The term Apple ID describes a security platform run by Apple, Inc. that allows you to access a large range of products and services that the company offers. Even though it is commonly referred to as an 'iTunes account', you can use this security feature for more than just buying products from Apple's iTunes Store. Some of the resources that are used with an Apple ID, include:
- iTunes Genius
- iTunes Ping
- Find my iPhone
- iTunes Home Sharing
- Apple Online Store
- Apple Online Support
Rather than having to create an Apple ID account for every individual product that the company offers (such as the examples listed above), this all-in-one platform makes it easy for you to quickly work with multiple products and services using just one username and password.
Uses of an Apple ID with Digital Music Related Services
There are quite a few uses for your Apple ID when dealing with digital music. For instance, if you want to purchase and download a song or complete album from the iTunes Store, you'll need to log in using your Apple account security credentials. Similarly, downloading mobile apps for use with music services such as Slacker Radio, MOG, Spotify, and others, will require you to sign in using your Apple ID to go through the purchasing process -- even though most of these types of apps are usually free anyway.
An Apple ID is also necessary if you want to use iTunes Gift Cards (buying or redeeming). This method is a useful way to give someone (or yourself) a virtually instant way of purchasing songs, albums, apps, audiobooks, and other digital products from the iTunes Store using a pre-paid amount of credit. However, an Apple ID is still required to redeem this credit online so it can be applied to your iTunes account. Buying iTunes Gift Certificates so you can instantly send someone iTunes Store credit via email is also only possible if you have an Apple ID. Similarly, if receiving one, you will need to have an Apple account set up before you can enter the gift certificate code for your account to be properly credited.