Learn everything you need to know about digital music and video from the experts at Macworld!

Macworld Digital Music & Video Superguide


Macworld’s experts have turned their attention to digital music and video! You’ll find help with digitizing and organizing content in iTunes, finding media online, and syncing your content to an Apple TV, iPod, or iPhone. It also helps when problems crop up, and recommends top cases, speakers, and other accessories.

This product has been discontinued.

This ebook is no longer for sale.


This ebook answers questions such as:

  • How do audio file formats—like AAC, Apple Lossless, MP3, WAV, and AIFF—differ?
  • How can I get the squealing noise out of a precious tape before I digitize it?
  • How can I use social networking to find more music that I like?
  • Where can I find free (and legal) music and video online?
  • What should I know about the video rental option in the iTunes Store?
  • How can I get the most out of the tagging feature in iTunes?
  • How do I best go about finding, downloading, and listening to podcasts?
  • Help! My playlists have disappeared from iTunes. What should I do?
  • How do I deal with problematic iTunes authorizations?
  • How can I make an uncooperative video file transfer to my iPod or iPhone?
  • What speakers should I buy to use with an iPod/iPhone?

We encourage you to download the free sample to see what it looks like, since it’s rather different from our Take Control design. If you prefer reading on paper, consider ordering Macworld’s $24.99 print version, which has higher-resolution images than are feasible in an ebook.

About Macworld

Take Control Books previously sold the Macworld Superguide series, which was written by Macworld contributors including Karissa Bell, Chris Breen, Serenity Caldwell, Alexandra Chang, Jason Cook, David Chartier, Lauren Crabbe, Jim Dalrymple, Jackie Dove, Glenn Fleishman, Dan Frakes, Lex Friedman, Adam Goldstein, Michael Gowan, Rob Griffiths, Jim Heid, Mat Honan, Andy Ihnatko, Dave Johnson, Heather Kelly, Joe Kissell, Greg Knauss, Ted Laudau, Roman Loyola, Kirk McElhearn, Scott McNulty, Dan Miller, Sarah Milstein, Dan Moren, Tim Moynihan, Chris Pepper, Rich Mogull, Michael Scalisi, Jon Seff, Derrick Story, Marco Tabini, Gina Trapani, Ben Waldie, Bill Wiecking, Leah Yamshon, and Sharon Zardetto.

Does this book cover iTunes 8?

Regrettably, it does not. The folks at Macworld wrapped up this project in late August and released the title shortly before iTunes 8 came out in September, and they haven't yet figured out if/when they might update this title again. Fortunately, nearly all of the Superguide should work just fine with iTunes 8, though we assume that if Macworld does do an update they'll include some info about the new Genius feature.

Adding Music to iTunes

Mastering the iTunes Store
Learn the basics of using the iTunes Store including the skinny on what DRM really is and how it could affect your purchasing decisions.
Ripping CDs the Smart Way
Before you can enjoy your digital music library, you have to get the songs into iTunes. Whether you're still buying CDs or just want to digitize your old collection, follow these simple instructions for ripping the highest quality files and choosing the best file format for your setup.
Digitizing Old Cassettes and LPs
Don't just leave your mix tapes and record collections warping in the attic; dust them off and give them a second life on your iPod.
Discovering New Music
Stuck in a rut? Freshen up your library with new music. We cover some of the best options for finding new tunes including social networking sites, podcasts, and free MP3s.
Importing Audiobooks
If you'd rather listen to the latest best seller, this section has everything you need to know to download, format, and enjoy audiobooks on your iPod or iPhone.

Getting Video

Get Video from iTunes
Apple makes it easy to buy or rent videos with the iTunes Store. We'll help you get your bearings, master the pricing structure, and play videos on your iPod, iPhone, and computer.
Apple TV Content
Buy, rent, or convert videos and use the Apple TV to watch them as the studios intended, from your couch. All you need is this quick tutorial and some popcorn.
Converting Video
Turn DVDs and movies already on your hard drive into iPhone-ready files with the step-by-step instructions in this section.
Beyond iTunes
The Web is brimming with alternative, legal, and even free sources for downloading and streaming your favorite TV shows and movies.

Staying Organized in iTunes

Setting Up and Navigating the iTunes Library
The first step in organizing your media library is having a strategy for where and how to store your audio and video files. Following these tips will make getting around a snap and help you tame an overflowing hard drive.
Adding Tags
Under iTunes' surface lies a powerful tool for organizing your digital media. It's called a tag. We explain how to add tags and increase your library sorting power.
Finding Album Art
The cherry on the top of any good music collection is attractive art. However, files you rip or download from other sources often don't include this feature. Learn how to find, add, and flip through the album covers in your library.
Singing Along with Lyrics
Liner notes are dead. Long live liner notes! We'll show you how to find and fill out your song information with lyrics.
Taming a Large Library with Smart Playlists
The larger your collection, the harder it can be to keep organized. Luckily, smart playlists can bring order to the chaos. Build your own or use one of our handy templates.
Working with Podcasts
Do more than just subscribe to a podcast—tweak its preferences, see hidden info, and share it with others.

Managing Devices

Syncing iPods and iPhones
Move music, videos, and podcasts from your computer to your iPod or iPhone and then back again with these syncing basics.
Syncing the Apple TV
Bring your Apple TV and computer in sync. Choose exactly which content you want and see what formats are Apple TV-friendly.
Handling Multiple Devices
What if you have one library but multiple devices to load it on? With these instructions, moving protected media between your iPod, iPhone, computer, and Apple TV is a breeze.
Extending Your Battery's Life
Wring more power out of iPods and iPhones by following these simple rules. For devices already losing their charge, we'll tell you how to get a new battery on the cheap.

Troubleshooting Media Problems

Taming iTunes
Before you get flustered by missing files, denied access, absent audio, or other glitches, check out this section on common iTunes issues.
Soothing a Troubled iPod, iPhone, or Apple TV
Are your devices acting up? Before taking your iPod, iPhone, or Apple TV to the Genius Bar, try fixing what ails it with our easy-to-follow advice.

Finding the Best Accessories

iPhones and iPods are beautiful devices, but they're still prone to drops and scratches. Protect your iPhone or iPod with one of our favorite cases.
Apple's earbuds are serviceable, but if you really want to take your audio to the next level, try upgrading to a set of these high-quality headphones.
Car Accessories
Take your tunes on the road with these FM transmitters, power adapters, and cassette adapters.
Whether you're on the go, in your living room, or at your desk, one of these sweet speaker systems is the perfect choice for pumping up the volume.

The Macworld Digital Music & Video Superguide was written by Christopher Breen, Dan Frakes, Michael Gowan, Jim Heid, Mathew Honan, Ted Landau, Kirk McElhearn, Dan Moren, and Jon Seff.