|Editor's Review Costs & Features Videos User Reviews|
We have awarded iTunes UK our prestigious Bronze Award in this category, having reviewed 12 UK Music Download Websites. Read our review below to find out why...
Editor's Star Ratings:
|Number of Tracks Available:|
|Ease of Use:|
|Value for Money:|
|Overall Star Rating:|
Sitting in a library, cafe or even in the park, it’s hard not to see someone tapping away on iTunes. It is a massive brand from Apple, the good folks who brought us the Mac and the iPhone. And they take advantage of this fact to good effect: if you’re an Apple-phile then iTunes can offer you a truly comprehensive service, ranging from downloading or streaming TV shows, movies, books, lectures and – the one we’re interested in – music.
Yes it’s music we’re after and iTunes doesn’t disappoint. Strangely their main website seems reluctant to share just how many tracks the iTunes has to offer its users, though it’s rumoured to be around 28 million. These come at a very reasonable price and iTunes even offer free songs for the money-mindful of us. The system works a treat, Apple have clearly spent a lot of time developing their software to be user friendly and slick. Integrated with the variety of Apple products available, iTunes works to deliver high quality music in a simple and stylish manner.
With the right equipment iTunes allows you to constantly be in contact with your music, and though it may be possible to use non-Apple hardware, they do of course push their own products. 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.
Ease of use is at iTunes’ core, then. But what about the music? The range is mindblowing but iTunes frequently delivers on its quality. Searching for songs is a doddle and you are even able to have the album covers appear for a band’s or album’s avatar image. This means that you don’t so much ‘read’ through your library, as ‘see’ through it.
What is lacking from iTunes is a comprehensive package deal. Rather than a monthly fee you pay per track. This is fine if you know what you’re looking for but does hinder any sense of exploration. iTunes offers recommendations based on what you already like but this is unlikely to branch you off into new genres or introduce you to up-and-coming bands. 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 is a strong contender. It offers a lot of media accessories to your music hunt. Its software is polished, easy to use and very popular, reflecting the Apple brand, but does lack a certain charm that other sites have. Its features reflect a company rather than a company who is absolutely besotted by loving, sharing and evolving music. iTunes can be made very accessible from your various digital products (through its Cloud service) but you are encouraged to buy hardware from Apple to make this work to the highest quality, and that doesn’t come cheap! 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.
Click on the button below to check out Apple.com/UK/iTunes for yourself...