i Tunes

by Justin Curtis

edited by Will Hochman

Background Information

iTunes is a media player that was invented by Apple in January, 2001 at Macworld Expo in San Francisco, California. The program was created to play digital music and video files. iTunes is able to connect to an iTunes store which allows the user to download music files, video files, games, television shows, audiobooks, and podcasts.


iTunes has many different features that have been added since its creation. Users of iTunes are able to create there own playlists with multiple libraries. They can also copy songs from compact discs or CD’s and import them to libraries. Videos and songs can be bought from the iTunes music store. Users can also subscribe to podcasts and receive monthly or weekly updates. Songs and/or videos can be imported to compact discs or DVD’s.


Podcasting was added to iTunes when version 4.9 was released. Users subscribe to podcasts and they download automatically. The podcasts can be updated weekly, daily, hourly, or manually. Within days after iTunes 4.9 was released, podcasters were reporting that the number of downloads of their audio files had tripled, sometimes even quadrupled.

Music Sharing

Songs from the iTunes library can be shared over a local area using the closed, propriety Digital Audio Protocall. Apple relies on the Bonjour network service to share music. The Bonjour network is Apple’s implementation of the Zemconf open network standard. With the release of iTunes 7.0, Apple changed their implementation of DAAP. This change prevents any third-party client, such as a computer running Linux, a modified Xbox, or any computer without iTunes installed, from connecting to a remote iTunes repository. iTunes will still connect as a client to other iTunes servers and to third-party servers.


iTunes supports playlists that are known as “smart playlists.” These are playlists that be set to have an automatic update. Playlists can also be published by iTunes users. Playlists can either be set to a “shuffle” setting, in which the songs play randomly, or they can be played in order. The Party Shuffle can sometimes tend to play the songs with the higher star rating and very rarely play songs with a bad rating or with no rating at all. Songs or videos can also be dragged from playlist to playlist. The playlist feature is a great way to organize music and videos.

Music Library

iTunes is able to keep track of songs by creating virtual library. The songs can be edited to meet the likes of the user. The iTunes songs are saved into two separate libraries. The first is called the iTunes library and it uses a propriety file format. The data is usually read in this file. The second library is iTunes Music Library.xml, and is refreshed whenever information in iTunes is changed. The XML allows developers to easily write applications. If there is a corrupt file, iTunes will try to reconstruct it from the XML file.

Sound Processing

iTunes has a sound processing feature, such as equalization. There is also a sound check feature which brings all of the adjusts back to the same volume.


iTunes has revolutionized the way people listen to their music and videos. The many different features allow users to customize their libraries and listen to music the way they want to. iTunes is a huge advance in technology compared to earlier inventions and is now used by many people throughout the world.