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I commonly use iTunes to add items to iPods and iPhones. However, I'm using Ubuntu more and more and I'm really liking it.

Ubuntu has some apps that replicate iTunes, but some features are either hard-to-find or missing. So my question:

What functionality of iTunes is not available anywhere else?

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I struggled a bit in understanding what functions have equivalent but somewhat superior or inferior versions ( like the android music store versus the iTunes music store and amazon music and movie store. ) rather than assuming these were proprietary and unique. Is this how you intended your question? – bmike Mar 25 '12 at 3:11
I use iTunes' Smart Playlist and Applescript a lot to manage my podcasts. – Heng-Cheong Leong Mar 25 '12 at 6:09
up vote 3 down vote accepted

iTunes match is a huge feature for the iCloud integration features for easy streaming and syncing of playlists and metadata across iOS and Mac/PC. Ping is unique, though few would argue this is highly useful.

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Ah! The first truly helpful answer. The iTunes store is available on the iDevice. – JavaAndCSharp Mar 25 '12 at 3:01
iTunes Match certainly has a unique approach to the feature it offers, but easy streaming and synching of playlists across iOS and Mac/PC devices hardly a feature unique to iTunes. Amazon, Spotify, and Dropbox, just to name a few, offer their own take on easy streaming and synching of playlists and (some) metadata. – Daniel Mar 25 '12 at 3:06
I struggled a bit - are other players even close to iTunes for ease of playlist organization and syncing? My experience with amazon cloud was that it was an extremely clunky web app. I personally won't run spotify, but perhaps it is closer based on some reviews I've seen. ( and ping - I mostly chuckle at it and sigh but it has shown me some great music on occasion ) – bmike Mar 25 '12 at 3:15

The principal functionality that is not available anywhere else is that is the front end to the iTunes Store, giving you the ability to purchase and rent music, videos, books and apps sold by Apple, Inc. You can't buy any of what they sell unless you have iTunes.

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+1 plus the syncing functionality, right? Other software cannot properly talk to recent iPods, I believe. – Thilo Mar 25 '12 at 1:17
You can buy this content on the iOS devices. – jmlumpkin Mar 25 '12 at 1:43
Good point, jmlumpkin. I've been using iTunes since 2001, even before the first iPod. I guess it's crept up on me that since iOS 5 you can now purchase an iOS device, register it, and use most of its functions without reference to iTunes. You can back up the content with iCloud as well. Of course you need to have an Apple iTunes account, to activate iCloud and upgrade services, and to buy content. But can you now indeed do everything without ever using the iTunes software, even once? Much to think about here. – user9290 Mar 25 '12 at 2:59
Yes. Except if you want to install beta iOS builds (as a developer). I too have used iTunes that long. You can also buy all that stuff without iTunes on a computer, way before iOS 5. – jmlumpkin Mar 25 '12 at 16:57

iTunes has no unique functionality. Pretty much anything else is better than iTunes, except maybe Windows Media Player.

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Also if you were to use Ubuntu you could use Rhythmbox to purchase music movies and ebooks directly from the media player through ubuntu one. – davey Mar 25 '12 at 1:05

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