes Music store. The iTunes Music Store doesn’t require the use of an iPod. Of course, using all three things together works very well, too!
How do you use iPod+/-iTunes+/-iTunes Music Store?
SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to MacDailyNews. Look for more of SteveJack’s articles in our Opinion section.
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