Apple Phasing Out iTunes

Apple’s iconic iTunes platform will be slowly phased out. macOS Catalina no longer features the once popular media portal.

By Chand Bellur

October 11, 2019 at 9:31 p.m. PDT

macOS Catalina Replaces iTunes with Apple Music, Apple TV and Apple Books

The writing was on the wall. iTunes became too cumbersome and awkward to fit into the Apple ecosystem. The once popular music platform is going the way of the iPod classic, replaced by more intuitive and sophisticated successors.

Myriad options for video, music and books necessitated splitting iTunes into three separate apps. iTunes became bogged down with overly-complicated user interfaces — a necessity of catering to multiple forms of media.

Apple customers have already been using Apple Music, Apple TV and Apple Books for a few years. The switch is effortless for most users, however, those who have large iTunes libraries and prefer the classic user interface will likely be disappointed.

The transition preserves all past iTunes media purchased by customers. iTunes purchases have long been available in Apple TV, Apple Music and Apple Books. iOS 13 still features the iTunes Store, with the ability to buy media. There’s no word as to whether this will be phased out, with purchasing integrated into the separate media apps.

iTunes Became Obsolete

iTunes’ demise was predictable and expected. It’s rare to see software applications endure for decades. Apart from Microsoft Word and a few other corporate necessities, apps tend to have relatively short life spans.

Changes in media consumption contributed to iTunes’ decline. More people are watching TV on devices other than the traditional cable box. The options for video alone are overwhelming. iTunes, being a combination of music, movies, TV shows and books, became too top heavy for its own good.

Apple’s strategy to phase out iTunes minimizes impact on the end user. iTunes is not dead yet, but it will be soon. As each macOS user upgrades to Catalina, iTunes will eventually be replaced with separate media apps, for most people. For those who own older Macs, the software will likely be supported until the device reaches end-of-life. The iTunes Store iOS app will likely be retired, however, no plans have been announced.

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