iTunes vs. Apple Music – Which Is Better?

iTunes and Apple Music are both Apple’s products. Though both of these have a history together, today, iTunes is part of Apple Music as a music library, as Apple Music remains a streaming platform.

iTunes lets you buy and download music and videos. Apple Music offers streaming along with curated playlists that match your preferences.

Key takeaways

  • iTunes is a media library for purchasing and downloading music and videos, while Apple Music focuses on streaming music and videos.
  • iTunes is no longer available on Mac but can be downloaded for Windows. Apple Music works on both Apple and non-Apple devices.
  • Apple Music offers a subscription-based model with curated playlists, whereas iTunes requires individual purchases for media.
  • Apple Music provides streaming access, while iTunes allows offline playback of downloaded media.
  • iTunes can be used on up to ten devices (five computers), and both Apple Music and iTunes share the same device limit when linked to an Apple ID.

Note: iTunes is no longer available on Mac, but you can still download it for Windows.

Comparison of iTunes and Apple Music


iTunes is a media library where you pay to download songs or albums, unlike streaming services like Apple Music. It’s no longer preinstalled on Mac devices but can be downloaded for free on Windows.

Compared to other services, Apple Music gives a 1-month free trial. After that, it costs $5.99 per month for individuals, $8.99/month for up to 5 family members, and $4.99/month with student discounts.

Apple Music requires a paid subscription after the free trial to continue using the service or accessing your downloaded songs.


iTunes lets you buy and download songs for offline listening. It’s a media library and manager that stores your downloaded content. You won’t stream on iTunes; instead, you’ll play music, videos, and podcasts saved to your computer. 

Apple Music offers streaming online and offline playback of downloaded songs. You can also access various radio stations, but you lose services once your subscription ends.


iTunes lets you access the songs in its library and offers downloadable content. Apple Music, on the other hand, provides on-demand streamed content.

You can add music from other sources, but the songs must be in supported formats. With iTunes, you can manage your media library, subscribe to Apple Music, and access millions of songs. 

Apple Music is a streaming service for everyone, available on both Apple and Android devices. Use iTunes to sync your Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, and iPod, along with your music, videos, and albums, to your computer.


Apple Music is compatible with all Apple devices (Macs, iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch, etc.) and even Android. iTunes also works on Windows PCs and Android through Apple Music, though you need to download or stream your music library to your Android phone.

Number of Devices

You can use iTunes on up to ten devices with one Apple ID, including a maximum of 5 computers. The same applies to Apple Music since iTunes is a part of it.

Main Differences between iTunes and Apple Music

Key differences between iTunes and Apple Music: iTunes lets you buy and download songs, while Apple Music offers a subscription service for streaming music. iTunes acts like a store, and Apple Music is like a library. With iTunes, you own the music you buy. With Apple Music, you get access to a massive catalog for a monthly fee. iTunes is focused on purchases. Apple Music prioritizes endless streaming options.

  • iTunes has more functions than Apple Music. It is a media library and manager that allows the user to download music, video, Tv shows, etc., offline while Apple Music is only available for streaming online.
  • 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. It comes with a media library and player that can be played on your Windows device.
  • Apple Music requires a subscription, while iTunes can be accessed free.
  • iTunes doesn’t offer any music streaming service like Apple Music, but it has an iTunes store where you can buy songs or albums, download them and listen offline.

Which is Better: iTunes or Apple Music?

iTunes and Apple Music each have their own advantages. If you want a media library, iTunes is the best choice. For curated playlists and radio stations updated based on preferences, Apple Music is the way to go.

If you’re looking to download individual songs or albums, go with iTunes because that’s their specialty. However, for on-demand streaming, subscribe to Apple Music which offers a vast selection of curated playlists, radio stations, and thousands of songs.


iTunes and Apple Music are excellent services. Now that iTunes is part of Apple Music, you get access to a vast music library. The downside of iTunes is it doesn’t offer playlists, but you can easily make your own.

iTunes might offer better prices. If you’re willing to pay for streaming, Apple Music is unbeatable with its endless curated playlists and thousands of songs, including radio stations!