iTunes for Windows has a big job cut out for it. In the age of SaaS, the idea of downloading a music app is somewhat quaint, as well as the fact that, as one of Apple’s most famous pieces of software, iTunes isn’t an immediate slam-dunk for many Windows users.
A full-featured and remarkably versatile media player
Apple’s geriatric media player is looking pretty sprightly
That said, it’s actually a pretty impressive app. For starters, it offers you a multitude of media options. Of course, you’ll get old favorites like music and video, but iTunes also offers you access to podcasts, TV programs, radio, items from the App store, and audio books, all from within the same interface.
iTunes is designed to work best when you’re signed into an Apple account. Once you’re in, you can access your local iTunes libraries, wherever they may be - on another computer, an iPhone, etc. This is a gateway into the Apple ecosystem and the way many Windows users set things up so as to have at least a toe in the Appleverse. If you’re a Windows user who also uses an iPhone (!), iTunes is the primary way you will manage syncing.
Windows/Apple debate aside, iTunes is a great app for those who like significant customization and input into the way their media plays. For many, all the options offered by iTunes are simply unnecessary but there will be a small number who do, in fact, want to control everything from a central hub or exercise huge control over playlists or streaming options.
Visually, the app is sleek and easy to navigate and has a nice mini-player that lets you close the main window when playing your music. You’ll find it easy and intuitive to move from music to movies and podcasts to the iTunes Store, and when you do, you’ll find another pro - the massive selection you’ll find there. In fact, this selection can be overwhelming and some people consider it a con, but if you want variety, there is almost nothing better.
When it comes to user support, you shouldn’t have a problem. Apple support is famously strong and your position as a user is strengthened if you actually buy media from the iTunes Store. If you’re hoping to troubleshoot alone, you’ll find 18 year’s worth of help just waiting for you online
Where can you run this program?
This version of iTunes is designed to be downloaded on Windows. You can also get a version of iTunes from the Windows Store. From the iTunes homepage, you’ll find versions for Mac, tablet, and mobile.
Is there a better alternative?
There are lots of alternatives for iTunes, but whether or not they appeal to you depends very much on how you like to listen to your media. VLC provides another classic media player for Windows but lacks the ready-made curated audio books, podcasts, store and more of iTunes.
Spotify is much closer in terms of media variety but, of course, doesn’t support video and offers much less customization.
In short, you’ll be guided by the amount of control you want, the variety of media you want waiting at your fingertips, and whether or not you want a quick path into the Appleverse. If you want all three, then iTunes is in a class all of its own.
iTunes is much improved but still only of serious interest to people with non-standard use cases.
Should you download it?
Yes, it's a pretty good app, but only if you like to buy your media, if you have a lot of media on your computer, or you really, really like iTunes. For everyone else, it’s not really necessary.