Apple Music is not the same as iTunes.
Apple Music is an app to stream and download millions of songs while iTunes is a software program to find and organize your music, movies, TV shows, audiobooks, and free podcasts.
Think of it this way: iTunes is a software and is part of Apple Music as a music library as well as other forms of media, while Apple Music remains a streaming platform.
Key differences between Apple Music and iTunes
iTunes is not a place where you can stream music like Apple Music, but it does have an iTunes store where you can buy media (songs and videos), download them, and listen offline.
iTunes tends to cost between $0.99 to $1.29 per song. Apple Music, on the other hand, costs $10.99 per month for a single individual and $16.99 for a family account with up to 6 users.
If you cancel your subscription to Apple Music, you lose access to all the music. If you buy music from the iTunes Store, you are purchasing a perpetual license.
Apple Music requires a subscription, while iTunes can be accessed for free.
Apple Music comes with curated playlists (including radio stations) constantly updated based on the user’s preferences. iTunes, on the other hand, is used to organize media content.
iTunes has more functions than Apple Music. It’s a media library and manager that allows the user to download music, movies, TV shows, audiobooks, and free podcasts.
Apple Music is merely a music streaming platform.
Apple Music and iTunes in a nutshell
In a nutshell, Apple Music is the app you use to listen to music, whereas iTunes is the software that organizes all of your media (music, movies, TV shows, audiobooks, free podcasts).
First, let’s take a closer look at iTunes.
iTunes is a software program that acts as a media player, media library, mobile device management utility, and client app for the iTunes Store.
You can play or download unlimited songs (via Apple Music with a paid subscription), and you can also find movies, TV shows, audiobooks, free podcasts, and more in the iTunes Store.
On the other hand, the Apple Music app is where you can find all of your music, stream and download millions of songs, and access your entire music library across all of your devices.
You can also find all of your music, including music that you’ve imported into iTunes, purchased from the iTunes Store, and playlists and smart playlists that you’ve created in iTunes.
iTunes is a media library where you can purchase and download music and videos. On the other hand, Apple Music allows you to stream music and videos.
Apple Music also provides users with curated playlists based on their preferences.
Comparing Apple Music and iTunes
What better way to compare Apple Music vs. iTunes than to take a closer look at each component of both platforms? Here are Apple Music and iTunes compared.
1. Unlike Apple Music, iTunes is free
iTunes is a media library, not a streaming service. You don’t need to pay for it on a subscription basis like Apple Music. Instead, you pay to download songs, movies, and audiobooks.
Apple Music, on the other hand, requires a subscription fee.
It offers an initial one-month free trial period, then charges $11 per month (for individuals), $17/month (for up to 6 family members), and student discounts at $6/month.
Pricing may vary depending on your location.
2. You can’t stream online with iTunes
Apple Music is available for streaming online. You can also play downloaded songs on Apple Music offline and listen to radio stations but you lose access once your subscription expires.
On the other hand, you can stream music and videos on iTunes. Rather, the software program allows you to play music, video, and podcasts that were downloaded to your computer.
3. Apple Music and iTunes have different functionality
Like a remote-controlled radio, Apple Music offers on-demand streamed content. It allows you to add music from other sources, but the songs need to be in one of the supported formats.
iTunes lets you access the songs in its library and offers downloadable content. You can also manage your media library, subscribe to Apple Music, and gain access to millions of songs.
4. iTunes is only available on Windows PC and Android
Ever since the release of the macOS Catalina, iTunes is no longer preinstalled on Mac devices. However, it can still be downloaded for free on Windows devices.
Now, each type of media purchased from iTunes has been organized into its own dedicated apps (Apple Music app, Apple TV app, Apple Podcasts app, and Apple Books app).
You can access your iTunes Store purchases in these apps. For example, if you want to access your song purchase from iTunes, you can access iTunes through the Apple Music app.
To find the iTunes store, open the Apple Music app. In the menu bar, choose Music > Preferences. Go to the General tab and select iTunes Store.
If you have a PC, you can continue to use iTunes for Windows to manage your media library, make purchases, and manually sync and manage your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
You can have iTunes on ten different devices (maximum of 5 computers) with one Apple ID and the same goes for Apple Music since iTunes is part of Apple Music.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Ever since the release of the macOS Catalina, your iTunes purchases can be found inside the Apple Music app. You can access your iTunes Store purchases through Apple Music.
Yes, you can use Apple Music instead of iTunes if you want to listen to songs only. Apple Music allows you to listen to music on-demand without purchasing anything from the iTunes store.
You don’t need both Apple Music and iTunes. For example, you can listen to music via on-demand streaming using only the Apple Music app.
Alternatively, you can purchase and download movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store, where you can then watch them offline. There’s no need for Apple Music.
All of your purchased music from the iTunes Store is now inside the Apple Music app.
You’ll find all of your music, including music that you imported into iTunes, purchased from the iTunes Store, and playlists and smart playlists that you created in iTunes on Apple Music.