The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
When I first decided to use this program, it was because I wanted to find an online music store that I could purchase music for for a reasonable price. I'm also expecting to buy an ipod in the near future so I figured this would be the most sensible program to download.
To begin with, you are offered a free download, and membership is also free; it is just the music you pay for, which I think is very reasonable.
When you open up the program it shows a very simple and basic layout, with many options. There's a list of each of the places you can go to in itunes.
Library: This is where you can keep track of your purchased music, which is good because you can organise it in any way you want. There are headings which you can organise your music in depending on your preference, headings such as song name, time, artist or album. The music is split into 'Genre,' 'Artist' and 'Album' if you want to find you rmusic from any of these panels.
Party shuffle: This is an option for all of your music to get shuffled to create a playlist. I like this option because itsfun if you want to shake up all your old playlists a little. When you press on Party Shuffle, it brings up this message. 'Party Shuffle automatically chooses upcoming songs from your Music Library of Playlist. You may add to, delete, or reorder the upcoming songs at any time.' So the first time you use this, you know exactly what is going on and what you are able to do. it give you an option to never show the message again, so if you need to be reminded, you can be.
Radio: This is a fantastic section, because it gives a list of loads of different internet radio stations you can listen to. I found my favourite radio station here and haven't stopped listening to it since. There are categories such as 50s/60s Pop, 70s/80s Pop, Alt/Modern Rock, Ambient (which is what I listen to), Americana, Blues, Classic Rock, Classical, Country, Eclectic, Electronica, Hard Rock/ Metal, International, Jazz, Public, Reggae/Island, Religious, Talk/Spoken Word, Top 40/Pop, Urban. This is a huuuge variety of stations of which you don't have to pay any extra cost for and they run 24/7, so if you've found your favourite station and want to listen to it forever, it's possible!
Music Store: This is where you purchase music. When you first click on this icon, it says 'itunes Music Store,' and then a small loading bar appears in a panel at the top of the window, and shows you how long you have to wait until the music store is open, which I guess would take a little bit longer if you had dial up or a modem, but I have LAN so my net is fast. I think this is where I start to get a little lost. To find my music, I often use the search bar, so that I don't spend ages going through the one million categories and getting lost. And never finding what I'm lookign for. But if you do want to go that way, there are many categories, and you can choose from a genre, or from new releases, just added, new music, power search. There are also music videos and movie trailers that you can watch. You do not have to pay for these, because they show you them i the music store, through the video player.
When you go places in the music store, there is a small house sign that keeps track of where you've been, and so if you want to backtrack, e.g. go to one of the categories that isn't quite back at the start, you can simply click on it, and it will take you back. Furthermore, if you want to go 'back' there is a 'back' button. If you want to go 'forward' there is also a 'forward' button. Whic is useful, just like in internet explorer, so you don't have to learn how to use this all over again because its pretty much the same, just with some swanky controls like the backtrack thing.
I'd just like to point out that aswell as listening to your music or the radio, you can browse through the shop at the same time, so it's like being in HMV where they always have music playing. You don't have to stop listening to the radio r your music to be in the Music Store.
When you purchase music, you have to register your card details so that the money gets debited from your account, and that's a fairly easy situation to be in; just like using a debit card or credit card in a normal music store. When you have selected the music you want to buy, it brings up a page with all of the song details, the album art and the price. Next to the price is the get song button, and you simply click on this to get your music. Again, if you have dial up this would probably be a disadvantage, but with LAN or another fast speed internet connection, you only have to wait for about ten seconds before you get your song. Following that, you get a receipt sent to your email address telling you how much the song cost and what it is you bought, incase if you forget.
Tunes cost 79p to buy if you're in the UK, which is fab because they're cheaper than in stores, and you'd have to pay travelling fees if you wanted to physically go out and buy the song. Downside is that you don't have the hardback casing and Cd in front of you. But iTunes gives you the option to print off the album art and make your own special covers for no extra cost, if you can be bothered to do this sort of thing. I personally can't.
If you want to buy an album, it is the same procedure as buying a singular song, except this time there is an option to 'purchase album.' This costs around £8 which again is value for money because normally albums cost around £12-£15 in shops. You get the album art again, but you don't get the special fold out book that you normally get with albums. This is probably what you would pay a couple of extra pounds for, that and the actual CD case and physical CD.
But if you have an iPod then it shouldn't bother you!
Purchased Music: This option displays all of your purchased music and you can organise it in terms of the headings I mentioned earlier. Again, useful if you want to keep track of everything you've bought.
There are five playlist options ready made when you download this program. 90's Music, My Top Rated, Recently Added, Recently Played, Top 25 Most Played.
When in your iTunes, you get a small set of controls, rewind, stop, fast forward, volume control, and a display of your currently playing song and playlist.
All in all, I think that this is a good quality program, with fantastic quality songs. Compared to Kazaa, you know that for paying 79p you are getting an actual track with no virus on it, which is good for peace of mind! In exchange for just a little money you get exactly what you want and you don't even have to leave your house.
Also, if you have an iPod then you can transfer your iTunes to your mp3 player.
One last thing! There's also a visualisation option, like in Windows Media Player which can provide entertainment if you like watching weird shapes and colours.
I would give this media player an 8 out of 10 overall. Not 9 or 10 because I still find Windows Media Player easier to use. But I do recommend it in terms of price and value.
I prefer Media Player, and it's worth knowing if you use an mp3 player other than an ipod, you won' t be able to put itunes downloads on it - I have a zen and my boyfriend has an ipod. I download most itunes freebies though. Luci
emski444 23.10.2005 19:22
Great review, a really comprehensive overview of the apple iTunes software. Emma xx
Calldean 12.06.2005 18:43
WMP is easier to use but not as good looking. ;-) Cheers, Dean