|Initial release||January 9, 2001|
22.214.171.124 / October 29, 2021
|Successor|| Apple TV (macOS)|
Apple Music (macOS)
Apple Podcasts (macOS)
|Part of a series on|
iTunes ( /( ) / ) is a media player, media library, Internet radio broadcaster, 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 CEO Steve Jobs on January 9, 2001, iTunes' original and main focus was music, with a library offering organization, collection, and storage of users' music collections. In 2005, however, Apple expanded on the core features with support for digital video, podcasts, e-books, and mobile apps purchased from the iOS App Store (the last of which it discontinued in 2017). Until the release of iOS 5 in 2011, all iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads required iTunes for activation and updating mobile apps. Newer iOS devices have less reliance on iTunes in order to function, though it can still be used to back up the contents of mobile devices, as well as to share files with personal computers.
Though well received in its early years, iTunes soon received increasingly significant criticism for a bloated user experience, with Apple adopting an all-encompassing feature-set in iTunes rather than sticking to its original music-based purpose. On June 3, 2019, Apple announced that iTunes in macOS Catalina would be replaced by separate apps, namely Music, Podcasts, and TV. Finder would take over the device management capabilities.This change would not affect Windows or older macOS versions. By the mid-2010s, streaming media services surpassed iTunes' buy-to-own model, starting to generate more revenue in the industry.
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 though 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 will 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.
To compensate for the "boring" design of standard CDs, iTunes can print custom-made jewel case inserts. After burning a CD from a playlist, one can select that playlist and bring up a dialog box with several print options, including different "Themes" of album artworks.
iTunes includes sound processing features, such as equalization, "sound enhancement" and crossfade. There is also a feature called Sound Check, which automatically adjusts the playback volume of all songs in the library to the same level.
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.
In January 2010, Apple announced the iPad tablet, and along with it, a new app for it called iBooks (now known as Apple Books). The app allowed users to purchase e-books from the iTunes Store, manage them through iTunes, and transfer the content to their iPad.
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, purchasing and 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. However, the following month, iTunes 12.6.3 was also released, retaining the App Store, with 9to5Mac noting that the secondary release was positioned by Apple as "necessary for some businesses performing internal app deployments".
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 October 2005, Apple announced that movies and television shows would become available through its iTunes Store, employing the DRM protection.
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 will be discontinued from the end of 2021.
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, its paid music streaming service, and subsequently rebranded iTunes Radio as Beats 1, a radio station accompanying Apple Music.
This section needs to be updated.(July 2020)
iTunes was used to activate early iPhone models. Beginning with the iPhone 3G in June 2008, activation did not require iTunes, making use of activation at point of sale.Later iPhone models were able to be activated and set-up on their own, without requiring the use of 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, starting with macOS 10.15 Catalina.
The iPod is a line 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. As of May 28, 2019, only the iPod Touch remains in production.
The iTunes Store is a software-based online digital media store operated by Apple Inc. that opened on April 28, 2003, as a result of Steve Jobs' push to open a digital marketplace for music. As of April 2020, iTunes offers 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. As of June 2013, the iTunes Store possessed 575 million active user accounts, and served over 315 million mobile devices.
iPhoto was a digital photograph manipulation software application developed by Apple Inc. It was included with every Macintosh personal computer from 2002 to 2015, when it was replaced with Apple's Photos application. Originally sold as part of the iLife suite of digital media management applications, iPhoto was able to import, organize, edit, print and share digital photos.
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.
Apple TV is a digital media player and microconsole that is developed and marketed by Apple. It is a small network appliance hardware that plays received media datas such as video and audio to a television set or external display. An HDMI-compliant source device, it has to be connected to an enhanced-definition or high-definition widescreen television through an HDMI cable to function.
iOS is a mobile operating system created and 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 and iPod Touch; the term also included the versions running on iPads until the name iPadOS was introduced with version 13 in 2019. 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 Swedish Audio streaming and media services provider founded on 23 April 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. It is the world's largest music streaming service provider, with over 381 million monthly active users, including 172 million paying subscribers, as of September 2021. Spotify is listed on the New York Stock Exchange in the form of American depositary receipts.
Apple ID is an authentication method used by Apple for iPhone, iPad, Mac and other Apple devices. Apple IDs contain user personal information and settings. When an Apple ID is used to log in to an Apple device, the device will automatically use the settings associated with the Apple ID
iCloud is a cloud storage and cloud computing service from Apple Inc. launched on October 12, 2011. As of 2018, the service had an estimated 850 million users, up from 782 million users in 2016.
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.
iPhone OS 3 is the third major release of the iOS mobile operating system developed by Apple Inc., succeeding iPhone OS 2. It was announced on March 17, 2009, and was released on June 17, 2009. It was succeeded by iOS 4 on June 21, 2010; the new version dropped the "iPhone OS" naming convention. iPhone OS 3 was the last version to use the "iPhone OS" naming convention.
Apple Music is a music and video streaming service developed by Apple Inc. Users select music to stream to their device on-demand, or they can listen to existing playlists. The service also includes the Internet radio stations Apple Music 1, Apple Music Hits, and Apple Music Country, which broadcast live to over 200 countries 24 hours a day. The service was announced on June 8, 2015, and launched on June 30, 2015. New subscribers get a six-month free trial period before the service requires a monthly subscription.
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 downloading, streaming, discovering, playing, and sharing 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.
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