Apple has truly changed the way we listen to music. With the iTunes store, it’s now possible to purchase more than 43 million songs to listen to on your computer, iPhone, iPod and iPad. As technology has advanced, Apple has introduced new services that allow you to listen to music and enjoy it in different ways.
 
 
Today, there are three terms you’ll hear being discussed in relation to the iTunes store and music catalog: iTunes Music Store, iTunes Match and Apple Music. The differences between these can be a little confusing. Let’s take a look at each one:
 
 
The iTunes Music Store.
 
 
The iTunes Music Store is the basic iTunes store where you can buy songs individually or buy the album. You can access the store for free on any mobile device or on your computer, and you only pay for the songs that you purchase. Music that you buy is added to your iTunes Library. If you purchase the song on your phone, you can download it to your computer, your tablet or another device for free. The iTunes Music Store often has free music downloads available as special promotions that allow you to download a song without having to pay for it as well.
 
 
iTunes Match.
 
 
iTunes Match is a service that you pay $24.99 per year for. What iTunes Match does is allow you to share all of the music on all of your devices with one another. Let’s say you spent the time to import music from your CD collection to your computer. Ordinarily, you would not be able to listen to that music on your smartphone unless you manually saved a copy onto your phone by syncing your device. With iTunes Match, though, you can listen to the songs from your CDs as if they were free music downloads without having to spend the time importing tracks. If you don’t renew iTunes Match, all of the songs that you have already listened to your devices will be available to listen to, but you will not be able to share new non-iTunes Store music.
 
 
Apple Music.
 
 
Apple Play is another subscription service that is offered by Apple. The cost is $14.99 per month for a family or $9.99 for an individual subscription. With Apple Music, you can stream almost any song in the iTunes Music Store catalog without having to purchase it or download it. What’s important to understand, though, is that the files are not free music downloads. If you stop paying for the Apple Music service, you will no longer have access to those files. You can also upload a set number of your own music files to iCloud to share on your devices; however, if you cancel your Apple Play subscription, you will no longer be able to listen to those songs on your devices. If you want to be able to keep non-iTunes Music Store songs you already own on your device even if you cancel Apple Play, you need both iTunes Match and Apple Music.