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.

With iTunes, you have a media library to purchase/download music and videos. On the other hand, Apple Music allows you to stream music and videos, and it provides users with curated playlists based on their lifestyle and preferences.

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

Comparison of iTunes and Apple Music


iTunes is a media library as opposed to a streaming service, so it does not offer a subscription service like Apple Music, instead, you pay to download songs or albums. It is no longer preinstalled on mac devices but it can be downloaded for free on Windows devices.

In comparison, Apple Music offers an initial 1-month free trial period, then charges $5.99 per month (for individuals), $8.99/month (for up to 5 family members), and student discounts at $4.99/month.

You can’t continue using Apple Music nor get access to downloaded songs after the free trial without a paid subscription.


iTunes allows an individual user to purchase and download songs and make them available for offline listening. It’s also a media library and manager that allows you to download iTunes content offline. So, you cannot stream on iTunes; rather, it lets you play music, video, and podcasts downloaded to your computer. 

Apple Music is only available for streaming online. You can also play downloaded songs on Apple Music offline, listen to various radio stations but you lose access once your subscription expires.


iTunes lets you access the songs it already holds in its library and offers downloadable content, whereas 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. With iTunes, you can manage your media library, subscribe to Apple Music, and gain access to millions of songs. 

Apple Music is a streaming service for all users, and it’s available on Apple and Android devices. You can also use iTunes to sync your Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod) and content (music, videos, albums) with your computer.


Apple Music works on all Apple’s devices  (Macs, iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch, etc.) and non-apple devices like Android. iTunes works on Windows PC as well as Android devices now that it’s a part of Apple Music but you would need to download or stream your music library to your Android phone.

Number of Devices

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.

Main Differences between iTunes and Apple Music

Below are the key differences between iTunes and Apple Music

  • 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?

Both iTunes and Apple Music offer their advantages depending on what you want to do. If all you’re looking for is a media library, then iTunes is the best choice for you. Apple Music offers curated playlists (including radio stations), constantly updated based on the user’s preferences.

If you’re looking to download individual songs or albums, then go with iTunes because that’s what they specialize in. However, if you want on-demand streaming, then subscribe to Apple Music which has a huge selection of curated playlists (including radio stations) along with thousands of song choices.


iTunes and Apple Music are both great services to use, especially now that iTunes is part of Apple Music. The only disadvantage of iTunes is that the service doesn’t offer any playlists, but it does have a huge amount of available music so you can technically create your own playlist.

iTunes may be more beneficial in terms of price. For those who don’t mind paying for streaming, though, then there’s no contest as Apple Music offers endless amounts of curated playlists (including radio stations) along with thousands of song choices!