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iTunes Store Tips and Tricks

This tutorial includes a series of tips and tricks designed to help you make the most of the iTunes Store, which you are likely to use all the time if you are reading this tutorial. Many of these tips can be discovered by chance, so you may already be familiar with some of them. Hopefully most of these tips will be new, and allow you to do even more with the iTunes Store!

iTunes Store Tip # 1 — Open the iTunes Store in a new window

Double-click to open the iTunes Store in a separate iTunes window Whether you are running iTunes with a small resolution (for example on a netbook), or whether you want to compare content from the iTunes Store with content you already purchased in a second iTunes window, all you need to do to have two iTunes windows open is to double-click on the left category you want to open in a new window: this works not only for the iTunes Store, but also with other categories listed in the left pane / sidebar (like iTunes playlists).

One window for iTunes, and a separate window for the iTunes Store As soon as you double-click on the iTunes Store link on the left (see screenshot), a separate iTunes window opens, dedicated to the iTunes Store: you can switch between the first iTunes window and the iTunes Store by hitting Alt+Tab on Windows, or Command+` on Mac. On Windows, each iTunes window will also each have its own taskbar button (unless you are running Windows 7 with "Combine taskbar buttons" enabled. In this particular screenshot, you can tell that you have two iTunes windows opened, and, from the thumbnail preview, that the second one is an "iTunes Store" window.

Tip: you can also force the iTunes Store to take the entire iTunes window (i.e., hide the sidebar links) - this used to be hidden in the iTunes Store settings, but is now more readily accessible. Click on the View menu, and choose "Use Full Window for iTunes Store". This option is especially useful when you are forced to use a small screen resolution, as is often the case on netbooks, for example.

iTunes Store Tip # 2: view all your browsing history 

iTunes Store tip to navigate faster The Back and Forward buttons of the iTunes Store are self explanatory: click Back to go back one page, etc. Anyone using a web browser is familiar with this. But, to skip several history steps back or forward, click on the button and hold your cursor down: after a second or so, a dropdown history menu will appear, from which you can pick directly the page to which you want to go.

The bottom-most item is the furthest from your current position. (From the screenshot, you can tell that we started with the iTunes Store homepage, and moved up until our current location.)

And an extra iTunes Store tip: you can use keyboard shortcuts to quickly navigate through the store: go to the homepage with Ctrl+Shift+H (Windows) or Command+Shift+H (Mac). To navigate back, use Ctrl+[ or Command+[, and Ctrl+] or Command+] to move forward.

iTunes Store Tip # 3: locate your music in the iTunes Store, with a single click

Quickly locate an iTunes library item in the iTunes Store Whenever you are looking at the listing view of a song, TV show, etc. in your iTunes library, you can with a single click, load that item in the iTunes Store: simply select the item in question, and a circled arrow button will appear (see screenshot) - click on it to load its iTunes Store page:

One of your iTunes library item inside the iTunes Store
Notice that while the entire album page has loaded inside the iTunes Store, the item you clicked on (in this case, a song) is lightly highlighted with a different background color (we added the green border on the screenshot for emphasis).

iTunes Store Tip # 4: copy a text link for an item in the Store

Copy a link from the iTunes Store (as text you can paste) iTunes lets you add items to your Wish List and send a link to an album (TV show, movie...) to a friend right from the iTunes Store. But what if you want to paste the link to an iTunes Store item inside a text file, or an email you create yourself? Simple: just right-click on the item in question (like an album cover in the store), and choose "Copy Link" from the context menu.

You can now paste the link inside an email, a text editor, etc. Apple used to make links open directly in iTunes, but that caused problems if (1) the email recipient's browser did not support passing links directly to iTunes, and (2) if the email recipient did not have iTunes installed on his or her computer. This is no longer a problem, and the reason why this iTunes tip is useful, because these links will now open inside the web browser itself ("iTunes Preview") - and include a button to launch this particular album or TV show inside iTunes itself: (the blue "View in iTunes" button). Depending on your browser and settings, you may see a "Allow iTunes to open this page" dialog - clicking Allow would open the page in iTunes directly, instead of your browser.

Preview iTunes Store content inside a web browser

iTunes Store Tip # 5: drag iTunes Store items to the Start Menu (Windows) or Dock (Mac)

Clickable links in the iTunes Store Any item in the iTunes Store that shows a pointing-hand pointer when you hover your cursor above it, is a clickable link: any clickable link can be dragged and dropped onto the Windows Start Menu, or the right side of the Dock in Mac OS X. This action creates a shortcut / alias that you can click later on to automatically open iTunes (if needed), and load the corresponding page inside the iTunes Store: this works for regular items, like an album, a movie, or a TV show season, but also with search results you want to save. To save search results from the iTunes Store, right-click on the corresponding media type and choose Copy Link (dragging does not work for media type results), or simply drag this link in the Dock or Start Menu (like the See All drag-able link).

Copy a search result per media type in the iTunes Store
Save the search results link from the iTunes Store

The screenshot illustrates how to drag a link from the iTunes Store, and drop it inside a program that supports this, like a text editor; the text link of the item will be inserted when you release. This lets you get text links from the iTunes Store without the clipboard:

Drag a text link from the iTunes Store

iTunes Store Tip # 6: load the Artist or Album from a search result preview

When the iTunes Store displays a sample listing of search results (like a scrollable list of songs, for example), the second and third columns of each result are actually a clickable link. Click on the artist name in the second column, and a page will load, containing all the matches for this particular artist currently available in the iTunes Store; or, click on the Album name to directly load the album page from one of its songs:

Load artists or albums with a click on the search results

iTunes Store Tip # 7: you *can* sort search results by any column

While it isn't obvious at a first glance, you can sort the new iTunes Store's search results, just like the old one: simply click on any of the columns (screenshot below) to sort in ascending order; click again the same header to sort in descending order (reversed). This works for any of the named columns displayed in the result (which depends on the type of media were looking for). In the example below, we sorted the results by Artist, but we could have just as well sorted by (Song) name or Album:

Sort search results in the iTunes Store

iTunes Tutorial

Unless specified otherwise, our free iTunes tutorials apply to both Mac OS X or Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

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