I visit the iTunes Store regularly, less to buy than to find out what’s new. Since there are certain areas I want to browse, I have to click through from the iTunes Store to, say, Music, then to the genre I want. Three clicks, and a lot of waiting to get to different sections. It seemed to me that bookmarks were needed for the iTunes Store.Well, you may know that you can save URLs for the iTunes Store–just control-click any artist name, album, or song, and select Copy iTunes Store URL. But you can also save URLs for other parts of the store, such as the main sections and genres. At the top of the iTunes Store window, you’ll see the path through the store: for example, when in the Classical section, you’ll see a house icon, then Music, then Classical (see the screen shot above). You can’t copy this URL by control-clicking, but you can drag it to the desktop–just click, drag, and you’ll create a “webloc” file, which store the URL. (You can also drag the links from the left-hand column of the Store page to do this, but the path URLs let you grab some links that are otherwise unavailable.)
You can either double-click this file to open the Classical section of the store, or you can drag it into your web browser’s Bookmarks window. If you do the latter, just select it from your Bookmarks menu, or from any bookmarks folder you have stored it in.
Now, this works fine on a Mac, but on Windows, behavior is a bit different. You all know I’m not a Windows maven, so help me out if you find a better way. I dragged the icons or links from the iTunes Store to the Windows desktop, and found that I had a kind of bookmark shortcut file. I was then able to double-click this file and open it–the file opens my default browser (in this case, Firefox), then bounces to iTunes. The first time, it asked if I wanted to associate iTunes with the specific URL, and I did so. While I couldn’t drag these files to my Firefox bookmarks, I was able to save the page that opened in Firefox as a bookmark; that page didn’t go away after iTunes opened, as occurs with Safari on Mac OS X.
Back to the Mac, you can make bookmarks for all the sections of the iTunes Store that you visit regularly. For quick access, you could open these webloc files from Spotlight: try putting some unique text in the Spotlight Comments field of these files (select the files in the Finder, then press Command-I to access this field). For example, put “ITSBM” in each file, and when you type that in the Spotlight menu, you’ll be able to access these files immediately.