After almost two decades the end of iTunes, as we know it, is here.
Rumours of ‘the death of iTunes’ had been circulating for a while, but confirmation came this week. Well, for Mac users at least!
However, it seems the move could be for the best. Plus, you will still be able to keep your purchased music. iTunes subscribers have perhaps had a love-hate relationship with the site over the years, which is why changes have been made.
Standalone music, television and podcast apps will now replace the media player. These will run across iPad, iPhone and Mac computers.
Apple says that users will be able to access and manage their downloads and subscriptions separately on a desktop. Files can be synced across multiple Apple devices.
The announcement was made at Apple’s annual developer conference. It was covered in one of ‘the longest keynote speeches’ in the company’s history.
The Legacy of iTunes
iTunes was originally set up to play, download and organise music collections, way back when it was launched in 2001.
You could rip, merge and burn CDs. It gave music lovers the chance to store their favourite albums with downloaded tracks from the iTunes store. From there they could be organised into playlists, to be played on a range of devices.
The core features were expanded upon four years later. Video support came in, quickly followed by e-books and the ability to add podcasts. You could also manage iPhone and iPad apps through it too for a time, but this was scrapped in 2017.
With the inception of the Apple Music streaming service in 2015, the attention on iTunes began to shift. It wasn’t really the primary media hub anymore, and this probably marked the beginning on the end of iTunes as we will remember it.
It has also had to contend with the likes of Spotify and other rising music streaming services.
What will ‘the death of iTunes’ mean?
Well, Apple fans who love music and media will still be able to do much of what they could do before. However, it will look quite different.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, acknowledged at the conference that customers were asking if iTunes could do more.
EuroNews reports that users will notice the changes in Apple’s upcoming MacOS 10.15 software update. However, Apple has assured users that content bought on the store can still be available.
The new update will be rolled out to Mac users this Autumn.
The new operating system will mean users can keep updating their phones without having to launch a separate app, say Apple.
— WIRED (@WIRED) June 3, 2019
itunes is dead, pulling out my tapes pic.twitter.com/MLzIyDfyJI
— . . . (@cuurlzzz) June 5, 2019
me, an apple owner who exclusively uses spotify, reading about the death of itunes pic.twitter.com/8QW8ok5kpM
— ry (@aryadarkheart) June 4, 2019
I still remember getting the first iPod ever to come out and learning how to use iTunes. #RIPiTUNES
— Eye Candy Machine 🍭 (@EyeCandyMachine) June 1, 2019
Media outlets around the world have been quick to reassure former iTunes users that their music is safe.
“There’s no need to fear that 18 years-worth of downloads are about to suddenly disappear,” read a report from The Independent.
“Apple will automatically migrate all music, video and other content will to the three apps taking the place of iTunes.
“Any music in the iTunes library will transfer to the Apple Music app, which will still offer access to the iTunes Store.”
Fox News is also currently reporting that iTunes lives on for Windows users – for now…
As many are agreeing, despite iTunes’ notoriety for being sluggish and cluttered, culturally it has been of huge significance.
This ‘end of an era’ has seen many on social media sharing their special memories, like their very first iPods.
To keep up to date with the changes stay tuned to Apple.com and, of course, our FileHippo News Blog.