iTunes

iTunes

Free
iTunes is built-in Mac software which does far more than just play tunes
4.1  (108 votes)
6.4
12.6.2 (See all)

Ah, I remember the quaint old days when iTunes was solely a music player, as its name still suggests. It has grown from those humble origins into perhaps the most important piece of software on the Mac, serving as a hub not only for music but also for podcasts, movies, TV shows, books, and, of course, mobile apps.

While it's taking me a while to adjust to the alternatives to list view that iTunes 11 provides, I find the album view very cool. In a color scheme extracted from the album artwork, the tracks and their duration are displayed all together in a way that really gives new strength to the concept of the album, a concept that has been suffering for some time with the advent of increasingly successful singles.

I'm also a fan of the way media playback can now be synchronized across devices using iCloud. Without an iOS device of my own I've been unable to test this feature out myself, but greater integration with iCloud just makes sense the way technology is changing.

Even though I seldom used it, I'm a bit sad to see iTunes DJ disappear in version 11. It's been replaced with a visual Up Next list that can be altered at any time - in effect, the meat of the DJ feature has been attractively embedded into regular playback - but the level of control over the list is more limited. This change fits with two trends I expect Apple to continue in future iterations of iTunes - relatively fewer features for music playback and less user control over what one can do with one's files.

Sam's Protip: Tried all the visualizers yet? As cool as the default visualizer is, there are a bunch of others in the iTunes menu, and you can customize the default extensively with the M and P keys. Lots of fun!!

Sam Lloyd
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • Exclusive access to the iTunes Store.
  • High volume of features.
  • A number of options for music playback (Genius, Smart Playlists, Radio)

Cons

  • Does not support FLAC.
  • iTunes DJ has been removed.
  • Offers limited control over files on devices it manages
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