iTunes has been Apple's desktop hub for getting all your media and iOS apps -- but in 2017, the company removed the app store, which is the biggest change the program's seen in years. Let's talk about the new user experience.
High-quality curated recommendations: When you shop the TV or movie sections of the store, you'll see an Essentials link off to the right. This will display a version of the store that feels a lot like Netflix, with horizontally scrolling categories based on different themes and genres. We found this shopping experience effective at guiding us to accurately selected, high-quality purchases and rentals.
Genius Mixes: It's not a new feature, but it's something that we still haven't seen replicated elsewhere. When you enable Genius, which is the Apple AI that analyzes your library and generates recommendations from it, you'll automatically get multiple themed playlists of songs you already own. And Genius will guide you to specific purchases in the iTunes store that it thinks you would be interested in.
Technical difficulties: During our testing, the contents of our music library disappeared. We did not have any content downloaded from iTunes in the library, but all previous references to past purchases in the library were gone, and Genius-based iTunes purchase recommendations disappeared, which is still kind of alarming. Our playlists remained intact, from which we could download individual tracks, and going to the Account menu and clicking on Purchased showed everything we've ever bought. But there's no bulk method to restore your media from the cloud to your computer. If you have a large library, the tools within the app are impractical.
This is not an isolated issue, so there are apps and instructions floating around on the web that can help you. But the instructions we found were unsuccessful, and third-party apps that interact with iTunes are notoriously hit-or-miss and legally ambiguous.
Underwhelming navigation and video recommendations: A tiny menu in the upper left is labeled "Music." You'll need to click on that to open a drop-down menu listing the other sections. Hiding the other store sections behind this menu is puzzling, and dividing TV and movies into two separate mini-stores feels arbitrary in a streaming environment where Hulu and Netflix blend the two formats -- and personalized recommendations -- interchangeably.
The Windows version of iTunes does not personalize the TV or movie shopping experience, so it can take longer to find the content you like. You get music recommendations, but only based on what you've downloaded to that device, rather than your overall catalog of purchases. For all media, customer ratings only appear on the individual purchase pages, so it takes longer to sift through your options.
Device-specific shopping requirements: The movie section proudly highlights 4K UHD options, but in both the Mac and Windows versions of the iTunes store, you can't actually buy or rent in 4K unless you are actually shopping the store on the Apple TV 4K, which starts at $179. Since you can get competing high-quality 4K HDR streaming devices at half the cost, like the Roku Streaming Stick and the Amazon Fire TV -- and most 4K TVs these days have built-in streaming apps -- the entry fee feels unreasonably high.
However, we do appreciate that Apple offers 4K movies at the same price as 1080p, whereas its competition adds another 30-40 percent. So the extra cost of the Apple device may end up paying for itself in the long run, provided that you rent or buy 4K content on a regular basis.
The Windows version of iTunes also does not grant access to iBooks, which is Apple's competitor to Amazon Kindle, the major player in the digital book market. To shop for that content, you must be using a Mac, iPhone, or iPad.
Miscellaneous user experience frustrations: iTunes invites us to pre-order an album but does not articulate the incentive. Many albums are labeled with "Mastered for iTunes," but we couldn't find an explanation within the app for what this entailed. Downloading music into our wiped-out library did not enable Genius recommendations in the iTunes music store, whereas we had them before the wipe.
Despite having the store set up to require a password to make a purchase, we nevertheless had a purchase go through by clicking on the price of a song. The process to undo this mistake takes you to a support website which returns you to the app, which takes you back to your web browser for the actual refund request. Then it takes five to seven business days to get the refund. This is not a good user flow.
Bypassing iTunes to sync devices requires a paid subscription: Not only does iTunes have some design issues, but it's also the only free and authorized method to sync music in iCloud with your iPhone or iPad. If you want to go to your iCloud directly, you must pay $25 a year for "Apple Match" or $10 a month for Apple Music, the company's competitor to Spotify.
The Apple Match fee is manageable for most people, but it does feel like paying a librarian to let you sort through your own bookshelf. The iCloud mobile app is also not available for Android devices either way.
The desktop version of iTunes gives the impression that Apple's interests have largely transitioned elsewhere; that it would rather deal directly with iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs, and that it values apps and services more highly than movie and music sales. While this may make financial sense for the company in the long run, it's a disappointing feeling for those who feel left behind.
iTunes is a free application for Mac and PC. It plays all your digital music and video. It syncs content to your iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV. And it's an entertainment superstore that stays open 24/7. iTunes can connect to the iTunes Store via the Internet to purchase and download music, music videos, television shows, iPod games, audiobooks, eBooks, podcasts, feature length films and movie rentals (not available in all countries), and ringtones (only used for iPhone).
August 30, 2015
Version: Apple iTunes (64-bit) 184.108.40.206
Can't find any if all - I want is an organizer/player for music on Windows 7 and to tranfer mp3s and playlists to an iPhone.
Only used this program for 2 months after I bought an iPhone because I thought it was the only way to get music from my PC onto that device.
Non intuitative interface, finally had to write down the steps to export playlists.
Poor music organizer - especially coming from Winamp.
Won't import Winamp playlists or ratings.
As a former WinAmp user, I am stumped by the iTunes interface. Cannot figure out what all the rave reviews are about. I am an Amazon Prime member (don't use the iTunes store) and I thought I had to use the program to get music off my PC onto my iPhone. Thank goodness I found MediaMonkey: deleting iTunes as soon as I finish this review.
December 15, 2014
Version: Apple iTunes (64-bit) 220.127.116.11
Good for Apple devices
Confusing interface, no list view (you have to look at all your album covers), did not pick up A LOT of my music library and showed duplicate tracks where they did not exist, installed in x86 folder instead of 64-bit folder (but at least I got it to install on Win 7 64-bit). I will uninstall. There a plenty of other media players out there.
Would not complete download in Firefox, I had to use IE for some reason.
Only get this if you need it because you have Apple devices you need to manage.
January 23, 2014
Version: Apple iTunes (64-bit) 11.1.4
NONE: Doesn't install at all.
Can not install on Windows 7 64 bit fully updated Home Premium. This install blew away all functionality of my PERFECTLY working iTunes vers 11.1.3. The iTunes updater install failed, so I downloaded the clean install 11.1.4 package and tried a repair: NFG. SO I uninstalled iTunes completely, rebooted and tried to install the 11.3.4 downloaded package again: NFG: "WINDOWS ERROR 6 ; ERROR 126. SO, now I have NO iTunes anymore. Guess I'll try finding the 11.1.3 install package and try to get back to a version that works...wish me luck.
DO NOT INSTALL over a working 11.1.3 if you are running Windows 7 64 bit!!!
January 13, 2013
Version: Apple iTunes (64-bit) 11.0.1
Since I couldn't install the software, I can't see any to mention.
Upon downloading, I got a message saying that they installer would not load because I didn't have Vista 64. This review does say that this is for XP 64, so someone is wrong somewhere.
For years Apple has penalized users of XP 64, yet I continue to beat my head against the wall hoping that they will reopen the gates of music management for I-Pod users that have XP 64. Apparently, our business is not that important to them. I will not buy another Apple product until this slight is taken care of.
November 16, 2012
Version: Apple iTunes (64-bit) 10.7
I have used previous versions of iTunes in the past without problem. I have always liked it until now.
The morning after installing this version both of my disk drives (D: and E:) disappeared from my PC and trying to use them failed. I deleted iTunes and its associated Apple folders, ran various cleaners such as CCleaner, Wise Disk Cleaner and Advanced SystemCare 6 and then rebooted. After this my D: and E: drives reappeared !
Great piece of software but with a problem for me this time.
"very proprietary and not so good any more piece of soft"
"very proprietary and not so good any more piece of soft"
September 13, 2011
Version: Apple iTunes (64-bit) 10.4.1
it plays some formats. Music enhancing works well
does not play flac files. after a while i realized it is useless in organizing my library. It was a mistake to let do so. it moves files from folder to folder as it wishes. leaves empty folders. some albums I could not even collect to place.
its OK jukebox. it is not that good. If you decide to buy any music from its shop. be aware. for the price of regular cd you will get only a fraction of the quality. used to be a pitiable 128kbps. I think later it will be 256kbps but still that is far from original, intended quality. even that most people it will find good enough, still it is a rip off... One more thing is it would not play FLAC. That most music lovers use.
May 26, 2011
Version: Apple iTunes (64-bit) 10.2.2
A large selection of arrangement options. Simple Interface. Good features such as remembering the location in audio-books, media info retrieval. Looks clean and tidy.
Relatively resource hungry. Runs additional background programs for syncing, could better be integrated into iTunes application. No player customisation. Can be unstable; prone to hangs. Download and updates are large compared to other players.
A must have program for managing media between your machine and other media players (iPods etc). Simple to use and a relatively streamline experience; but at the cost of customisation. A few stability issues in my experience.