Despite new competition ffrom well known rivals,iTunes still gets better rankings. Excerpts with edits and comments from the businessweek article:
Apple Computer achieved a real breakthrough 20 months ago when it updated iTunes, its software for managing music on your computer. Apple added an online music store and made the entire package available to the vast population of Windows users and also helped shift the debate over digital music beyond the legal status of controversial free file-sharing services like the original Napster and followers such as KaAaA. By creating a legitimate channel for distributing music online, it put the recording industry on notice that the days of charging $15 or $20 for a CD in a bricks-and-mortar store were coming to an end. But iTunes isn't alone anymore. Rivals such as Microsoft , RealNetworks , and Yahoo! are giving Apple competition in the world of online music. They've added music stores of their own and improved the usability of their music-management software. However, after assessment, it is clear that iTunes still has the edge. In part, iTunes is basking in the glow of its famous sibling, the iPod. iTunes stands up well on its own, though. The software shares all the iPod's attributes. It has the same spare aesthetic, with a minimum number of buttons and windows set against a brushed-grey background. And like the iPod, each detail is extremely well thought-out. Basic tasks like creating a playlist of songs are quicker and easier with iTunes vs. its rivals. iTunes remains the most efficient of the group.
iTunes also offers some unique features.- automatic detection of stashes of music that other iTunes users created on a common our network. iTunes converses freely with the rest of the computing world. It allows people to record their CDs using the ubiquitous MP3 standard. It also will convert unprotected Windows Media files into the AAC format that Apple favors. That means iTunes is compatible with a number of standard MP3 players, including a variety of other models and it allows people to transfer MP3-based music libraries on their computer into iTunes. The iPod would just be a cool-looking gadget if it weren't for its lesser-known sibling.