Difference Between iTunes and Apple Music

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. 


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

Following the emergence of cellphones, 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 ones. Morphologically, both seem to be involved in the music industry, which they are but cover extremely different aspects of the same.

Key Takeaways

iTunes vs Apple Music

The difference between iTunes and Apple Music is that iTunes is a common manager for all the media content in the device. It is a place where you can purchase/download movies, music, and tv shows. Apple music is simply a music streaming platform.

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.Is solely responsible with 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 in 10 different devices.With a single Apple id, you can have Apple music in 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 an 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.

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

The device needs to suit the needs of the application, which may not go smooth 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. There are numerous podcasts, audiobooks, and media with informational content available there 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 excruciatingly low at times. Added to this, it might also affect the speed of the other applications 
  2. iTunes and Business purposes – iTunes primarily is 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. 

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 considered to be Apple Inc.’s answer to the likes of Spotify and Google music.

Although new in the market, Apple music which essentially is a streaming platform has already overtaken its competitors.

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

Unlike iTunes, Apple Music is not an application that manages the content of the device 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 along with the songs, which is not the case with many others.

With customized and specially curated playlists along with 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’ in the beginning. 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 amongst the streaming options.
  3. ‘Connect’ – With a special feature by the name of ‘Connect’, Apple Music allows the users to have a sneak peek into their favorite 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 an 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 as a multimedia app. Apple music does not curate or offer all types of media.
  4. iTunes doesn’t require a subscription unless you are purchasing 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 in your device. Music/podcasts downloaded from Apple Music will be available offline, as long as you continue the subscription.
Difference Between iTunes and Apple Music
  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03007766.2016.1264101
  2. https://www.kilbroneykennels.co.uk/About%20iTunes.rtf
  3. https://www.scss.tcd.ie/publications/theses/diss/2016/TCD-SCSS-DISSERTATION-2016-027.pdf
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