Advantages & Disadvantages of iTunes
By Solomon Poretsky
iTunes first began as a music management program, with little business application outside of the entertainment industry. More recently, its role as a gateway to iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad makes it a useful tool for enterprises and their employees, in allowing users to exchange audio recordings of conferences and transcripts across devices. As with many dual-use applications, deciding whether to install iTunes in your business setting requires you to weigh its benefits against the potential negatives of having it in the workplace.
iTunes allows you to equip your team with software that manages audio and video media, automates the downloading of company podcasts, and handles syncing and backing up iOS devices. It's also completely free, which allows you to do this without having to dip into your budget.
Advantage: Good Integration with iOS Devices
iTunes is also one of the best software platforms integrated with iOS devices on the marketplace. Though various third-party programs can upload audio recordings to iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads, iTunes is the only program that can handle coordinating operating system upgrades while managing apps at the same time, making it a fast option when employees need to use it on a daily basis to exchange company-related media.
Advantage: Access to Business Content
iTunes also has a range of content that can be useful to employees for improved performance. Installing iTunes gives them access to the broad range of business podcasts, as well as business classes through the iTunes U education app and business books and audiobooks through the iTunes bookstore. Used properly, iTunes can be a gateway to information that makes your team more productive.
One of the biggest problems with iTunes is its known reputation for running slowly on many computers, particularly on Windows software, and consuming a great deal of system RAM. While there are some workarounds for some of its performance issues, iTunes still slows down your system and takes away from performance in other applications. This may be particularly problematic for businesses that upgrade their hardware infrequently and use slower computers with less memory.
Disadvantage: Non-Business Purpose
iTunes is overall a media manager, which means it can potentially lead to computers in the workplace having the ability to store inappropriate material. While non-business use of iTunes by employees might generally consist of their storage of legitimate, purchased media on their systems, it might also lead to their storage of illegally downloaded material. Additionally, non-business storage of music or video material will consume disk space and slow down a computer's ability to handle work transactions.
Solomon Poretsky has been writing since 1996 and has been published in a number of trade publications including the "Minnesota Real Estate Journal" and "Minnesota Multi-Housing Association Advocate." He holds a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Columbia University and has extensive experience in the fields of financial services, real estate and technology.