There is certainly no shortage of premium streaming apps to choose from nowadays. In fact, I would argue that there might be too many to choose from. Not that there could ever really be too many platforms on which to stream movies, TV shows, and music … but the fact that there are so many out there does make it awfully difficult to figure out which ones are worth our time and money and which ones deserve to be passed over, not given a second thought.
Which is precisely why I have decided to make StreamingSites … to help you more easily weed through all of the streaming services out there, to save you tons of time and lots of money. Because, of course, aside from reading my lists of thorough reviews, the only way to know for sure if a streaming service is right for you is to try it out for yourself. This, of course, can easily lead to signing up for all sorts of trial periods, and, if you are anything like me, you will inevitably forget about them and then get charged, whether you wanted to use the service or not. This is, after all, what these companies bank on by offering free trials that you will forget, and then they can charge you anyway.
So, I created StreamingSites in the hopes of making your life a little bit easier. I also made StreamingSites because I believe in sharing the best streaming sites and streaming apps with others. I believe that we all deserve the best streaming services, the best movies, the best shows, etc. So, if I can help make sure that as many people as possible get to stream great content, on great apps, at great prices, then my job has been done.
There are all sorts of different streaming apps out there, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Some, for instance, offers unique business models that do not require you to pay anything per month to use them but, instead, offer titles for you to rent or purchase. Others may offer vast libraries of movies and TV shows absolutely free of charge (you only pay in putting up with ads … and often there are lots of them). Finding the right premium streaming app for you will be a matter of figuring out what you hope to get out of it.
Maybe you prefer having the best possible app – the most intuitive and user-friendly design, the highest-quality video streaming, the most features, etc. If so, you’ll want to pay special attention to the design sections of my reviews, ensuring that the app in question offers precisely what it is that you are looking for.
Or perhaps you are, like me, most concerned with the number of great titles offered. Because, after all, what is a streaming service worth if it does not have tons of classic and fresh movies and shows to watch? All that wonderful app design and user-friendliness is wasted if it does not deliver the shows and movies that you want to see, right?
Then, there are premium streaming apps that transcend everything you thought a streaming app could be. Some premium streaming apps are so much more than just apps that let you watch movies and TV shows. Some are multimedia powerhouses, enormous markets of nearly endless streaming content. Some premium streaming apps offer not just movies and shows, but music and other exclusive content. Some premium streaming apps require no introduction at all.
That is certainly the case with the streaming app we are going to be taking a look at today. Everyone has heard of iTunes. It is one of the most popular and widely used apps of all time. And it puts a lot of the other premium streaming apps to shame … at the very least in terms of services offered. How many streaming apps do you know that offer nearly any and every movie, show, album, and song ever produced? The iTunes library is truly out of this world. But more on that in a moment.
iTunes may not be for everyone. Some people are not huge fans of their marketplace structure. Others have qualms with their design. Regardless of how you feel about this premium streaming app, one thing is for sure … there may not have been a more impactful app ever released. The ways in which iTunes helped launch media into the digital age are unprecedented. The iTunes charts, for instance, are regularly consulted for gauging the success of a new album. That should speak volumes for the influence and power behind this app.
A relatively unknown company by the name of Cassady and Greene released a program called Sound Jam MP in 1998. Two years later, Apple purchased Sound Jam, changing its name to iTunes. The software’s primary developers moved over to Apple, as was negotiated in the acquisition. They quickly began work on simplifying the user interface of Sound Jam, as well as adding certain abilities like CD burning.
The first version of iTunes was referred to, for promotional purposes, as “The world’s best and easiest to use jukebox software.” It was announced on January 9th, 2001. From there, subsequent updates to iTunes coincided with hardware releases, and eventually, the app was expanded and split into sister apps, such as the iTunes Store, Apple Movies, etc.
The design of iTunes, incredibly, has not changed all that much since the first time that I used it in the early 2000s. The layout still looks basically the same … with a tree of folders, artists, songs, movies, shows, podcasts, etc. all available on the left-hand side of the program, and the opened content itself on the right-hand side. At the bottom, of course, is the media player. But this iconic design is only that of the iTunes desktop computer program. If we are to discuss the mobile version of iTunes, we will have to look at the iTunes Store, which serves as the megaplex for all of the types of media that iTunes lets you access.
Frankly, I have always found the iTunes Store to be a little too clunky, from a design perspective, for my liking. Granted, this is one of the biggest apps on the market, so I don’t know how much blame I can really put on the designers. When you are trying to cram hundreds of millions of titles from several different media all onto one small app, you must have a pretty daunting task in front of you. That being said, I do still think that the iTunes Store app could be a little more streamlined and user-friendly.
I do not love how the top of the app-only offers two options to toggle between Featured and Charts, and the bottom displays Music. Movies, TV shows, Search. I do not think that the ability to switch between charts and featured is necessary enough to warrant such a huge space of the layout. Beyond just that, though, the main screen where you can access the content itself is too cluttered for my liking, with too many different sized and shaped tiles for an app, in my opinion. I would love to see the iTunes app be cleaned up a little in future updates.
Well, this is, without a doubt, where the iTunes app truly shines. This premium streaming app has a little bit of everything. You have everything you could possibly want, media-wise, all in one convenient place: Music, Movies, TV shows, ringtones, and more.
Music: iTunes offers 43 million songs to choose from. Browse by artist, song, genre, and curated categories just for you
Movies and TV: iTunes has over 85,000 movies; over 300,000 TV shows. Here, you can browse by network, title, genre, rating, collections, and movie bundles.
iTunes also allows you to preorder new releases, which will automatically download onto your device as soon as they become available.
Pricing and Plans
Well, iTunes does not cost anything to download. And it does not cost you anything per month to use in the way of subscriptions. However, you have to pay for content individually. Pay by album, by song, by movie, by episode, or by season. This is the downside, at least for me, of iTunes. I am not personally a huge fan of buying content, one piece at a time. I would much rather pay per month and stream, but, hey, that’s just me.
Suggestions that I have for Apple iTunes
My main suggestion would be to spruce up the design a little, make it a bit more streamlined, and declutter it. An app of this stature, I think, should look much cleaner!