iTunes vs Apple Music: Difference and Comparison

Entertainment has been a formative pillar of our cultures and civilizations for centuries. The forms and genres might have changed, but their role remains the same. 

This experience underwent a revolution in the early 1990s when music streaming platforms were introduced, though it took years for them to reach every household.

Following the emergence of cell phones, many industries in the communication sectors invested in them. Apple was one of them.

Among the hundred different features of an Apple device, iTunes and Apple Music are two of the most famous. Morphologically, both seem to be involved in the music industry, but they cover extremely different aspects of the same.

Key Takeaways

  1. iTunes is a media player software developed by Apple that allows users to play, download, and organize digital multimedia content. At the same time, Apple Music is a streaming service that allows users to access a vast library of songs on demand.
  2. iTunes is a desktop application that needs to be installed on a computer or mobile device, while Apple Music is a cloud-based service that can be accessed from multiple devices.
  3. iTunes allows users to purchase and own digital media content, while Apple Music provides unlimited access to a large music library for a monthly subscription fee.

iTunes vs Apple Music

iTunes is a free service developed by Apple Inc., a media player, media library, and mobile device management application. Apple Music is a music, audio, and video streaming service developed by Apple Inc., and it works on the subscription model.

iTunes vs Apple Music
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Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison iTunes Apple Music
Developed iniTunes was created in 2001Apple music was launched in 2015.
Use Manages the media content in the device.It is solely responsible for the music aspect of the device. 
SubscriptioniTunes is free to use unless you download anything.After the free trial, one has to become a paid subscriber to continue with Apple Music.
StreamingOne cannot stream music on iTunes. It works more as a store, from where you buy content.Apple Music is primarily a music streaming platform.
Devices allowedWith a single Apple id, you can have iTunes on 10 different devices.With a single Apple id, you can have Apple Music on 6 different devices.

What is iTunes?

Developed by Apple Inc. in 2001, iTunes is a storehouse for all kinds of media, including movies, music, tv shows, etc. You can purchase/download it for further experience.

It is the equivalent of Double Twist or Play Store on Android devices. It is the go-to destination for Apple users to get access to different kinds of media.

When purchasing a media item from iTunes, space adjustment is critical. For instance, if you are downloading movies on a 16 GB device, you cannot download more than 3.

The device must suit the application’s needs, which may not go smoothly with every user. 

iTunes is a program that manages media content on your devices. Though developed by Apple Inc., iTunes is not an Apple-exclusive application.

Even Android or Windows users can access the application. 

There are certain features which make iTunes a better-suited application than the rest, such as;

  1. iTunes and iOS – Although many Apple Inc. applications are available for iOS users, iTunes is the one that manages applications and handles Operating systems aptly.
  2. Home to unlimited content – iTunes is very helpful, not only for personalized use but also professionally. Numerous podcasts, audiobooks, and media with informational content are available for almost everyone.

Certain features of iTunes or the lack of them might be a worry for the users, such as;

  1. Speed and Performance – iTunes is not one of your fast-paced applications, especially if used on non-Apple devices. iTunes performance in Android, iOS, and Windows devices is sometimes excruciatingly low. Added to this, it might also affect the speed of the other applications. 
  2. iTunes and Business purposes – iTunes is primarily supposed to manage content on our device. When used for business purposes, it would shelter a lot of unwanted data or material, thus affecting the overall performance. 
itunes

What is Apple Music?

“All the way you love music, all in one place,” says Apple CEO Tim Cook about Apple music. This feature is Apple Inc.’s answer to the likes of Spotify and Google Music.

Although new, Apple Music, a streaming platform, has overtaken its competitors.

With over 50 million songs from various genres added to those three 24-hour radio stations, Apple Music has attracted the eyeballs of people from over 167 countries.

Unlike iTunes, Apple Music is not an application that manages the device’s content but is solely responsible for catering to the ‘musical needs’ of the users. 

Although most of the features in the music streaming platforms remain the same, Apple Music offers video and songs, which is not the case with many others.

With customized and specially curated playlists and impressive integration with the ‘Siri’ feature of Apple devices, Apple Music enhances the music streaming experiences multi-fold.

There are certain advantages of using Apple Music, namely;

  1. Availability – Apple Music offers a ‘free 3-month trial’ initially. It offers both individual and family plans, with a considerable price difference. 
  2. Diverse music experience – with over 50 million songs, Apple Music has one of the most diverse music collections among the streaming options.
  3. ‘Connect’ – With a special feature called ‘Connect’, Apple Music lets users sneak peek into their favourite celebrity’s life and preparation.

Considering all the factors, Apple Music surely isn’t the perfect streaming option for the following reasons :

  1. No free tiers – You cannot use Apple Music for free. Once the free trial is done, one has to become a paid subscriber. 
  2. Once the user ends the subscription, they will not continue to have free access to the downloaded songs.
Apple Music

Main Differences Between iTunes and Apple Music

  1. iTunes is used to purchase items and is the equivalent of Google’s play store. Apple Music is a music streaming platform.
  2. iTunes is mainly concerned with the content management of the device. Apple Music, as the name suggests, has more to do with the music aspect of it.
  3. iTunes can be termed a multimedia app. Apple Music does not curate or offer all types of media.
  4. iTunes doesn’t require a subscription unless you purchase items from the application. Apple Music is based on a no-free tier formula and is a subscription-based streaming platform.
  5. Content downloaded from iTunes remains on your device. Music/podcasts downloaded from Apple Music will be available offline if you continue the subscription.
Difference Between iTunes and Apple Music
References
  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03007766.2016.1264101
  2. https://www.scss.tcd.ie/publications/theses/diss/2016/TCD-SCSS-DISSERTATION-2016-027.pdf

Last Updated : 24 November, 2023

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