iTunes for Windows.... Your thoughts?

Dear Mods: I am dropping this thread in IMHO rather than Cafe Society as it is intended to focus more on the software/service rather than music. I couldn’t make up my mind where I thought it belonged, but if you deem it in the wrong thread, I defer to your judgement.

Just curious if anyone had tried this software and liked buying music through it? For me, the downside is the limited selection. There are a lot of artists I am just not seeing. The upside is everything else. Of the stuff I DO want, I have almost no buyer’s remorse (which was rather common when I would buy whole CDs.) I like the way the whole service is designed and implemented.

I went poking around on it, but the interface was kind of awkward and it didn’t have the Lords of Acid songs I wanted (at least, I couldn’t find them). What kind of “service” doesn’t have the Lords?

I haven’t tried the music download part (not on a 56k dial-up), but for ripping and recording to my iPod it seems to have an ease-of-use edge over MusicMatch. Seems a little slower ripping, mind you.

Well, it’s not strictly an “iTunes for Windows” story, but I just had a situation where iTunes made my life a lot easier…
So there I was, putzing around yesterday evening on the Mac, using iMovie to slice down my recent vacation videos from 8 hours to something more managable. I get to one part that needs a musical soundtrack – something Asian and tranquil, about 5-7 minutes long, Music To Look At Pretty Scenery By.
[li]Problemo Uno: I don’t have any such music.[/li][li]Problemo Two-o: Nobody I know has any such music.[/li][li]Problemo Three-o: I don’t have the slightest idea how to find music that would meet my criteria. I can just imagine the blank-eyed stares I’d get at the local Sam Goody if I were to ask the clerk for “some tranquil Asian music to look at scenery with.”[/li][/ul]
Dum-da-dum! iTunes Music Store to the rescue!

Go online, hop over to the “Classical” section, and start browsing. Pick a random album by Brahams, sort the tracks by time, listen to the free 30-second samples… five minutes later, I had three tracks that seem promising. Jump over to the “New Age” section (just on a whim), browse a few more, find some even better tracks, dump the Brahms stuff… do a few random searches, just to see if anything better shows up… Okay, I’m happy, time to checkout…

Bottom line: Fifteen minutes after I started my search, I had two tracks with perfect length and perfect mood for my little iMovie. I can’t imagine doing this with a brick-and-mortar store, and using Napster (1.0) or Kazaa for this would have been a joke. But the iTunes Music Store saved my hash without breaking a sweat, and I felt so good I even ended up buying five other songs and an Audible audio book, too.

I’m just so tickled by the whole thing I wanted to share my story. Thanks for listening. :slight_smile:

I’ve only played about with the Windows iTunes as a jukebox app, so no reflection on the store/mix-cd-burning bits.

I imported my music library, and at first thought it had locked up; gave it a few minutes before checking back and it was now visibly working again. After it completed importing, multiple titles in my library appeared twice when they’re certainly only on the disk once.

I primarily use custom playlists on my portable jukebox. The smart-playlist builder is pretty durn nice, and if I had an iPod (which I might in the future, when disposable cash/budgetaryirresponsibility supports), I’d be golden. But my portable is one of the Archos models, and iTunes buries the actual playlist files it generates–which is fine when synching with an iPod, as it’s designed to be user-transparent with that, but not so much with a player other than. So, for the time being, back to cdex, winamp and a third-party jukebox synchronizer for me. But that’d probably change if I ever procure an iPod.

love it love it love it. (and I couldn’t find the Lords of Acid version of ‘Lady Marmalade’ either. :frowning: )

But they’re the first online music service where I don’t feel absolutely constrained by the DRM. (and I don’t even own an iPod.)

iTunes for Windows is excellent. I’m having to admit I was wrong; when they first announced that they were going to do a Windows port, I was convinced that it was going to be a scaled down or clunky version of the OS X one. After all, I thought, they’re still trying to sell Macs here and it’s not in their best interest to write a killer Windows app. I thought the awful, awful MusicMatch “system” they included with the iPod was proof of that.

But I was wrong, the Windows version is identical to the OS X version. And they play together, too – just had to set one option and my Powerbook was sharing my whole music collection with the PC. Whether or not I’d use it without an iPod, I can’t say. It’s got a nice enough interface and all, but Windows Media Player 9 is just as easy to use IMO (that’s the MP3 player I used before; I’ve never liked WinAmp and just don’t see what’s so great about it).

As for the music store, I like it but I’m not crazy about it yet. I am crazy about the concept, but their selection is just still too sparse. So far I’ve never been able to just go on there and look for a particular record – instead, it’s just for when I’m browsing and am reminded of an old song I’ve always wanted to get but have been too cheap to buy the whole album. In fact, I’m downloading a bunch of Who songs right now…

So how does the copyright scheme work on iTunes? If I install it on one computer and buy (download) some files, then later decide to get rid of that computer and move the music files to another computer, can I?

(I would just download and try, but they just postponed the release date for the Japanese version without explanation…)

As I understand it, songs downloaded from the Apple Music Store can be registered for 3 computers simultaneously. It’s tied to a music store account. Once you register a copy of iTunes on a machine, you can play any of the songs downloaded with that account. If you get rid of that computer, you go into iTunes and “unregister” that computer, and then re-register on the new one.

Burning CDs from iTunes uses the Playlist mechanism. (You generate a playlist, and then burn that playlist to a CD). You can burn up to 3 audio copies of the same playlist, if it contains downloaded music. You have to modify the playlist before you can burn any more copies.

I’m not exactly sure how it works for iPods. From what I’ve seen so far, you can synch as many downloaded songs onto as many different iPods as you want. Once you get the song from the iPod back to your PC or Mac, though, it’ll ask you to register it.

Only three? Didn’t they used to let you burn 10 copies?

Well, I don’t understand why anyone would want another music player. Doesn’t the one you already have work? Maybe I’m missing something.

I HATE that iTunes shows you the “top results” on a search for a band. No, show me all the albums you carry. I don’t get that at all. Maybe I’m missing something again.

The real problem was that they just don’t have the things I would have bought right then. I guess they don’t have a deal with all the major labels.

SolGrundy, thanks for the explanation. Sounds similar to the way Audible works, and I find that to be very reasonable and non-intrusive. Can’t wait to try iTunes. (In fact, I think I’ll just install the English version on one of my PCs…)

You can burn 10 copies per playlist. SolGrundy was slightly off. :wink:

Why would you have more than one music player? Just get the best one and use it. And iTunes is definitely one of the best I’ve seen – remember, it’s not just a jukebox player, it’s a music organizer, a CD burner, and a music store front-end.

The music store only returns the first 100 matches on a search, to avoid bandwidth overuse. Just click the arrow next to the band name in the results to see all the albums from that band.

Try Ephpod.

Free and barebones. Ultrastable. The cure to all of your Windows Ipod blues.

What blues? The response here seems pretty positive.

As long as we’re on the subject… I’ve heard that iTunes will let you convert tracks from AAC format to MP3. Does that work for the tracks you buy, or only the ones you rip from CD with iTunes?

If you buy stuff through iTunes, you CANNOT convert the AAC files to MP3.

You can’t do it directly, but you CAN do it. Just burn the tracks to a CD (which as individual tracks you can do an unlimited amount of times; it’s only an entire playlist of a particular album that has the 10-burns limit), then rip it back to your computer as MP3 files. A bit of a hassle, perhaps, but it’s not accurate to say you can’t convert the AAC files to MP3s.

Actually, to be more accurate, my above post should say “burn the tracks to a CD as a standard audio CD…” etc.

Even better, create a CD disk image and rip MP3s from that. Much faster and cheaper than wasting actual CDs. :slight_smile: