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Not to be confused with Apple Music or App Store (iOS). ITunes_sentence_0

This article is about the application software. ITunes_sentence_1

For the media store, see iTunes Store. ITunes_sentence_2

For other uses, see iTunes (disambiguation). ITunes_sentence_3


Developer(s)ITunes_header_cell_0_0_0 Apple Inc.ITunes_cell_0_0_1
Initial releaseITunes_header_cell_0_1_0 January 9, 2001; 19 years ago (2001-01-09)ITunes_cell_0_1_1
Stable releaseITunes_header_cell_0_2_0
Operating systemITunes_header_cell_0_3_0 ITunes_cell_0_3_1
TypeITunes_header_cell_0_4_0 ITunes_cell_0_4_1
LicenseITunes_header_cell_0_5_0 FreewareITunes_cell_0_5_1
WebsiteITunes_header_cell_0_6_0 ITunes_cell_0_6_1

iTunes (/ˈaɪtuːnz/) is a media player, media library, Internet radio broadcaster, mobile device management utility, and the client app for iTunes Store, developed by Apple Inc. It is used to purchase, play, download, and organize digital multimedia, on personal computers running the macOS and Windows operating systems, and can be used to rip songs from CDs, as well as play content with the use of dynamic, smart playlists. ITunes_sentence_4

Options for sound optimizations exist, as well as ways to wirelessly share the iTunes library. ITunes_sentence_5

Originally announced by CEO Steve Jobs on January 9, 2001, iTunes' original and main focus was music, with a library offering organization, collection, and storage of users' music collections. ITunes_sentence_6

In 2005, however, Apple expanded on the core features with support for digital video, podcasts, e-books, and mobile apps purchased from the iOS App Store (the last of which it discontinued in 2017). ITunes_sentence_7

Until the release of iOS 5 in 2011, all iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads required iTunes for activation. ITunes_sentence_8

Until the release of iOS 5 in 2011, iTunes was required for updating mobile apps. ITunes_sentence_9

Newer iOS devices have less reliance on iTunes in order to function, though it can still be used to back up the contents of mobile devices, as well as to share files with personal computers. ITunes_sentence_10

Though well-received in its early years, iTunes soon received increasingly significant criticism for a bloated user experience, with Apple adopting an all-encompassing feature-set in iTunes rather than sticking to its original music-based purpose. ITunes_sentence_11

On June 3, 2019, Apple announced that iTunes in macOS Catalina would be replaced by separate apps, namely Music, Podcasts, and TV. ITunes_sentence_12

Finder would take over the device management capabilities. ITunes_sentence_13

This change would not affect Windows or older macOS versions. ITunes_sentence_14

By the mid-2010s, streaming media services surpassed iTunes' buy-to-own model, starting to generate more revenue in the industry. ITunes_sentence_15

History ITunes_section_0

See also: History of iTunes ITunes_sentence_16

SoundJam MP, released by Casady & Greene in 1998, was renamed "iTunes" when Apple purchased it in 2000. ITunes_sentence_17

The primary developers of the software moved to Apple as part of the acquisition, and simplified SoundJam's user interface, added the ability to burn CDs, and removed its recording feature and skin support. ITunes_sentence_18

The first version of iTunes, promotionally dubbed "World’s Best and Easiest To Use Jukebox Software," was announced on January 9, 2001. ITunes_sentence_19

Subsequent releases of iTunes often coincided with new hardware devices, and gradually included support for new features, including "smart playlists," the iTunes Store, and new audio formats. ITunes_sentence_20

Platform availability ITunes_section_1

Apple released iTunes for Windows in 2003. ITunes_sentence_21

On April 26, 2018, iTunes was released on Microsoft Store for Windows 10, primarily to allow it to be installed on Windows 10 devices configured to only allow installation of software from Microsoft Store. ITunes_sentence_22

Unlike Windows versions for other platforms, it is more self-contained due to technical requirements for distribution on the store (not installing background helper services such as Bonjour), and is updated automatically though the store rather than using Apple Software Update. ITunes_sentence_23

Music library ITunes_section_2

iTunes features a music library. ITunes_sentence_24

Each track has attributes, called metadata, that can be edited by the user, including changing the name of the artist, album, and genre, year of release, artwork, among other additional settings. ITunes_sentence_25

The software supports importing digital audio tracks that can then be transferred to iOS devices, as well as supporting ripping content from CDs. ITunes_sentence_26

iTunes supports WAV, AIFF, Apple Lossless, AAC, and MP3 audio formats. ITunes_sentence_27

It uses the Gracenote music database to provide track name listings for audio CDs. ITunes_sentence_28

When users rip content from a CD, iTunes attempts to match songs to the Gracenote service. ITunes_sentence_29

For self-published CDs, or those from obscure record labels, iTunes will normally only list tracks as numbered entries ("Track 1" and "Track 2") on an unnamed album by an unknown artist, requiring manual input of data. ITunes_sentence_30

File metadata is displayed in users' libraries in columns, including album, artist, genre, composer, and more. ITunes_sentence_31

Users can enable or disable different columns, as well as change view settings. ITunes_sentence_32

Special playlists ITunes_section_3

Introduced in 2004, "Party Shuffle" selected tracks to play randomly from the library, though users could press a button to skip the current song and go to the next in the list. ITunes_sentence_33

The feature was later renamed "iTunes DJ", before being discontinued altogether, replaced by a simpler "Up Next" feature that notably lost some of "iTunes DJ"'s functionality. ITunes_sentence_34

Introduced in iTunes 8 in 2008, "Genius" can automatically generate a playlist of songs from the user's library that "go great together". ITunes_sentence_35

"Genius" transmits information about the user's library to Apple anonymously, and evolves over time to enhance its recommendation system. ITunes_sentence_36

It can also suggest purchases to fill out "holes" in the library. ITunes_sentence_37

The feature was updated with iTunes 9 in 2009 to offer "Genius Mixes," which generated playlists based on specific music genres. ITunes_sentence_38

"Smart playlists" are a set of playlists that can be set to automatically filter the library based on a customized list of selection criteria, much like a database query. ITunes_sentence_39

Multiple criteria can be entered to manage the smart playlist. ITunes_sentence_40

Selection criteria examples include a genre like Christmas music, songs that haven't been played recently, or songs the user has listened to the most in a time period. ITunes_sentence_41

Library sharing ITunes_section_4

Through a "Home Sharing" feature, users can share their iTunes library wirelessly. ITunes_sentence_42

Computer firewalls must allow network traffic, and users must specifically enable sharing in the iTunes preferences menu. ITunes_sentence_43

iOS applications also exist that can transfer content without Internet. ITunes_sentence_44

Additionally, users can set up a network-attached storage system, and connect to that storage system through an app. ITunes_sentence_45

Artwork printing ITunes_section_5

To compensate for the "boring" design of standard CDs, iTunes can print custom-made jewel case inserts. ITunes_sentence_46

After burning a CD from a playlist, one can select that playlist and bring up a dialog box with several print options, including different "Themes" of album artworks. ITunes_sentence_47

Sound processing ITunes_section_6

iTunes includes sound processing features, such as equalization, "sound enhancement" and crossfade. ITunes_sentence_48

There is also a feature called Sound Check, which automatically adjusts the playback volume of all songs in the library to the same level. ITunes_sentence_49

Video ITunes_section_7

In May 2005, video support was introduced to iTunes with the release of iTunes 4.8, though it was limited to bonus features part of album purchases. ITunes_sentence_50

The following October, Apple introduced iTunes 6, enabling support for purchasing and viewing video content purchased from the iTunes Store. ITunes_sentence_51

At launch, the store offered popular shows from the ABC network, including Desperate Housewives and Lost, along with Disney Channel series That's So Raven and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. ITunes_sentence_52

CEO Steve Jobs told the press that "We’re doing for video what we’ve done for music — we’re making it easy and affordable to purchase and download, play on your computer, and take with you on your iPod." ITunes_sentence_53

In 2008, Apple and select film studios introduced "iTunes Digital Copy," a feature on select DVDs and Blu-ray discs allowing a digital copy in iTunes and associated media players. ITunes_sentence_54

Podcasts ITunes_section_8

Main article: Podcasts (software) ITunes_sentence_55

In June 2005, Apple updated iTunes with support for podcasts. ITunes_sentence_56

Users can subscribe to podcasts, change update frequency, define how many episodes to download and how many to delete. ITunes_sentence_57

Similar to songs, "Smart playlists" can be used to control podcasts in a playlist, setting criteria such as date and number of times listened to. ITunes_sentence_58

Apple is credited for being the major catalyst behind the early growth of podcasting. ITunes_sentence_59

Books ITunes_section_9

Main article: Apple Books ITunes_sentence_60

In January 2010, Apple announced the iPad tablet, and along with it, a new app for it called iBooks (now known as Apple Books). ITunes_sentence_61

The app allowed users to purchase e-books from the iTunes Store, manage them through iTunes, and transfer the content to their iPad. ITunes_sentence_62

Apps ITunes_section_10

Main article: App Store (iOS) ITunes_sentence_63

On July 10, 2008, Apple introduced native mobile apps for its iOS operating system. ITunes_sentence_64

On iOS, a dedicated App Store application served as the storefront for browsing, purchasing and managing applications, whereas iTunes on computers had a dedicated section for apps rather than a separate app. ITunes_sentence_65

In September 2017, Apple updated iTunes to version 12.7, removing the App Store section in the process. ITunes_sentence_66

However, the following month, iTunes 12.6.3 was also released, retaining the App Store, with 9to5Mac noting that the secondary release was positioned by Apple as "necessary for some businesses performing internal app deployments". ITunes_sentence_67

iTunes Store ITunes_section_11

Main article: iTunes Store ITunes_sentence_68

Introduced On April 28, 2003, The iTunes Music Store allows users to buy and download songs, with 200,000 tracks available at launch. ITunes_sentence_69

In its first week, customers bought more than one million songs. ITunes_sentence_70

Music purchased was protected by FairPlay, an encryption layer referred to as digital rights management (DRM). ITunes_sentence_71

The use of DRM, which limited devices capable of playing purchased files, sparked efforts to remove the protection mechanism. ITunes_sentence_72

Eventually, after an open letter to the music industry by CEO Steve Jobs in February 2007, Apple introduced a selection of DRM-free music in the iTunes Store in April 2007, followed by its entire music catalog without DRM in January 2009. ITunes_sentence_73

In October 2005, Apple announced that movies and television shows would become available through its iTunes Store, employing the DRM protection. ITunes_sentence_74

iTunes U ITunes_section_12

In May 2007, Apple announced the launch of "iTunes U" via the iTunes Store, which delivers university lectures from top U.S. colleges. ITunes_sentence_75

With iTunes version 12.7 in August 2017, iTunes U collections became a part of the Podcasts app. ITunes_sentence_76

On 10 June 2020, Apple formally announced that iTunes U will be discontinued from the end of 2021. ITunes_sentence_77

iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match ITunes_section_13

In June 2011, Apple announced "iTunes in the Cloud," in which music purchases were stored on Apple's servers and made available for automatic downloading on new devices. ITunes_sentence_78

For music the user owns, such as content ripped from CDs, the company introduced "iTunes Match," a feature that can upload content to Apple's servers, match it to its catalog, change the quality to 256kbit/s AAC format, and make it available to other devices. ITunes_sentence_79

Internet radio and music streaming ITunes_section_14

Main articles: iTunes Radio and Apple Music ITunes_sentence_80

When iTunes was first released, it came with support for the Kerbango Internet radio tuner service. ITunes_sentence_81

In June 2013, the company announced iTunes Radio, a free music streaming service. ITunes_sentence_82

In June 2015, Apple announced Apple Music, its paid music streaming service, and subsequently rebranded iTunes Radio into Beats 1, a radio station accompanying Apple Music. ITunes_sentence_83

iPhone connectivity ITunes_section_15

iTunes was used to activate early iPhone models. ITunes_sentence_84

Beginning with the iPhone 3G in June 2008, activation did not require iTunes, making use of activation at point of sale. ITunes_sentence_85

Later iPhone models were able to be activated and set-up on their own, without requiring the use of iTunes. ITunes_sentence_86

Ping ITunes_section_16

Main article: iTunes Ping ITunes_sentence_87

With the release of iTunes 10 in September 2010, Apple announced iTunes Ping, which CEO Steve Jobs described as "social music discovery." ITunes_sentence_88

It had features reminiscent of Facebook, including profiles and the ability to follow other users. ITunes_sentence_89

Ping was discontinued in September 2012. ITunes_sentence_90

Criticism ITunes_section_17

Security ITunes_section_18

The Telegraph reported in November 2011 that Apple had been aware of a security vulnerability since 2008 that would let unauthorized third parties install "updates" to users' iTunes software. ITunes_sentence_91

Apple fixed the issue prior to the Telegraph's report, and told the media that "The security and privacy of our users is extremely important", though this was questioned by security researcher Brian Krebs, who told the publication that "A prominent security researcher warned Apple about this dangerous vulnerability in mid-2008, yet the company waited more than 1,200 days to fix the flaw." ITunes_sentence_92

Software bloat ITunes_section_19

iTunes has been repeatedly accused of being bloated as part of Apple's efforts to turn it from a music player to an all-encompassing multimedia platform. ITunes_sentence_93

Former PC World editor Ed Bott accused the company of hypocrisy in its advertising attacks on Windows for similar practices. ITunes_sentence_94

The role of iTunes is replaced with independent apps for Apple Music, Apple TV, as well as for iOS device management. ITunes_sentence_95

See also ITunes_section_20


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