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Apple iTunes

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apple.com/itunes

Apple iTunes is an iconic platform which is very close to its end. From its native marketing to its ability to hold a massive amount of data, iTunes was at the center of Apple’s dominance in the world of technology. Apple iTunes as a streaming service has been a one-stop-shop for users wanting to stream, download movies, TV shows, books, podcasts and listen to internet radio.

Though Apple Music has risen to the center in the last few, the tried and tested iTunes application is still the best-in-class. With every update, you get something new. In its last update, Apple Music got a visual makeover so it can match the iOS version.

There are plenty of reasons why we’re in love with iTunes. Our reasons range from anywhere between the music player, iTunes store, TV, movies, syncing feature, iTunes U, books or other services. iTunes has always been a jam-packed platform with tools for media consumption that can’t be matched by any of its competitors.

Death of iTunes – Apple segregating its assets

Our love for iTunes makes it very hard to part ways with this beautiful platform. However, Apple introduced macOS Catalina in October this year which marked the end of Mac Support for iTunes. Though the service will still continue to exist, it will no longer keep up with Apple’s pace, thus forcing you to opt-out of it. Instead of iTunes, you’ll need to channel yourself to use Apple Podcasts, Apple Music, Apple TV, and the finder. All the content that you owned, will be segregated in either of these four platforms.

History

iTunes was introduced in the year 2001. Conceived as a music player in its early days, iTunes developed into comprehensive multimedia, hardware sync and e-commerce platform within a decade. Its features and sophisticated management were way ahead of its time, which is the primary reason why it stole our hearts. It enabled users to create playlists, manage media, sync content with Apple devices such as iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac.

All of us can see Apple heading towards a new horizon. Its shifting strategies align with its premium portfolio which continues to provide the best user experience to date. It is branching out its services so each of them can be optimized to maximize the user experience.

Design

The design of the iTunes store is as iconic as the name itself. Though over the years, we have seen several interfaces, at the heart of it, everything feels the same.

The interface always manages to remain familiar with its grey tone but keeps getting upgraded in one way or the other. For instance, you’d no longer find the button which switched Store and Library mode.

A standard menu which is the starting point along with left-rail content selector – Music, Movies, TV, etc) and prominent buttons at the center such as Library, For You, Browse, Radio and Store.

The content types can be accessed via permanent buttons as opposed to drop-down menus. You can also find back and forward arrows (similar to browser) which can help you navigate back and forth.

Recent upgrades saw amazing changes in the software. This meant that you can switch to a mini-player in a breath. Other notable upgrades include Viewing the CD cover by just hovering the mouse over the album art. User Icon and Wish List button got ditched on the main window.

Content

iTunes’ still not out of the park. It is working but it won’t be able to keep up with the updates. With that said, it’s still the easiest way to keep yourself entertained. From music to movies and TV Shows, you can see everything organized quite well. Want to rent, buy or download a movie or a TV Show? iTunes has you covered. For the last 4-5 years, iTunes has been home to Apple Music where you can listen to 50 million+ songs with zero commercials. The offline feature in iTunes has been a thing of the past.

The Apple iTunes store has been a go-to destination for users wanting to buy, rent, stream and download movies, music, music videos, TV shows, books, podcasts and so on. When it comes to content, it’s the ease of finding and consuming content that sets iTunes apart from its competitors.

Apple iTunes Features

iCloud

iCloud has to be one of the most innovative features offered by Apple. iTunes is integrated with iCloud for a long time and thus the content you purchase on your mobile easily becomes available across other devices such as your Mac or PC. Once you authorize the device, you can access the content anywhere you want.

iTunes Extras

iTunes Extras as the name suggests provides behind-the-scenes videos, high-resolution image galleries, short films, and director commentary. Apple TV with its set-top appliance has been an integral part of iTunes’s movie viewing experience. Nowadays, any film that you buy through iTunes generally comes with Extras.

Apple Music’s capabilities within Apple iTunes

Easy sync

Apple iTunes allows you to sync your data across devices. You can create a playlist and hear it from any of your devices. From a chill-out classic instrumental to a heart-rate pounding workout beat, you can listen to anything. Even when you’re not sure of what you want to hear, you can trust Apple’s recommendation – I simply love it.

Song Previews

Most of us get tired of listening to the same music again and again. We don’t even try new artists because who wants to spend a penny on an artist you haven’t heard of? With Apple Music’s Song previews, you get 90-second previews which allow you to decide whether the track is worth spending the money on or not. You can try a couple of tracks from an album and decide if the album is worth it. Sure, you won’t generally apply this theory to a Drake or a Post Malone album, but it’s a great way to discover up and coming artists.

Family Sharing

You can share your iTunes purchases with up to six members in your family. All of them can download what you have purchased. Additionally, Apple Music allows you to start with a three-month free trial which allows ad-free listening and streaming along with the ability to follow and share songs with your friends.

Apple iTunes Desktop/Mobile Experience

Excellent Browsing Capabilities

Searching for a movie, song or TV shows on iTunes is straightforward. There are many ways in which you can search for specific content. For movies alone, you can choose from a plethora of options such as “New and Noteworthy, selection for kids, 4K movies, bundles, and movie series as well as pre-orders”. You can also refer to the chart to learn what’s popular.

Simple Interface

Sure, iTunes is slightly challenging at first. But once you wrap your head around it, there’s no denying that it becomes quite simple to use. With a clean and sharp interface, you can access content without any hassle.

You can sort the content by price, genre, cinema rating – An option that enhances the browsing experience. Similar to movies its TV shows, music, podcasts, and audiobooks have the same structure.

Plans & Pricing

iTunes as a platform is free to use. However, the content available on the platform needs to be rented or bought. Since iTunes is no longer the ultimate store, we have to study the plans and pricing based upon independent services. For instance, Apple Music – its most popular service is a direct competitor of Spotify and Microsoft Groove Music. Unlike other music streaming service which asks you to pay a monthly fee, Apple allows its users to experience its services for free for 3 months.

Once the 90-day trial period ends, it costs around $9.99/per month. If you have a family membership that allows up to six users, then you will need to pay around $14.99/per month. Apple also has a student option that requires you to pay $4.99/per month. Any playlist that you create can be synced across all devices. The only shortcoming with Apple music is that a desktop interface is not available.

Suggestions I have for Apple iTunes

I would’ve loved to see Apple work something out with iTunes itself. But I knew that the success of Apple Music would lead the developers to take a different route. Thus, I’m not shocked and I don’t have anything much to say in this regard.

Conclusion

Apple made its intentions clear a long time ago. It realized that iTunes cannot keep up with today’s platforms and diversifying the product is the best way to stay unique. Apple Music is extremely fast similar to the other three-branched out services which point out that iTunes as an individual entity became lag-luster.

Likes & Hates:
Specific diversification for a particular speed
One-stop-shop for entertainment
Easy to use interface
Amazing Browsing Capabilities
No longer the main store
Lags a lot
Too heavy as compared to other stores