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So you just got an iTunes gift card -- now what?

All day on December 25, TUAW presents "Now What?" We've got first steps and recommendations for all the Apple gifts you found under the tree today. Happy holidays!

Hopefully a lot of you reached into your Christmas stockings and pulled out a lump of coal fully-loaded iTunes gift card. In case you haven't been presented with one of these gems before, they come in denominations of $10, $25, $50, and $100 in the USA -- check your country's Apple website for the availability of cards in your local currency.

Turning this card into tunes or iPhone apps is simple:

1) Check the back of the card first. If you see a list of numbers and letters instead of the words "Scratch off gently with coin", then your card has been used before. Take the giver off of your Christmas list for next year.

2) If the scratch-off material is intact, grab a coin and gently scratch off the material to reveal the code.

3) Launch iTunes. Make sure you're logged into your iTunes account and not somebody else's.

4) In the upper right part of the iTunes screen you'll see an area marked "Quick Links" (see screenshot at left). Click on the "Redeem" link.

5) You're almost there. A screen appears that will ask you to enter the code exactly as it appears. Note that if you mistype even one number or letter, the card will be rejected, so make sure you're reading the letters and number properly.

6) Click the "Redeem" button. You may want to read the Terms & Conditions, but I seriously doubt it. There's more legalese in that document than you'd find in a bank bailout plan.

7) If everything has gone as planned at this point, you'll have a credit in your account. Exactly how much money you have to play with will be listed just to the left of your iTunes account name in the upper right side of the iTunes window.

8) Buy tunes and apps until you're filled with the joy of the holidays!



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All day on December 25, TUAW presents "Now What?" We've got first steps and recommendations for all the Apple gifts you found under the...