|Initial release||January 9, 2001|
22.214.171.124 / December 15, 2022
Apple Devices (Windows)
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iTunes ( /( ) / ) is a software program that acts as a media player, media library, mobile device management utility, and the client app for the iTunes Store. Developed by Apple Inc., it is used to purchase, play, download, and organize digital multimedia, on personal computers running the macOS and Windows operating systems, and can be used to rip songs from CDs, as well as play content with the use of dynamic, smart playlists. Options for sound optimizations exist, as well as ways to wirelessly share the iTunes library.
Originally announced by Apple CEO Steve Jobs on January 9, 2001, iTunes' original and main focus was music, with a library offering organization and storage of Mac users' music collections. With the 2003 addition of the iTunes Store for purchasing and downloading digital music, and a version of the program for Windows, it became a ubiquitous tool for managing music and configuring other features on Apple's line of iPod media players, which extended to the iPhone and iPad upon their introduction. Starting in 2005, Apple expanded on the core music features of iTunes with support for digital video, podcasts, e-books, and mobile apps purchased from the iOS App Store. Since the release of iOS 5 in 2011, these devices have become less dependent on iTunes, though it can still be used to back up their contents.
Though well received in its early years, iTunes received increasing criticism for a bloated user experience, which incorporated features beyond its original focus on music. Beginning with Macs running macOS Catalina and Windows 11 PCs, iTunes was replaced by separate apps, namely Music, Podcasts, and TV, with Finder and Apple Devices taking over the device management capabilities.This change did not affect iTunes running on Windows or older macOS versions.
SoundJam MP, released by Casady & Greene in 1998, was renamed "iTunes" when Apple purchased it in 2000.The primary developers of the software moved to Apple as part of the acquisition, and simplified SoundJam's user interface, added the ability to burn CDs, and removed its recording feature and skin support. The first version of iTunes, promotionally dubbed "World’s Best and Easiest To Use Jukebox Software," was announced on January 9, 2001. Subsequent releases of iTunes often coincided with new hardware devices, and gradually included support for new features, including "smart playlists", the iTunes Store, and new audio formats.
Apple released iTunes for Windows in 2003.
On April 26, 2018, iTunes was released on Microsoft Store for Windows 10,primarily to allow it to be installed on Windows 10 devices configured to only allow installation of software from Microsoft Store. Unlike Windows versions for other platforms, it is more self-contained due to technical requirements for distribution on the store (not installing background helper services such as Bonjour), and is updated automatically through the store rather than using Apple Software Update.
iTunes features a music library. Each track has attributes, called metadata, that can be edited by the user, including changing the name of the artist, album, and genre, year of release, artwork, among other additional settings.The software supports importing digital audio tracks that can then be transferred to iOS devices, as well as supporting ripping content from CDs. iTunes supports WAV, AIFF, Apple Lossless, AAC, and MP3 audio formats. It uses the Gracenote music database to provide track name listings for audio CDs. When users rip content from a CD, iTunes attempts to match songs to the Gracenote service. For self-published CDs, or those from obscure record labels, iTunes would normally only list tracks as numbered entries ("Track 1" and "Track 2") on an unnamed album by an unknown artist, requiring manual input of data.
File metadata is displayed in users' libraries in columns, including album, artist, genre, composer, and more.Users can enable or disable different columns, as well as change view settings.
Introduced in 2004,"Party Shuffle" selected tracks to play randomly from the library, though users could press a button to skip a song and go to the next in the list. The feature was later renamed "iTunes DJ", before being discontinued altogether, replaced by a simpler "Up Next" feature that notably lost some of "iTunes DJ"'s functionality.
Introduced in iTunes 8 in 2008, "Genius" can automatically generate a playlist of songs from the user's library that "go great together". "Genius" transmits information about the user's library to Apple anonymously, and evolves over time to enhance its recommendation system. It can also suggest purchases to fill out "holes" in the library. The feature was updated with iTunes 9 in 2009 to offer "Genius Mixes", which generated playlists based on specific music genres.
"Smart playlists" are a set of playlists that can be set to automatically filter the library based on a customized list of selection criteria, much like a database query. Multiple criteria can be entered to manage the smart playlist.Selection criteria examples include a genre like Christmas music, songs that haven't been played recently, or songs the user has listened to the most in a time period.
Through a "Home Sharing" feature, users can share their iTunes library wirelessly.Computer firewalls must allow network traffic, and users must specifically enable sharing in the iTunes preferences menu. iOS applications also exist that can transfer content without Internet. Additionally, users can set up a network-attached storage system, and connect to that storage system through an app.
iTunes includes sound processing features, such as equalization, "sound enhancement" and crossfade. There is also a feature called Sound Check, which normalizes the playback volume of all songs in the library to the same level.
Introduced on April 28, 2003, The iTunes Music Store allows users to buy and download songs, with 200,000 tracks available at launch. In its first week, customers bought more than one million songs.Music purchased was protected by FairPlay, an encryption layer referred to as digital rights management (DRM). The use of DRM, which limited devices capable of playing purchased files, sparked efforts to remove the protection mechanism. Eventually, after an open letter to the music industry by CEO Steve Jobs in February 2007, Apple introduced a selection of DRM-free music in the iTunes Store in April 2007, followed by its entire music catalog without DRM in January 2009.
In June 2011, Apple announced "iTunes in the Cloud", in which music purchases were stored on Apple's servers and made available for automatic downloading on new devices. For music the user owns, such as content ripped from CDs, the company introduced "iTunes Match", a feature that can upload content to Apple's servers, match it to its catalog, change the quality to 256kbit/s AAC format, and make it available to other devices.
When iTunes was first released, it came with support for the Kerbango Internet radio tuner service.In June 2013, the company announced iTunes Radio, a free music streaming service. In June 2015, Apple announced Apple Music, a subscription-based music streaming service, and subsequently integrated iTunes Radio functionality. Music tracks provided by Apple Music via iTunes are available at up to 256 kbps AAC fidelity. The Apple Music app also integrates Apple Music 1, a live music radio station.
In May 2005, video support was introduced to iTunes with the release of iTunes 4.8,though it was limited to bonus features part of album purchases. The following October, Apple introduced iTunes 6, enabling support for purchasing and viewing video content purchased from the iTunes Store. At launch, the store offered popular shows from the ABC network, including Desperate Housewives and Lost , along with Disney Channel series That's So Raven and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody . CEO Steve Jobs told the press that "We’re doing for video what we’ve done for music — we’re making it easy and affordable to purchase and download, play on your computer, and take with you on your iPod."
In 2008, Apple and select film studios introduced "iTunes Digital Copy", a feature on select DVDs and Blu-ray discs allowing a digital copy in iTunes and associated media players.
In June 2005, Apple updated iTunes with support for podcasts.Users can subscribe to podcasts, change update frequency, define how many episodes to download and how many to delete.
Similar to songs, "Smart playlists" can be used to control podcasts in a playlist, setting criteria such as date and number of times listened to.
Apple is credited for being the major catalyst behind the early growth of podcasting.
On July 10, 2008, Apple introduced native mobile apps for its iOS operating system. On iOS, a dedicated App Store application served as the storefront for browsing, downloading, updating, and otherwise managing applications, whereas iTunes on computers had a dedicated section for apps rather than a separate app.In September 2017, Apple updated iTunes to version 12.7, removing the App Store section in the process. iTunes 12.6.3 was released the following month, retaining App Store functionality, with 9to5Mac noting that the secondary release was positioned by Apple as "necessary for some businesses performing internal app deployments".
In May 2007, Apple announced the launch of "iTunes U" via the iTunes Store, which delivers university lectures from top U.S. colleges.With iTunes version 12.7 in August 2017, iTunes U collections became a part of the Podcasts app. On June 10, 2020, Apple formally announced that iTunes U would be discontinued at the end of 2021.
iTunes was required to activate early iPhone and iPad devices. Beginning with the iPhone 3G in June 2008, activation did not require iTunes, making use of activation at point of sale.Later iPhone models are able to be activated and set-up on their own, without requiring the use of iTunes.
iTunes also allows users to backup and restore the content of their Apple mobile devices, such as music, photos, videos, ringtones and device settings,and restore the firmware of their devices. However, as of iTunes 12.7, apps can no longer be purchased and installed using iTunes.
With the release of iTunes 10 in September 2010, Apple announced iTunes Ping, which CEO Steve Jobs described as "social music discovery". It had features reminiscent of Facebook, including profiles and the ability to follow other users.Ping was discontinued in September 2012.
The Telegraph reported in November 2011 that Apple had been aware of a security vulnerability since 2008 that would let unauthorized third parties install "updates" to users' iTunes software. Apple fixed the issue before the Telegraph's report and told the media that "The security and privacy of our users is extremely important", though this was questioned by security researcher Brian Krebs, who told the publication that "A prominent security researcher warned Apple about this dangerous vulnerability in mid-2008, yet the company waited more than 1,200 days to fix the flaw."
iTunes has been repeatedly accused of being bloated as part of Apple's efforts to turn it from a music player to an all-encompassing multimedia platform.Former PC World editor Ed Bott accused the company of hypocrisy in its advertising attacks on Windows for similar practices.
The role of iTunes has been replaced with independent apps for Apple Music, Apple TV, as well as iPhone, iPod, and iPad management being put into Finder (as Apple Device for Windows PC), starting with macOS 10.15 Catalina and Windows 11.
The iPod was a series of portable media players and multi-purpose mobile devices designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The first version was released on October 23, 2001, about 8+1⁄2 months after the Macintosh version of iTunes was released. Apple sold an estimated 450 million iPod products as of 2022. Apple discontinued the iPod product line on May 10, 2022. At over 20 years, the iPod brand is the oldest to be discontinued by Apple.
The iTunes Store is a digital media store operated by Apple Inc. It opened on April 28, 2003, as a result of Steve Jobs' push to open a digital marketplace for music. As of April 2020, iTunes offered 60 million songs, 2.2 million apps, 25,000 TV shows, and 65,000 films. When it opened, it was the only legal digital catalog of music to offer songs from all five major record labels.
iLife is a discontinued software suite for macOS and iOS developed by Apple Inc. It consists of various programs for media creation, organization, editing and publishing. At various times, it included: iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto, iDVD, iWeb, and GarageBand. Only iMovie and GarageBand remain and are now freely available on Apple's Mac App Store. iDVD and iWeb have been discontinued while iTunes and iPhoto have been succeeded by Music and Photos respectively.
FairPlay is a digital rights management (DRM) technology developed by Apple Inc. It is built into the MP4 multimedia file format as an encrypted AAC audio layer, and was used until April 2009 by the company to protect copyrighted works sold through iTunes Store, allowing only authorized devices to play the content.
The Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC), also known as Apple Lossless, or Apple Lossless Encoder (ALE), is an audio coding format, and its reference audio codec implementation, developed by Apple Inc. for lossless data compression of digital music. After initially keeping it proprietary from its inception in 2004, in late 2011 Apple made the codec available open source and royalty-free. Traditionally, Apple has referred to the codec as Apple Lossless, though more recently it has begun to use the abbreviated term ALAC when referring to the codec.
The iTunes media platform was first released by Apple in 2001 as a simple music player for Mac computers. Over time, iTunes developed into a sophisticated multimedia content manager, hardware synchronization manager and e-commerce platform. iTunes was finally discontinued for new Mac computers in 2019, but is still available and supported for Macs running older operating systems and for Windows computers to ensure updated compatibility for syncing with new releases of iOS devices.
Apple TV is a digital media player and microconsole developed and marketed by Apple Inc. It is a small network appliance hardware that plays received media data such as video and audio to a television set or external display. Since its second generation model, it is an HDMI-compliant source device and can only be connected to an enhanced-definition or high-definition widescreen television through HDMI to function.
doubleTwist Corporation is a digital media company founded by Monique Farantzos and Jon Lech Johansen. It is backed by Index Ventures and Northzone Ventures.
Amazon Music is a music streaming platform and online music store operated by Amazon. Launched in public beta on September 25, 2007, in January 2008 it became the first music store to sell music without digital rights management (DRM) from the four major music labels, as well as many independents. All tracks were originally sold in 256 kilobits-per-second variable bitrate MP3 format without per-customer watermarking or DRM; however, some tracks are now watermarked. Licensing agreements with recording companies restrict the countries in which the music can be sold.
iOS is a mobile operating system developed by Apple Inc. exclusively for its hardware. It is the operating system that powers many of the company's mobile devices, including the iPhone; the term also includes the system software for iPads predating iPadOS—which was introduced in 2019—as well as on the iPod Touch devices—which were discontinued in mid-2022. It is the world's second-most widely installed mobile operating system, after Android. It is the basis for three other operating systems made by Apple: iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS. It is proprietary software, although some parts of it are open source under the Apple Public Source License and other licenses.
Spotify is a proprietary Swedish audio streaming and media services provider founded on 23 April 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. It is one of the largest music streaming service providers, with over 456 million monthly active users, including 195 million paying subscribers, as of September 2022. Spotify is listed on the New York Stock Exchange in the form of American depositary receipts.
iCloud is a cloud service developed by Apple Inc. Launched on October 12, 2011, iCloud enables users to store and sync data across devices, including Apple Mail, Apple Calendar, Apple Photos, Apple Notes, contacts, settings, backups, and files, to collaborate with other users, and track assets through Find My. It is built into iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS and macOS and may additionally be accessed through a limited web interface and Windows application.
iOS 7 is the seventh major release of the iOS mobile operating system developed by Apple Inc., being the successor to iOS 6. It was announced at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 10, 2013, and was released on September 18 of that year. It was succeeded by iOS 8 on September 17, 2014.
iOS 8 is the eighth major release of the iOS mobile operating system developed by Apple Inc., being the successor to iOS 7. It was announced at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 2, 2014, and was released on September 17, 2014. It was succeeded by iOS 9 on September 16, 2015.
OS X Yosemite is the eleventh major release of macOS, Apple Inc.'s desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers.
macOS Sierra is the thirteenth major release of macOS, Apple Inc.'s desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers. The name "macOS" stems from the intention to uniform the operating system's name with that of iOS, watchOS and tvOS. Sierra is named after the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California and Nevada. Its major new features concern Continuity, iCloud, and windowing, as well as support for Apple Pay and Siri.
Music is a media player application developed for the iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS operating systems by Apple Inc. It can play music files stored locally on devices, as well as stream from the iTunes Store and Apple Music.
Apple Podcasts is an audio streaming service and media player application developed by Apple Inc. for playing podcasts. Apple began supporting podcasts with iTunes 4.9 released in June 2005 and launched its first standalone mobile app in 2012. The app was later pre-installed with iOS beginning October 2014. The Apple Podcasts directory features more than two million shows. Apple Podcasts is available on iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, CarPlay, Microsoft Windows operating systems, and on Amazon Alexa devices.
Pre-installed iOS apps, referred to in the App Store as 'Built-In Apps', are a suite of mobile applications developed by Apple Inc. which are bundled with iOS and installed by default or through a system update. Many of the default apps found on iOS have counterparts on Apple's other operating systems macOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS, which are often modified versions of or similar to the iOS application. As each app is integrated into the operating system itself, they often feature greater support for system features than third-party alternatives and are quick to adapt new features of iOS.