Is Apple Really Getting Rid of iTunes?

On January 9, 2001, Steve Jobs announced iTunes from Apple, a single media player and library that would play, download and organize music, movies, and podcasts.

Jobs said in 2003, “We think people want to buy their music on the internet by buying downloads, just like they bought LPs, just like they bought cassettes, just like they bought CDs”.

But according to the New York Times Mr. Jobs’s prophecy was wrong. People wanted to rent access to a centralized streaming library, not pay a small fee to own every song. As streaming services grew, sales of music downloads plummeted. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, downloads now make up a smaller percentage of recording sales than physical albums — a twist Mr. Jobs could never have seen coming.

Now 18 years later at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced that with the upcoming macOS Catalina due this Fall, iTunes will be replaced with three all-new apps that greatly simplify and improve the way Mac users discover and enjoy their favorite music, TV shows, movies and podcasts.

The new Music app for Mac is lightning fast, fun and easy to use. Apple Music will help users discover great new music with over 50 million songs, playlists and music videos. And users will have access to their entire music library, whether they downloaded the songs, purchased them or ripped them from a CD. For those who like to own their music, the iTunes Music Store is just a click away.

The all-new Apple TV app brings together different ways to find and watch movies and TV shows into one powerful app. The Apple TV app features Apple TV channels, personalized recommendations and over 100,000 iTunes movies and TV shows to browse, buy or rent — so users can enjoy 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos-supported movies.1 The Watch Now section features Up Next, where viewers can keep track of what they are currently watching and resume on any screen. This fall, Apple TV+, Apple’s original video subscription service, will be available in the Apple TV app.

The popular Apple Podcasts app offers more than 700,000 shows in its catalog and the option to automatically be notified of new episodes as soon as they become available. The app also features new categories, curated collections by editors around the world and advanced search tools that can find episodes by host, guest or even discussion topic.

For users who sync their media to their devices using a cable, they can quickly and easily do so in the new entertainment apps. And when users connect a device to their Mac, it will immediately show up in the sidebar of Finder, enabling them to backup, update or restore their device.

So fear not, Apple Music and Movies in macOS Catalina will import users’ existing libraries from iTunes in their entirety. That includes not just music and movies purchased on iTunes, but rips from CDs, MP3s, and the like added from other sources. The iTunes Store will still remain and people can still purchase music and movies if they choose to however it’s obvious with this strategy that streaming, not purchasing is the current direction most want to get their media.

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