The iTunes Store offers literally millions of non-DRM songs for $0.99, $1.29, and $1.49. And nowadays Apple syncs all your content with the iCloud, so any media you’ve bought is automatically refreshed to your other iDevices. Apple’s clever behind-the-scenes analysis helps iTunes recommend tracks based on your preferences and purchases, and what others with the same tastes also like. Downloading certain albums boots up iTunes LP functionality, with background info and paraphernalia replacing the album sleeves of yesteryear. Lyrics, photos, even movie clips and other material which it wasn’t possible to include on old-style vinyl inserts. And many of the accompaniments have been created or updated by the artists themselves. As well as the musical part of the equation, iTunes also offers TV programs, minus annoying ad breaks, and many are offered in full 1080p HD.
Users of iTunes can buy the latest episode of their favorite shows often as little as a day after transmission dates. Or get hold of episodes you missed. Then watch them whenever and wherever you please, on whichever of your devices suits you – iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac, or Apple TV, or stream to a full-sized display via any of the above devices. In case you’re worried about the cost of downloading programs transmitted daily, iTunes offers a Multi-Pass, so users can purchase one month’s episodes. Any purchased items can be watched numerous times, synced to any device, or wiped to free up storage ready for downloading another time. As easily as browsing your purchase history in iCloud.
Then there are the full-length movies, which can be rented or bought outright, ready for viewing minutes later – the iTunes Store features access to thousands of films from all the major Hollywood studios. And the movies can be bought or rented in either standard or high def too. The iTunes Extras feature mirrors iTunes LP, with trailers, interviews and other associated media for particular films or actors, all downloadable to your Apple device.
So what about more cerebral pursuits? iTunes also incorporates a huge library of reading material, both eBooks and audiobooks – be they classics or self-help manuals, tragedies or comedies, and all accessible either through the iTunes Store or via the iBooks stand-alone app. And you’ll be glad to know that bookmarks are synced across devices, so users can read a single tome on several i-gadgets without having to thumb backwards and forwards trying to find their place. Bit tricky if you buy a book with someone else for your mutual enjoyment, but anyways.
Podcasts also feature prominently on iTunes, with hundreds of thousands of free podcasts downloadable to your iTunes library. There’s a Podcasts app available free from Apple’s App Store, enabling users to subscribe to podcasts directly from an iOS device, without having to go through iTunes. And again, iCloud syncs all your chosen podcasts across your various devices, even bookmarking where you left off playback for easy switching between format. Not forgetting lectures, lessons, debates, discussions – from highly esteemed universities, museums, and organizations around the world. Learn free with iTunes, or simply fill up empty moments in the day; drift off to sleep with some far-out topic. And if you fancy passing on the wonders of the iTunes experience, pre-paid Gift cards ensure total satisfaction – be it music, albums, books, or anything else available from iTunes.
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