How to buy a song on iTunes – Is it worth it?

This January marks 20 years since the launch of iTunes. It was a landmark moment in the history of purchasing and downloading music, and the first stage of music legally moving digital. The platform gives users the ability to purchase albums and songs which are then downloaded on to their device, whether that be a phone, tablet or computer.

However, unsurprisingly, time has moved on further over the past couple of decades and users now have cheaper and arguably better ways of listening to music thanks to the invention of subscription based streaming services – this, and the fact that sometimes iTunes can be slow. In this article, we are going explain how you can go about purchasing songs off iTunes, but also consider whether it is still worth using iTunes at all.

How to buy a song on iTunes – step by step

To buy a song off iTunes you first of all need to sign up to the platform with an email address and password – you can do this on either mobile, tablet or desktop (Mac and/or PC). Once you’re all set up with an account, the easiest way to buy music on iTunes it via mobile/tablet, however, it is possible to also do it on a desktop computer, whether it be a windows PC or a Mac.

To purchase on mobile/tablet:

  1. Open up the app and select ‘music’ from the bottom menu bar.
  2. Browse the interface and select a song that you wish to buy.
  3. Tap the price next to the song and follow the on screen instructions to complete the purchase.

To purchase on a PC:

  1. Open iTunes and select music from the pop-up menu.
  2. Select ‘store’.
  3. Browse the interface and select a song that you wish to buy.
  4. Tap the price next to the song and follow the on screen instructions to complete the purchase.

Using a Mac

The process to purchase songs from iTunes on a Mac has become slightly more complex ever since Apple decided to merge all of their music related apps into one on their Mac’s back in 2019. To purchase a song via iTunes on a Mac now you will need to follow these steps carefully –

To purchase on a Mac:

  1. Open the Apple Music app.
  2. On the top menu, select music and then preferences.
  3. Select ‘general’ and then ‘iTunes Store’.
  4. Search for a song that you wish to buy and then click the ‘iTunes Store’ button on the top right hand side of the screen.
  5. Tap the price next to the song and follow the on screen instructions to complete the purchase.

Is buying music off iTunes still worth it?

As mentioned at the top of the piece, it is now debatable whether buying music off iTunes is worth it. This is largely because of the rise in streaming services such as Spotify and Amazon Music. In fact, even Apple have jumped on the bandwagon with Apple Music so even they are aware that the tide is turning when it comes to how people consume music in modern times.

These streaming services offer users unlimited access to an enormous catalogue of music on a rolling, monthly basis for a fee somewhere between £6-£15 a month depending on who you subscribe with and which package you select. Considering the average price for a song on iTunes is roughly 80p, you’d only need to listen to ten songs a month via a streaming service to make using iTunes a bad decision from a financial point of view.

However, there is one thing that iTunes possesses which streaming services don’t and ironically, it’s also to do with possession. When you purchase a song or album off iTunes, that song is then yours forever; you own it. When you stream a song on a streaming service, you don’t have any ownership over that song. If you then decide to to cancel your subscription months down the line then you will no longer have access to that song. Whereas with iTunes, once you’ve paid once it’s yours forever.

So, I guess the answer to the question ‘is buying music off iTunes still worth it?’ depends on whether you are bothered about ‘owning’ music or not. If you’re not bothered about it then iTunes most definitely is not worth it, however, the fact that Apple are yet to shelve the platform suggests that there are still enough people who do care about ownership.

Conclusion

All in all, purchasing songs off iTunes is a straightforward task on a Windows PC and/or mobile/tablet, however it can get fiddly on a Mac. Please make sure to take extra care if you are attempting to complete the task on a Mac and consider just using your iPhone if you have one.

We hope that the information provided above has helped you to understand why some people think purchasing music on iTunes is now an obsolete task. That doesn’t mean to say that you will feel the same though, so feel free to crack on with iTunes if that’s how you like to enjoy your music!

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Author

Andy

Andy is a Professional Content Editor with expertise in a whole host of areas (or so he tells us anyway). His main interests are sports, tv/film and social media. He has reviewed over 100 apps so far for Apps UK.

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