Using iTunes for Windows always sparks debates in tech circles. On one hand, iTunes is a legendary media management solution with a lot of connected services and worldwide reputation. On another hand, the PC version falls short compared to the original iOS and Mac version. These users who are accustomed to Apple’s tool might find the Windows experience disappointing.
Still, even though these drawbacks are significant, we think that advantages clearly outweigh problematic issues. However, there is another problem that recently shook iTunes users up.
Will iTunes for Windows even exist?
At the beginning of June, Apple has taken the technology world by storm with its announcements about cancelling the support of the most yet legendary company’s platform – iTunes. While this news on itself deserves detailed analysis, it’s not ‘why’ that is the most pressing question. Rather, it’s ‘what now?’.
Indeed, what to do now? For Apple users, the situation is quite clear. The software will be substituted by three standalone applications for music, podcasts, and TV. However, Windows users couldn’t help but notice that their platform wasn’t in no way mentioned.
So, the question still stands. Is iTunes for Windows still working? And if so, does it make sense to download a ‘dead man walking’? Let’s answer these concerns one by one.
Does iTunes for Windows still exist?
A short answer: apparently, yes. Insiders of tech industry shared several messages which mentioned that iTunes for Windows will see no changes in future releases. One of such informers was Micah Singleton from Billboard who mentioned that iTunes for Windows remains a single platform.
Brian Barrett from Wired has similar news – just recently he shared a report on iTunes state where it’s clearly mentioned 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 huge changes on the main OS, Apple, how long it will be till the same process begins on Windows PCs? There is no objective answer to this. However, we can suppose that redesigning Windows solution is clearly not the first item on Apple’s priority list, especially now, when they are busy with preparing a new OS and three improved standalone apps.
We can, therefore, imply that it should be perfectly safe to use iTunes for Windows at least for 5-6 months, although it may very well take several years till the development team decides the fate of iTunes for Windows. So, if you have been itching to try out iTunes on your PC, there is no particular reason to delay that decision.
Reasons to use iTunes for Windows
iTunes for Windows crosses this cross-platform gap by allowing users to create seamless synchronization of media files with Apple’s hardware and Windows’ PC.
The main reason to download iTunes for Windows is its sharing functionality. iTunes allows you to share music, podcasts, audiobooks, and videos between several devices. If you already use Apple’s products (iPhone, iPad, iPod), you need to connect your PC to the same ecosystem.
Now, to make the picture even clearer, let’s take a closer look at how those features work – and what else iTunes has to offer for Windows’ users.
- iTunes is used not just to manage media files. It’s also a universal way to exchange contacts, playlists, preserve a folder structure.
- Even though with iCloud the sharing problem was partly solved, iTunes still provides a superior organizational capacity. Plus, it stores files directly on the hard drive, not on a third-party server.
- iCloud doesn’t allow create backup copies of files, located outside of the iCloud server. iTunes, on the other hand, allows backing up all media files from your hard drive, not necessarily those purchased from the official store.
Using the combination of iTunes and iCloud
Even though theoretically interface and functionality of iTunes for Windows is not much different from the original Mac version, it’s by no means perfect. In fact, in terms of testing and structure, Windows program doesn’t stand a fair comparison.
That’s why we think that combining iClound and iTunes is an ultimate synchronization and backup combination. With iCloud, Windows users can comfortably upload their files from one synchronized device to another, whereas iTunes allows uploading files directly from your hard drive, even if they aren’t saved on Apple’s servers.
The rule of thumb
For all content, purchased in official stores, use iCloud – it’s better adapted to a Windows PC. The synchronization possibilities are better tested than in Windows’ iTunes version.
However, for all non-official media files, iTunes is far superior over iCloud. You can transfer files that you uploaded directly from your hard drive to synchronized playlists to iPad, iPod, or iPhone.
- Create backup copies of audio and video files, stored on your hard drive and access them from all connected devices. Should something happen to your devices, you can easily access the data from synchronized gadgets.
- Users of iTunes Match can easily pull music from iTunes to iCloud and vice versa.
Controversial issues of iTunes for Windows
The most obvious reason to not use iTunes for Windows is the lack of interest in Apple’s content or hardware. If you don’t use the iTunes store or other Apple’s devices, using iTunes is hardly reasonable.
A logical question follows: can’t iTunes be used independently as a media manager? Theoretically, yes. In reality, there are many other Windows solutions that have much better-tested functionality and design. So, unless it’s your way of communicating with the entire Apple’s ecosystem, considering installing iTunes would be futile.
Another aspect users have massive issues with is iTunes interface. Music doesn’t show up on the main page. It can be accessed only via a Store page – and that’s not the only case of useless clicks. Compared to user experience on iOS, Windows’ version seems like a complete failure. On the other hand, after you’ve gotten used to the functionality, you won’t notice a couple of additional buttons.
Lastly, iTunes uses a lot of CPU even in the background mode. Spending 20% of CPU simply for playing music is surely overkill – but that’s exactly the case with iTunes.
Summing up problems
- An undeveloped interface, compared to Apple’s version of iTunes;
- No additional media management functionality;
- High CPU usage even in the background mode.
To use iTunes or not to use?
Even though iTunes for Windows has 50-60% potential compared to the original Apple’s program, it still creates great competition even for popular Windows’ services. Some built-in services, like mini-music player, would be considered multifunctional even as a standalone application.
Most importantly, it creates immense synchronization opportunities, and in combination with a more intuitive iCloud, you can easily bypass iTunes’ shortcomings in functionality and interface.
With iTunes, you’ll be able to effortlessly create backup copies for all media files, stored on your hard drive or those acquired from an official store. Also, it’s a great possibility to seamlessly synchronize iPhone, iPad, and iPod’s files.