The use of iTunes for Windows continues to spark debate in tech circles. On the one hand, iTunes is a legendary media management solution with many connected services and worldwide reputation. On the other hand, the PC version falls behind compared to the original iOS and Mac versions. Those users who are used to Apple’s tool may find the Windows experience disappointing.
While these downsides are significant, we feel the benefits clearly outweigh the issues. However, there is another issue that has recently shaken up iTunes users.
Will iTunes for Windows even exist?
In early June, Apple took the tech world by storm with its announcements of ending support for the company’s most iconic platform to date – iTunes. While this news merits detailed analysis on its own, “why” is not the most pressing question. Rather, it is “what now?”.
Indeed, what to do now? For Apple users, the situation is pretty clear. The software is replaced by three standalone applications for music, podcasts and TV. However, Windows users couldn’t help but notice that their platform wasn’t mentioned in any way.
So the question still stands. Does iTunes for Windows still work? And if so, does it make sense to download a ‘dead man’? Let’s answer these concerns one by one.
Does iTunes for Windows still exist?
A short answer: Apparently yes. Technology industry insiders shared multiple messages mentioning that iTunes for Windows will not see any changes in future versions. One of those whistleblowers was Billboard’s Micah Singleton, who mentioned that iTunes for Windows remains a single platform.
Wired’s Brian Barrett has similar news – just recently he shared a report on the status of iTunes, which clearly mentions that iTunes for Windows will work at its current capacity.
No changes so far
Now it’s time for the second question. If iTunes is already seeing some major changes to the main Apple operating system, how long will it take for the same process to begin on Windows PCs? There is no objective answer to that. However, we can assume that the redesign of the Windows solution is clearly not the first item on Apple’s priority list, especially now that they are busy preparing a new operating system and three improved standalone apps.
We can therefore assume that it should be perfectly safe to use iTunes for Windows for at least 5-6 months, although it may well be several years before the development team decides the fate of iTunes for Windows. So if you’ve been wanting to try iTunes on your PC, there’s no particular reason to delay that decision.
Reasons to use iTunes for Windows
iTunes for Windows bridges this cross-platform gap by allowing users to seamlessly sync media files between Apple’s hardware and Windows PCs.
The main reason to download iTunes for Windows is the sharing feature. iTunes lets you share music, podcasts, audiobooks, and videos between multiple devices. If you already use Apple products (iPhone, iPad, iPod), you need to connect your PC to the same ecosystem.
To make the picture even clearer, let’s take a closer look at how these features work — and what else iTunes has to offer Windows users.
- iTunes is not only used to manage media files. It’s also a universal way to share contacts, playlists, and maintain a folder structure.
- Even though iCloud partially solved the sharing problem, iTunes still offers superior organizational capacity. Also, it saves files directly to disk, not to a third-party server.
- iCloud does not allow creating backup copies of files located outside of iCloud server. iTunes, on the other hand, allows you to back up all media files from your hard drive, not necessarily those purchased from the official store.
With the combination of iTunes and iCloud
While in theory the interface and functionality of iTunes for Windows doesn’t differ much from the original Mac version, it’s by no means perfect. In fact, the Windows program does not stand up to a fair comparison in terms of testing and structure.
That’s why we think the combination of iClound and iTunes is an ultimate combination of sync and backup. iCloud allows Windows users to conveniently upload their files from one synced device to another, while iTunes allows files to be uploaded directly from your hard drive, even if they’re not stored on Apple’s servers.
The rule of thumb
For all content purchased from official stores, use iCloud – it’s better adapted to a Windows PC. The synchronization options are better tested than in the iTunes version of Windows.
However, for all non-official media files, iTunes is far superior to iCloud. You can transfer files you uploaded directly from your hard drive into synced playlists on iPad, iPod or iPhone.
- Back up audio and video files stored on your hard drive and access them from any connected device. Should something happen to your devices, you can easily access the data of synced gadgets.
- iTunes Match users can easily drag music from iTunes to iCloud and vice versa.
Controversial issues about iTunes for Windows
The most obvious reason for not using iTunes for Windows is a lack of interest in Apple’s content or hardware. Unless you use the iTunes Store or other Apple devices, there’s little point in using iTunes.
A logical question follows: Can’t iTunes be used as a media manager on its own? Theoretically yes. In fact, there are many other Windows solutions that have been much better tested in terms of functionality and design. So unless it’s your way of communicating with the entire Apple ecosystem, installing iTunes would be pointless.
Another aspect that users face massive problems with is the iTunes interface. Music is not displayed on the main page. It can only be accessed through a store page – and that’s not the only case of useless clicks. Compared to the user experience on iOS, the Windows version seems like a complete failure. On the other hand, once you get used to the functionality, you won’t notice a few extra buttons.
Finally, iTunes consumes a lot of CPU even in background mode. Spending 20% of the CPU just playing music is certainly overkill, but that’s exactly what iTunes does.
- An undeveloped interface compared to Apple’s version of iTunes;
- No additional media management function;
- High CPU usage even in background mode.
To use or not to use iTunes?
Although iTunes for Windows has a potential of 50-60% compared to the original Apple program, it still creates a lot of competition even for popular Windows services. Some built-in services, like the mini music player, would be considered multifunctional even as a standalone application.
Most importantly, it creates immense syncing opportunities, and combined with a more intuitive iCloud, you can easily bypass iTunes’ shortcomings in terms of functionality and interface.
With iTunes, you can easily create backup copies for any media files stored on your hard drive or purchased from an official store. Besides, it is a great way to seamlessly sync iPhone, iPad and iPod files.