Apple iTunes for Mac

Apple iTunes for Mac

Editors' Rating:
4.5
Outstanding
Average User Rating:
3.1
out of 232 votes
See all user reviews

Quick Specs

Version:
10.6
File Size:
231.69MB
Date Added:
March 07, 2012
Price:
Free
Operating Systems:
Mac OS X 10.5 Intel/PPC, Mac OS X 10.6 Intel/10.7
Total Downloads:
1,431,150
Downloads Last Week:
1,499
Product ranking:
Additional Requirements:
Not available

Editors' Note:

Editors' review

Bottom line: Version 10.6 of iTunes brings a handful of enhancements to Apple's ubiquitous media software, and adds support for 1080p video.

Review:
As one of the most popular programs for managing music and video content on a personal computer, Apple's iTunes software has become an indispensable part of our digital life.

Interface
The look and layout of iTunes 10 is essentially identical to that of iTunes 9, with just a couple of noticeable differences. The first is that Apple has updated its logo for iTunes. Rather than the old-school music note-over-CD icon, you'll see a much more applike image. Still, the company hasn't figured out how to more broadly represent the jukebox's multimedia functionality: there's still just a music note.

There's also been a slight change to the source menu that runs as a column down the left side. The bright blue icons representing the various submenus have been changed to gray--an odd change in our eyes as it makes them stand out even less, which doesn't make a ton of sense for menu options. That said, they still offer quick access to your media library, the iTunes Store, Genius features, and playlists. Once a selection is chosen in the source menu, all the relevant content spills out into the large main window, where it can be organized and sorted using an arsenal of sophisticated, spreadsheet-like options or switched into a Cover Flow view that hearkens back to the days of flipping through record crates.

Once you're in the iTunes Store, navigation links now run horizontally across the top of the window and include drop-down menus to quickly drill down into specific sections, such as Jazz. Front page content is attractively arranged and allows you to launch music and video previews directly, without jumping in and out of specific album and video listings. There's also an option menu next to every purchase button, allowing you to copy the item's URL, add to your Wish List, gift the purchase, or share the link on Facebook or Twitter. We're happy to see that Apple kept all these great enhancements from version 9.

As the primary tool for managing content on iOS devices, iTunes continues to make it easy to find music, apps, podcasts, videos, and more using the navigation buttons across the top. In the iTunes App Store, for example, you can view Apple's New and Noteworthy apps, Hot apps of the moment, and Staff Picks if you're looking for app ideas. The iTunes App Store also offers a number of features in the right navigation like Games of the Week, Games starter kits, most popular lists, and other rotating links for more app discovery choices. Similarly, the Podcast, Books, and Video sections all have options for content discovery making it easy to browse for new content for your iOS devices.

Features
What started out as a basic jukebox program for ripping and burning CDs and transferring music to your iPod has evolved over the years into a multimedia behemoth capable of handling everything from HD-movie rentals to syncing appointments with your iOS device. In spite of all the bells and whistles that have been tacked on to iTunes over the years, at its core, iTunes still remains an excellent tool for managing your music and video collections.

One of the major feature additions from version 10 was Ping, a social music tool akin to Microsoft's Zune Social. Ping lets you select your favorite artists to follow, and then provides updated information on new music and concerts in your area (as well as a Twitter-like feed of comments from the artists). In addition, you can connect with your friends through iTunes by sending e-mail invites or by linking to your Facebook account. Ping is also built into the iTunes app, allowing users to access it on-the-go. Ping started off slow at release with only a few artists to follow, but after a few iTunes updates, Ping blossomed into full-fledged service. Ping still struggles to catch on, however, and is probably not as widely used as Apple might have hoped.

On the plus side, the recent versions of the jukebox do carry over all the great features from their predecessors. There's the iTunes LP media format, Home Sharing, Genius Mixes, and plentiful device-syncing options. The iTunes LP format treats music fans to a more immersive album experience, filled with liner notes, lyrics, interactive menus, and bonus videos. Though it seemed like a great idea when iTunes 10 first launched, relatively few artists currently have LP versions of their releases at the time of this update (iTunes 10.6).

On the video side, you can still expect to get the sort of bonus material and extras found on DVDs to many of the popular movies and TV shows available through iTunes. The format is called iTunes Extras, but just like iTunes LP, none of the added material or special menus can be transferred to an iPod or iPhone.

iTunes 10.6 adds the ability to play 1080p movies and TV shows from within the iTunes App Store. Apple says song matching has been improved, and iTunes has improved the way album artwork is handled, downloaded, and displayed. We haven't noticed any big differences in matching or album artwork management in our testing. The update also fixed an issue where songs were skipping when playing from iCloud.

Apple's Genius feature, added in iTunes 8, harnesses Apple's vast collection of iTunes song data to give you educated recommendations when it comes to what music or videos may interest you based on the media you already have. The same data can also be used to create instant 25-song Genius Playlists, built around any song in your library. In iTunes 9, Apple added another use for its Genius song recommendations called Genius Mixes. To minimize the amount of time it takes to launch iTunes and start listening to great music, Genius Mixes are automatic mixes of music from your library based around a common genre, such as Rock, Classical, Pop, or Jazz. The effect is similar to switching on a good radio station, surrendering song selection over to Apple's Genius technology, and trusting it not to mix your Zappa songs with Ella Fitzgerald.

iTunes also allows you to bless locally networked computers with Home Sharing privileges, allowing unrestricted access to their music, videos, podcasts, apps, and playlists, which can be copied between computers directly within iTunes. It's a great feature for families or any multicomputer household, and can even be set up to transfer any new iTunes store purchases between all of your computers automatically. Of course, content added to your library using means other than the iTunes Store (heaven forbid) is excluded from automatic updates, but can still be transferred manually through Home Sharing.

iTunes Match
Originating in version 10.5.1, iTunes Match lets you subscribe to match your current music library up with iTunes' vast music database and stores all your music in iCloud for $24.99 per year. Once subscribed, iTunes scans your library then matches up your songs with the iTunes database. Even if you have songs that aren't in the iTunes database, they will be uploaded to iCloud allowing you to download them on authorized desktop computers and your iOS devices. It's important to note, however, that Apple has implemented a hard cap of 25,000 songs for iTunes Match, so those with enormous music collections won't even be able to sign up for the service. Hopefully Apple will come up with a way to account for users with giant music collections (even if that means offering the capability to designate which songs should be matched), but it seems like a large oversight to not have some way for these users to sign up.

Worth the download?

Updating iTunes is about as inevitable as death and taxes. Try and resist, and some iPod or iPhone update will come along and twist your arm into updating anyhow. And while Apple hasn't done much to lighten the load of the iTunes installation package (or the bundled QuickTime install that comes with it), it's hard to complain when the program is free and offers such an impressive range of features. If you're willing to spend $24.99 a year, the iTunes matching service might be worth the download to get all your music available via the cloud (as long as you have 25,000 songs or fewer). So yes, it's worth downloading--if for no other reason than to manage your devices and the content to go with it.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All Versions:

    3.1

    out of 232 votes

    • 5 star: 67
    • 4 star: 41
    • 3 star: 32
    • 2 star: 26
    • 1 star: 66
  • Current Version:

    0 stars Be the first to review this product
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    Results 1-10 of 220

  • 1 stars

    "As usual apple is making life less user friendly."

    May 28, 2014   |   By musicmugger

    Version: Apple iTunes 11.2.2

    Pros

    I have never liked iTunes, and this is making me dislike it even more.

    Cons

    Even harder to sort things out, and still too slow.

    Summary

    It's time apple allowed apps like file manager store music. Everything that works well for movies and pictures could and should be allowed to accept music files. It's time apple opened up our choice and stopped deciding what we can and cannot use. I'm not surprised so many people jailbreak their devices now that the courts ruled it's not and offence against copyright

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  • 1 stars

    "This once nice software has become buggy & slow"

    May 22, 2014   |   By drumsandmusic

    Version: Apple iTunes 11.2.1

    Pros

    * let's you easily spend all your money

    Cons

    * slow, blown up
    * focus on listening to music is long gone
    * shift to commercial MAS and selling things to users
    * 11.2.1 album view keyboard navigation is completely broken, what is going on at apple?!?
    https://discussions.apple.com/message/25849006#25849006

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  • 1 stars

    "Abysmal miss"

    January 26, 2014   |   By cnetlink31

    Version: Apple iTunes 11.1.4

    Pros

    I doesn't corrupt your OS kernel

    Cons

    Apple as a company is loosing its soul. iTunes is oriented to sell, not to enjoy music. Many 10.7 traditional features disappeared on the first iTunes 11 release and they are replaced by horrible implementations. I truly hate the lack of coverflow.
    I am running two computer, one with 10.7 for music, another with 11. to synchronize my iPhone/iPad - I guess I can survive like this for a couple of years, but it is time to start exploring other hardware options in anticipation of a continues deterioration of the Apple user experience.

    Summary

    iTunes 11 provides a horrible User experience. Stay with 10.7 if you are the type that really like listening to music.

    Updated on Jan 26, 2014

    BTW, I downgraded to 11.1.4 (form 10.7) only because my iPhone died and any replacement had iOS7 which requires iTunes 11 for IPhone/iPad management. Apple forced me to 'upgrade' to a lesser product, they apparently seem to know better what I should be using. Thank you very much Apple. How terribly disappointing.

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  • 4 stars

    "still some problems"

    October 25, 2013   |   By macdad614

    Version: Apple iTunes 11.1.2

    Pros

    faster (11.1.1) than previous versions.
    More useful info with the album display.

    Cons

    ONE album is displayed as several different albums but the same cover art.
    More difficult to change what I am duplicating in another format (Create New Version) other than mp3.

    Summary

    Better than previous versions. Do not know whether 11.1.2 makes any observable changes.

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  • 1 stars

    "no go for iphones4"

    October 14, 2013   |   By husarich

    Version: Apple iTunes 11.1.1

    Pros

    none really.....

    Cons

    Sync between iPhone4 and iTunes11 does not work.
    If you're considering a new iPhone just remember in the future apple's new software will not support your phone when it is 4 years old.

    Summary

    iPhone4 was/is a great model and functions wonderfully, but apple is not supporting it in their new software.

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  • 3 stars

    "Great But Keeping Crashing"

    August 22, 2013   |   By Andy_Doson1

    Version: Apple iTunes 11.0.5

    Pros

    I have been the itunes users all the time, and I like it very much.

    Cons

    It keep crashing and I don't know why. I changed to other media player for mac, and the condition is normal.

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  • 1 stars

    "itunes was great/messed it all up now/cnet wrong post"

    June 05, 2013   |   By BongoBetty1

    Version: Apple iTunes 11.0.3

    Pros

    as far as pros to the new version of itunes, there aren't any!
    as far as what it used to be, it used to be great!!

    Cons

    1st of all, cnet should get it right, post the correct post. was supposed to be itunes 11 !
    itunes used to be great but now is more hassle than any kind of improvement. i am so sorry that i downloaded latest versions. when you search for a song you cant just drag and drop into a playlist anymore!! when you search for a song you dont know what playlist it is in!! you no longer have duplicates option!!! and NOW the artwork, which they say is improved can no longer be as enlarged as you like!! absolute crap!!! more negatives but too fed up to bother writing them now. itunes, GET IT TOGETHER and bring back these great options damn it!!! you guys are messing up big time and Steve would be anything but proud of you!!!

    Summary

    old itunes great!
    new itunes crap!!

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  • 2 stars

    "crashes a lot"

    May 28, 2013   |   By tappy727

    Version: Apple iTunes 11.0.3

    Pros

    When iTunes does not crash, it updates my iPhone, stream my movies.

    Cons

    It crashes a lot. Crashed when I plugged in my iPhone. Crashed when I stream movies to AppleTV.

    Summary

    iTunes on the Mac, crashes a lot, crash when streaming movie to AppleTV. It was a mistake to update. Should have stayed with 11.0.3.

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  • 1 stars

    "Why Does CNET Keep Reviewing the WRONG version!!!!!"

    May 19, 2013   |   By man_en_noir

    Version: Apple iTunes 11.0.3

    Pros

    This review is for iTunes 10, but the link is for iTunes 11. And the differences between 10 and 11 are ENORMOUS. iTunes 10 was when the program was still useful and full featured. 11 has been completely made over and simplified, (read stripped bare) to the point it is practically useless!

    Cons

    Don't be fooled. The link on this page is for the new iTunes 11 which is a piece of crap. Good features have been removed. Users have been straight jacketed into Apple's philosophy of "Do it our way. Period!"

    How bad is iTunes 11. You cannot even open more than 1 window at a time. Yep, the feature that is ubiquitous in every single Mac program has been removed from iTunes 11.

    Summary

    I've seen this happen a number of times on CNET in the past few months. They put up a review of a previous version of the product instead of reviewing the new version, even when those versions could not be more different.

    CNET what the frac are you doing??????

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  • 1 stars

    "THIS DOES NOT WORK ON MY XP MACHINE"

    May 18, 2013   |   By dondjohnson

    Version: Apple iTunes 11.0.3

    Pros

    NONE. I COULD NOT GET PAST ITUNES STORE TRYING TO OPEN

    Cons

    WILL NOT OPEN THE ITUNES STORE. IT JUST CRASHES

    Summary

    I'VE TRIED SEVERAL DIFFERENT FIXES AND NONE WORK. IT TOOK ME 2 DAYS TO GET BACK TO 10.7

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  • Results 1-10 of 220

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