Which is Better iTunes or MP3?


Asking which is better iTunes or mp3 will be difficult to answer, since the two are not the same. An mp3 is a popular digital audio file format. On the other hand, iTunes is a media player. It can also hook you up to the iTunes store.

More about iTunes

iTunes is a downloadable program. Created by Apple, it can play movies and music. If you decide to connect to the iTunes store, you can buy a wide array of software; there are also free applications in the store. You can download content for your computer, iPhone and iPad. The first version was released in 2001 and was a huge hit. Numerous updates and versions have come out, making the program easier to use.

iTunes or MP3

iTunes’ popularity increased as it became a mandatory app for the iPod, Apple’s wildly popular music player. With iTunes, iPod users were now able to edit and add new files. However, the newer versions of iTunes can now run on other mp3 players.


Succeeding years saw the app become capable of downloading videos. By the end of 2005, it became possible to download TV programs, video podcasts and even movies. iTunes allows you to play these files on portable and desktop computers.

iTunes also changed the way music could be purchased. To combat the rise of illegal music downloads, Apple, through this program, made it easier to legally distribute and purchase music. There is still a long way to go in terms of the development of online music stores, but iTunes has made significant strides.

What is an Mp3?

To better understand why a question like “which is better iTunes or mp3” is hard to answer, facts about mp3 have to be understood.

An mp3 is a file format created using the standards set by the Motion Pictures Experts Group (MPEG).

The mp3 format is the audio version of the MPEG, which is for video. Mp3 (MPEG-1, Layer 3) is basically a lossy compression algorithm that uses compression to make audio files smaller. For example, a 50 MB WAV file can be reduced to 5 MB if converted to an Mp3 with very little audio quality loss.

The format relies on psychoacoustic modeling. Psychoacoustics exploits the hearing deficiencies of the human ear. In simple terms, the program removes the digital bits that we will not be able to hear anyway. The fact is that humans are unable to hear quiet sounds if there is a loud sound in the same frequency. This phenomenon is known as auditory masking. Mp3 compression works properly so the missing sounds are not noticeable.

Other Information

Because it is a lossy algorithm, it cannot make new bits off the compressed ones. Hearing wise though, the format is lossless. It’s because you can’t tell the difference between a well encoded mp3 and a CD recording.

The “CD quality” encoding would be at 256 kilobits per second. Lower rates would produce good, but inferior sounds. The audible discrepancies begin to show with Mp3s having a bit rate of less than 128 kilobits per second. 128 kb/s is still pretty good, and is the most common bit rate used.

At 256 kb/s, this is equal to 1.4 megabit per second, it is 1/6 of the 1.4 megabits per second that CD recording demand.

As these facts show, the question of which is better iTunes or mp3 can only be answered by studying all the facts. Only then will it be apparent that the two are not the same.

Francis is a free lancer writer and content builder of www.howtoconvert.org/