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Home / Mac / iTunes, iTunes Match, Apple Music: Which should you use?

iTunes, iTunes Match, Apple Music: Which should you use?



Apple's cloud services can be confusing. It's iTunes, iTunes Match and Apple Music. What are the differences? Which should you use?

iTunes on Mac is the music, movie, podcast and sync app on Mac. For now. With the fall macOS Catalina, it has been split into apps for music, Apple TV and Podcast. Synchronization will be a Finder feature in the upcoming operating system update.

  iTunes News Music store screenshot

However, the iTunes Store (pictured above) will remain as a place to place on your Mac to buy and rent music, movies and podcasts.

Apple Music (pictured below) is a music streaming service that costs $ 9.99 per month. You can try it for free for a month; The trial was originally three months, but Apple has put it down. There is a $ 14.99 per month family plan that offers services for up to six family members. All you need to do is set up iCloud Family Sharing on your iOS device or Mac and invite family members to join the group.

iTunes Match (pictured below) is a $ 24-a-year service that stores all your music in iCloud – even songs imported from CDs or not purchased in the iTunes Store – and makes it available on up to 10 of your devices and computers. To use iTunes Match, sign up for the service using your Apple ID and activate it on any computer and device you want to use it on.

Both Apple Music and iTunes Match have a library storage limit of 100,000.

The following is my personal preference, so keep this in mind: If you want to use Apple Music, your best bet is to use it with iTunes Match if you already has a large music library.

Why? The biggest difference between Apple Music and iTunes Match is that Apple Music does not own the music it streams due to digital rights management (DRM) protection. You can only access songs from Apple Music while you have an active subscription. When you cancel your subscription, the music goes away.

Your iTunes Match subscription also includes a 1945 iCloud Music Library. Songs added are made available to other computers or devices in the 256 Kbps DRM-free AAC. Because they are digital rights management (DRM) free, some of the songs you save offline may continue to play, even after your iTunes Match subscription ends. That's the big difference from Apple Music.

Of course, Apple could have made all this much easier by making iTunes Match an "addition" to Apple Music for, for example, $ 2 a month.

By the way, both iTunes Match and Apple Music have a 25,000 track storage limit. Apple's Eddy Cue has said that this limit will be increased to 100,000 on Apple Music this year. I'm not sure if it's iTunes Match.


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