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iTunes is everywhere. It’s hard to avoid seeing someone on their iPad, nodding their head maniacally to their favourite track or music video.
There isn’t an absolute number of tracks apparent on iTunes but let’s just say this: it’s a lot. These come at a very reasonable price and iTunes even offer free songs, blog posts and other such trinkets. The system is easy to use and looks superb, Apple have certainly got a few good designers under their metaphoric belt. Integrated with the variety of Apple products available, iTunes works to deliver a mass of music in a pretty overcoat.
What is a little tiresome, however, is Apple’s insistence on using its products to listen to music. Unlike other sites, many of their files won’t work unless you’re using their products, meaning that on some occasions, you would have to trade in your current equipment for their own brand. Looking past the merchandising, though, iTunes allows its users to have a library of songs and files that are automatically available on each of their devices. This means that by downloading a new album onto your Mac you can listen to it on your iPod or home system with virtually no hassle. This is a nice touch as it saves a lot of time and makes exchanging files between devices much easier.
iTunes is easy to use and – to some degree – self sufficient. Your involvement is about getting the most out of the experience, not worrying about filetypes and folders. But what about the music? The range is astounding and yet iTunes frequently manages to deliver on its quality. The price ranges also means that there’s choice for anyone, irrelevant of their spending potential.
So what could be improved on? Well iTunes could benefit from a decent package deal. Rather than a monthly fee you pay per track. This is fine if you know what you’re looking for but does potentially stop you from experimenting with new or unknown music because you’re paying per track. iTunes offers recommendations based on what you already like but this is unlikely to branch you into new genres or introduce you to up-and-coming bands. That said you can listen to snippets of music here and there, and no doubt your many iTunes friends will have recommendations for you too. You can share your track lists with friends but the various restrictions placed on what you can do with your music files once they have been downloaded (outside of the more costly iTunes Plus purchase) can be limiting.
iTunes has a lot of media accessories if you’re interested. It’s polished, easy to use and very popular, reflecting the Apple brand, but seems somehow soulless. This isn’t helped by its consistent efforts to make you buy their products, to become an iPerson. Its features and sales patter sometimes reflect a company rather than a company who is passionate about music. If you’re after a music service and player that won’t throw up problems, and you don’t mind spending per track, iTunes may well be the service for you.
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