Software reviewsComment: Another year goes by and Apple still hasn’t replaced iTunes on Windows with something better

DarylDecember 22, 2021

Apple recently released macOS Monterey 12.2 beta, and while the update isn’t a big one, it does come with a Music app that has been rewritten with native technology instead of web content. Meanwhile, the same old iTunes that was discontinued on the Mac years ago is still available on Windows – and it’s past time for Apple to replace it with something better.

iTunes is quite an old software as it was introduced in 2001, the same year Apple released the first iPod. Over the years, iTunes has been updated with several new features, which includes the iTunes Store, support for movies and TV shows, the ability to sync and restore iOS devices, a failed social network, and access to Apple Music.

In 2019, Apple finally decided it was time to separate iTunes into different apps, so the company discontinued the software and replaced it with the Music, TV, and Podcasts apps in macOS Catalina. Having a dedicated Apple Music app is great, but this never solved the main problems of iTunes since the Music app on macOS is still almost entirely based on the old software.

As reported by 9to5Mac, the company is finally rebuilding Apple Music on macOS as a native app, which should make it more fluid and less problematic. But…

What about Windows?

While macOS users at least have access to some new Apple Music features like Live Lyrics and Spatial Audio through the Music app, Windows users are still stuck in time with iTunes. Apple has never cared much about bringing its software to other platforms, but now we’re talking about services – and Apple Music is one of the most popular music subscription services in the world.

Before iTunes was discontinued, the Windows version of the app was always updated with the same features available on macOS – not only because iTunes is the only way to manage iOS devices on Windows, but also because Windows users also used iTunes to buy songs, movies, and TV shows.

Even with the company prioritizing its own computers (and that’s totally understandable), it’s ridiculous that Apple Music subscribers still don’t have access to a truly Apple Music app on Windows. More than 74% of computers worldwide run Windows, which means that many iPhone owners have a PC instead of a Mac. If they decide to subscribe to Apple Music, they won’t have a good experience.

And here I can also mention other Apple services like Apple Podcast and Apple TV+, which also don’t offer a native Windows experience. If Apple really wants to be taken seriously as a service company, it needs to think more about offering multi-platform solutions in situations like this.

I personally know multiple users who want to subscribe to Apple Music on iPhone, but end up subscribing to Spotify because it offers a more consistent experience on Windows. At the same time, Apple Podcasts have been considerably losing ground to other platforms.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

9to5Mac heard earlier this year that Apple has been testing both Music and Podcast apps for Microsoft platforms. While it seems that these apps are primarily focused on Xbox consoles, Apple was looking for engineers with Universal Windows Platform (UWP) experience, which suggests that Apple’s media apps may finally be coming to Windows.

The Apple Music app is also available for Android, Smart TVs, and even PlayStation consoles, so it would be only fair that Windows users have access to a similar app with the same features. Perhaps now that the company is improving the Music app experience on macOS, Windows users may also see a new app to replace iTunes in 2022.

Apple Music for PlayStation 5.

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