This is a common question for those considering subscribing to Apple Music or who are new to the service. The short answer is yes, the Apple Music library does contain all the songs and albums that were available on iTunes. However, there are some key differences between the two services that are important to understand.
What happened to iTunes?
Launched in 2001, iTunes was Apple’s desktop app that allowed users to purchase, download, organize and play music and video files. At its peak around 2012, iTunes offered a library of over 43 million songs and was the dominant way people purchased digital music. However, streaming services like Spotify began taking over the music industry in the late 2000s. In 2019, Apple divided up the bloated iTunes app into three separate apps on Mac – Apple Music, Apple TV and Apple Podcasts. iTunes still exists on Windows computers but is no longer actively updated. So Apple Music has essentially taken over iTunes’ role as Apple’s primary music app. The iTunes Store was also renamed the Apple Music Store.
Is the Apple Music library the same as iTunes?
Yes, any song or album you purchased or downloaded through iTunes is available in your Apple Music library. When setting up Apple Music on a device where you already had iTunes, your iTunes music automatically becomes part of your Apple Music collection.
Apple Music has over 75 million songs available to stream so any music you bought previously now exists alongside Apple’s full streaming catalog. You access both your owned music and the streaming catalog from the My Music section of the Apple Music app. They live side-by-side seamlessly.
Key differences between Apple Music and iTunes
While the libraries are the same, there are some important differences in how you interact with and play music between the apps:
- Apple Music is a subscription streaming service starting at $9.99/month for individuals. iTunes was primarily a music store where you pay per song or album downloaded.
- Apple Music can only be accessed with an active subscription. iTunes allowed you to own and play music permanently.
- Apple Music has 75+ million songs available for streaming. iTunes had a library of around 43 million songs available for purchase.
- Apple Music’s library is updated and expanded regularly. iTunes’ catalog of purchasable music stayed mostly static.
- Apple Music offers personalized playlists generated by algorithms. iTunes did not create custom playlists for listeners.
- Apple Music is available on iOS, Mac, PC, Android and the web. iTunes was only available on Mac and Windows.
Do I need Apple Music if I already own music?
If you have a large iTunes library you’ve built up over the years, you don’t necessarily need an Apple Music subscription to keep listening to your music. You can access your full iTunes collection on Mac through the Music app or on Windows through the latest version of iTunes.
However, subscribing to Apple Music brings some benefits for longtime iTunes users:
- Your iTunes library integrates into the Apple Music ecosystem so you can access downloaded and streamed music in one place.
- Playlists and music libraries sync across devices through iCloud.
- You gain access to Apple Music’s full catalog of over 75 million songs to stream.
- Listening recommendations are tailored to your tastes.
- You can download music temporarily for offline listening.
So while not required, Apple Music brings a more robust and integrated music experience to those with existing iTunes libraries.
What happens if I cancel Apple Music?
If you decide to cancel your Apple Music subscription, you revert to only having access to music you purchased through iTunes or downloaded during your membership. Anything you added just for streaming won’t be playable anymore. However, your Apple Music profile, preferences and playlists are saved for if you resubscribe later.
So in summary, yes the Apple Music and iTunes libraries contain mostly the same music. However Apple Music offers a streaming service on top of your iTunes collection. If streaming millions of songs and personalized recommendations sounds appealing, Apple Music is worth considering even if you have an iTunes history.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I import my iTunes library into Apple Music?
You don’t need to actively import your iTunes library as it will happen automatically when you set up and subscribe to Apple Music. Any music purchased through iTunes or downloaded during an Apple Music membership will appear in My Music alongside Apple’s streaming catalog. All your playlists and library organization carry over as well.
Do iTunes purchases transfer to Apple Music?
Yes, all previous iTunes music purchases and downloads are accessible in Apple Music. Your iTunes collection will appear under the My Music tab in the Apple Music app alongside Apple’s streaming catalog. You can stream songs you own through iTunes without using mobile data.
Can you play iTunes music on Apple Music?
Yes, Apple Music grants access to all your iTunes purchased music as well as Apple’s streaming library. Under the My Music tab, you’ll find your iTunes collection alongside Apple’s catalog available to stream. This allows you to seamlessly play music you own and music available on Apple Music.
Do I keep my iTunes playlists on Apple Music?
Yes, when you set up Apple Music your iTunes playlists automatically transfer over to the app. You can access your playlists under the Playlists tab in the Apple Music app. Any playlists created within Apple Music will also be visible in the Music app on Mac or iTunes on Windows.
Can I download Apple Music songs to iTunes?
Unfortunately, you cannot download Apple Music streaming songs into the iTunes application. However, you can download Apple Music content temporarily onto your device to listen offline. These downloads appear in My Music alongside your iTunes purchases. But they do not transfer over permanently into the iTunes library when your Apple Music membership expires.
- The Apple Music library contains all the songs and albums that were available on iTunes.
- iTunes purchased music carries over to Apple Music automatically.
- Apple Music has a streaming catalog of over 75 million songs alongside your iTunes library.
- Playlists, preferences and library organization sync across Apple Music devices.
- You don’t need a subscription to keep listening to existing iTunes purchases.
- An Apple Music membership brings streaming music, intelligent playlists and more.