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Getting Started with Music Downloads Ė Part 2

 by Lance Wolak

Iíve been using iTunes for some time now, and my music collection is growing.  The interesting by-product of this activity is that my laptop computer is no longer just a tool to download music and make CDs to play elsewhere, it has become my central music entertainment center.

With most music downloading tools for your computer, you have the ability to build a library and custom play lists.  So you can organize your collection of tunes in many different ways.  The same song can be referenced across multiple play lists.  I have music organized in playlists by artist, or by theme, or by a family memberís favorite selections.

Another nice feature is that you can import music from your CDs into your computerís music library.  This is a very simple task of popping your CD in your computerís CD player, and your music download software prompts you through the import process.  So for all of those CDs that you purchased that had maybe 2 or 3 good songs on it, you can import just those favorites.

The ability to organize, and also search for music within your selection, has convinced me that my laptop is the best place to keep all of my music.  It is much easier for me to locate a song on my computerís music library than it is searching through racks full of CDs.

A simple connection from your computer to your existing music/stereo components is all it takes to create the computer-centric music entertainment system.  An inexpensive audio cable with a headphone style jack on one end and RCA-type plugs on the other end allow you to integrate your computer with your existing stereo components.  Plug it into your computerís headphone/speaker jack and the other end into your stereoís auxiliary input.

Find a convenient place to locate your computer keyboard and monitor and you will have a great walk-up kiosk to select your music.  This is handy as you are entertaining guests.  Ask them what type of music theyíd like to hear and together you can do a quick search in your music library.   You can really impress them by instantly connecting to your online music service and downloading their favorite tune in a matter of a minute or less.

Stay tuned for the next article in this series, when I will explain the experience of adding my new portable music player, which in effect is my portable music jukebox storing thousands of songs.  I expect it will completely eliminate my use of CDs in the car, boat, and carrying CDs to friendsí houses.


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