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iTunes for Windows is finally being discontinued – here’s what to use instead

Published Feb 8th, 2024 6:51AM EST
iTunes for Windows replacement: new Apple Music app
Image: Apple Inc.

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Apple is phasing out iTunes for Windows. Years after the company broke down its legendary software for the Mac into Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV+, it’s finally time for Windows users to have a similar experience.

If you’re running Windows 10 and open the iTunes app, it will ask you to download the new apps for the best standalone experience.

  • The Apple Music app features an updated UI, lossless playback, time-synced lyrics, and 4K Music Videos. This new experience ensures that users get everything they expect, including their library and AirPlay. 
  • With the new Apple TV app for Windows, users can access all the same amazing original Apple TV+ programming, along with their library and purchased or rented video content. There are also 4K playback and Subscription channels on Windows for the first time, along with being able to watch MLS Season Pass.
  • The new Devices app will allow users to update, sync, and back up their Apple devices, and the iTunes app will continue to be the home for Podcasts and Audiobooks.
Apple TV app on WindowsImage source: Apple Inc.

In addition, Apple redesigned the iCloud for Windows app to provide more clarity on how it syncs content across devices and where users can access it on their PCs. It includes a new onboarding and setup experience, displays an informative syncing status that shows the progress of uploading and downloading content from iCloud, and more.

iTunes might be dying, and I wish Apple introduced the perfect replacement

While Mac users haven’t had iTunes for years now, I still miss how it aggregated all content in one place. Currently, the Music app is the true iTunes replacement as it also offers the iTunes Stor. However, design-wise, I find the app inconsistent with the Music experience available on iOS devices.

Some areas of the app are full of blank spaces, and it’s not like Apple was careful to reimagine it; it’s still very similar to the old iTunes app, but you need to open the Podcasts app to find your perfect show and so on.

macOS 14.3 Apple Music tweaks RCImage source: José Adorno for BGR

The Apple TV app, on the other hand, at least is very similar to its iOS and tvOS counterparts, but I wish the company would discontinue the Sidebar for another experience, as it just feels too vintage.

Starting to phase out iTunes for Windows was definitely the right move, but I hope Apple rebuilds some of these apps for an experience that doesn’t remind iTunes, as it’s no longer the reason why these apps exist in the first place.

Lastly, I hope Podcasts and Books apps are coming to Windows users soon, as the iTunes app has lost all its identity, although it will still be used for podcasts and audiobooks. Weird.

Here’s what you can use instead

Since we’re talking about iTunes for Windows, the wonderful world of PCs offers third-party iTunes alternative apps. Although using Apple’s own solutions might be quicker and simpler if you’re one of those purists who have ripped all your CDs to your PC and want to keep listening to songs that way, an alternative app might bring the best experience of the old days of iTunes.

MediaMonkey: If you want full control of your music library, this app could be the perfect iTunes replacement, as you can choose to import by folder or by media type. You can also choose specific music to copy between your PC and iPhone or your entire library. It’s free to use, but there’s a gold license, so you can take advantage of its full potential.

TouchCopy: Similar to iTunes, but with a very Windows look, you can organize your music library, transfer all your important audio files, export messages, call history, and backup photos to a PC or Mac. The app is free to use, but you can purchase a license to enjoy its features.

Waveform Music Player: Lastly, Waveform works exactly like iTunes (you can sync music but also your iPhone), create playlists, download missing album/artist artwork, and more. All in a simple interface. The app is free to use.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.