iTunes

Introduction

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Summary

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Users can play and download music and videos, rip songs from CD, and have access to other exciting contents such as podcasts, ebooks, etc. It is useful for organizing music and movies. Users can purchase songs and related content on the store via iTunes Credit. All files available on the iTunes library are stored in iCloud for easy access in case of device theft.

When Apple Inc. first released the iPhone, iTunes was the required app for its activation. It continued until the release of iOS 5. iTunes is available for use on Apple mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads. It is also available on Windows and macOS supported systems.

About iTunes

iTunes store, introduced in April 2003 was to provide a legal platform for users to purchase music. Later on, the store expanded to accommodate renting movies, buying books, etc. The app operates a freeware license, and it can be downloaded and updated via the Apple store here.

iTunes functions as a media player, CD ripper, and Digital asset management software. Initially designed for Apple products, however, in 2003, Apple released iTunes for Windows, which allows all its PC users to have access to the software. Asides this exception, iPhones, iPads, and Apple mobile devices are the only smart mobile devices with iTunes compatibility. The Windows PC client application is available for download on Microsoft store here.

iTunes has a family sharing feature which allows users to share their purchases with up to six persons in the family via a unique Apple ID. iTunes doesn’t allow users to send music from one device to the other. Thus, downloaded music isn’t stored on the device but instead on the iTunes library.

The platform activated its support for podcasts in June 2005. It allows users to subscribe to different RSS feeds for podcasts update. Users can also purchase eBooks to read from the iTunes store. These books can be transferred to the user’s iPad for better viewing with the Apple Books application.

It has an inbuilt service identified as iTunes Connect, which allows content providers to upload and manage their digital content on the store. Users can view analytics, make products available in select countries, and manage product metadata. Sometimes, users confuse iTunes for Apple Music; however, they are different Apple applications. While iTunes is restricted to Apple devices, Apple music is available on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, etc.

Features

iTunes has included different features and discontinued some while some are still active. We have outlined these features here;

Media Player

iTunes functions perfectly as a media player. It supports different audio formats such as WAV, AAC, AIFF, MP3, etc. It also supports MP4 and M4V video files. Users can import audio tracks from external devices and transfer them to the iOS device. In its music library, iTunes allows users to modify track’s metadata, i.e., artist’s name, album, genre, etc. It is also useful for ripping CD contents.

Store

iTunes has an inbuilt store which is used to purchase media files for use on the app. Users can buy music from their favorite artists across different genres, download podcasts, videos, and watch TV shows via the store. These contents are purchased with iTunes credit. The store has over 43 million songs, 85,000 movies and over 300,000 TV shows in its catalog. Users can also re-download past purchases anytime on all devices.

Radio and Music Streaming

iTunes from inception had support for Kerbango radio an internet service for music streaming. However, Apple announced its radio identified as iTunes Radio. This feature is a free music streaming service. This feature was discontinued from June 2015, and it became Beats 1 radio on Apple Music which is a premium streaming service.

Cloud Services

Apple introduced a cloud service feature on iTunes, i.e., iTunes, which allows users to store their digital purchases on the cloud. It makes it easy to access lost files when using a new device. iTunes Match is another feature which matches content ripped from CDs with the appropriate catalog on the service.

Podcasting

Initially, iTunes was designed to play podcasts. However, Apple introduced the Podcasts app in 2017. Users can still subscribe to many podcasters on the store. All podcasts are free. iTunes U, a feature used by U.S. colleges to deliver university lecture has been integrated into the Podcasts app.

Charts

iTunes provides charts for how contents are bought on the store. These charts vary according to countries and specifications. These charts include Top songs, albums, free apps, paid apps, grossing apps, books, movies, TV shows, and Music Videos. It also has a world chart for all these categories.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • It is Free: iTunes software is available for download on Apple store and Microsoft store for Windows PC. Unlike many paid services, users can use iTunes to play music and other media files at no cost. You can rip CD contents, and manage your library for free.
  • Access to TV Shows: With over 300,000 TV shows on the platform, users can have maximum entertainment watching the latest episodes of their favorite TV shows.
  • Podcasting: Podcasts are available on the iTunes store for free. Also, it does not require Apple IDs to download.
  • Cloud Service: Apple servers store user contents for easy retrieval in case of data loss.
  • Revenue for Content Providers: iTunes is a popular service which generates revenue for different content providers. These people can upload their content on the platform and get paid as the consumers buy it.

Cons                                                          

  • Device Selection: iTunes doesn’t work on Android or other mobile devices except for iPhones and iPad. Also, the application works on macOS and Windows systems.

Different Versions

iTunes doesn’t have different versions. However, it has applications that are its offshoot. These include Apple Music, Podcast, and iCloud. Unlike iTunes, Apple Music is compatible with non-iOS devices.

Compatibility

iTunes is compatible with iOS mobile devices, i.e., iPad, iPhone, macOS, and Windows supported systems. The service is only available on Windows 7 (SP 1 or later) and higher versions. Download the software here.

FAQs

Can you log into iTunes online?

iTunes doesn’t have a web platform on its website where users can access its service. All users are required to download the client application for their devices and install it to use the platform. iTunes purchases are possible with an Apple ID.

What can you do with iTunes?

You can play music, videos, watch TV shows, rip CDs, listen to podcasts, read books, and purchase digital content via the iTunes store, etc.

Can you transfer iTunes credit?

iTunes credit cannot be transferred from one user to the other neither can it be exchanged for cash in local bank accounts. You can only use the gift a card option to send iTunes credit to a user.

Does iTunes have free music?

iTunes often offer a free song of the day. However, this offer is in select countries, and the free song is irrespective of the user’s music preference. Besides this, music in the iTunes store is not free. Podcasts are free however.

Can you keep the songs from Apple music?

Songs downloaded from Apple Music are under DRM. However, to keep these songs, you would have to remove DRM.

Summary                                             

iTunes is a media application. It serves as a media player and device management application. Designed by Apple Inc in 2001, iTunes is an essential software of all iOS and macOS devices. It is also available to Windows PC users. iTunes provides a store where digital contents such as music, podcast, videos, TV shows, and eBooks can be purchased. Download iTunes via this link.

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