4 Tips for Finding iTunes Store Content

As the iTunes store expands, it's becoming increasingly more difficult to find the content I like. There is so much available that it's easy to get overwhelmed by the choices. Whether it is podcasts, apps, lectures, games, music, or anything else the iTunes store has to offer, these tips should help you find what you're looking for.

1. iTunes Alerts

iTunes AlertMeWant to know when your favorite artist's new album comes out? Just go to any album or artist page and look for the "Alert Me" link. Click it and that artist is added to your My Alerts page, which you can access by clicking on the "My Alerts" link found on the upper-right side of the Store's homepage. On the Manage My Alerts page, you'll also find new content alerts, as well as a, "Send Me Email Alerts About Artists I've Previously Downloaded" option.

Set up alerts so you'll know when your favorite artists release new music.

2. Power Search

Choose "Power Search" from iTunes' "Quick Links" menu. With Power Search you can get more specific results than with the standard search function. From the Power Search pop-up menu, you can select Music, Movies, TV Shows, App Store, Audiobooks, Podcasts, or iTunes U. The search fields to its right change depending on the kind of media you've chosen. For instance, choose "Movies" and you find Movie Title, Actor, Director/Producer, Year, and Description fields. From pop-up menus, you can also pick genres and ratings.

3. Use the Genius

The Genius feature introduced with iTunes 8 can be a useful way to find media that you'll like based on the contents of your iTunes library. To turn on Genius: click on the "Store" tab > select "Turn On Genius".

Once you've turned on Genius, select a track from your library and the Genius sidebar on the right side of the iTunes window will show a list of recommendations based on the track you selected. You can also preview selections directly in the Genius sidebar. If you don't see the Genius sidebar, click the left pointing arrow in the lower left corner of the iTunes window, and it will slide out. If you want to create a playlist based on the track you selected from music you already have, just click the "Genius" button in the lower left corner of the iTunes window.

You'll have less luck when you select a movie. iTunes can only make recommendations based on movies you've purchased from the Store so if you have movies obtained elsewhere, Genius does you no good. And because the Store's movie selection is limited, Genius doesn't have a lot to work with.

To get Genius to recommend apps for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you will have to turn it on from within the App Store on your device.

  • Launch the App Store on your device (you must have the 3.1.1 software update) and go to the "Featured" tab.

  • Touch "Genius" at the top.

  • Touch "Turn on Genius" and enter your Account password.

  • Click "Accept" on the "Terms and Conditions" page, and you will now be able to see recommended apps based on the ones you have on your device.

4. Genius Just For You

The "Genius Just For You" page, which you can reach by clicking on "Genius Recommends" in the iTunes Store, is a great place to find new content based on what you have in your library. You will see a list of six albums on top and fifteen songs in the lower section of the page. Both sections can be refined based on the genre that you are looking for. Simply select your preferred genre from the drop-down menu in the upper right corner, and both sections will be updated with new suggestions. You can vote these recommendations thumbs up or down, just as you can with TiVo recommendations and music that flows through the Pandora music service.

Whether it's finding new music from your favorite bands or discovering something completely new, using Genius can help you broaden your music collection. So take a few moments to dig around in iTune's electric soil with Genius as your guide. Your spirit will thank you.

Create more space and find your favorite content

Summer 2010
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