Apple's iPod and iPhone dominate their respective product categories. So it's perhaps no surprise that iTunes, the software that helps those products perform much of their magic, is also virtually ubiquitous. Although iTunes began as a program for desktop computers, it's now available on some mobile devices, too.
Apple first unleashed iTunes in 2001 to help iPod owners manipulate their music collections. As iPods evolved to support video and other capabilities, iTunes also advanced. It's the primary software link that lets you transfer music and other media files between your computer and iPod.
With an Internet connection, iTunes opens a whole world of media to your computer. You can purchase and download music, music videos, TV shows, movies and other digital products with just a few mouse clicks. This kind of easy access -- and the ease with which iTunes links with iPods -- is the reason that iTunes has contributed heavily to the company's profits. Since the iTunes store opened, Apple has sold more than 10 billion songs.
It was only natural that Apple would downsize iTunes to include it on portable, Internet-connected devices such as the iPhone and iPod touch. This mobile version of iTunes is basically the same program with similar features and capabilities, but the interface is scaled down for the smaller viewing screens found on pocket-size products.
Keep reading to see how the mobile version of iTunes is different from the full-size program. You'll also learn more about how iTunes works, and how the portable, compact iTunes is extending Apple's reach in the electronics market.