Apple is retiring the Mac version of its nearly year-old music listening and library app, the company announced Monday at WWDC, its annual conference for software developers. With the upcoming version of MacOS, called Catalina, iTunes will be replaced with three separate apps for music, podcasts and shows or movies. While iTunes and especially the iTunes Music Store helped change the way we enjoy our favorite music, there will be few tearjerking obituaries for the software. Apple asked too much of iTunes over the years, turning it from a lean-yet-powerful music cataloging app into a slow-loading behemoth tasked with managing your iPod and iPhone, podcasts, ebooks and more. To his credit, Apple software boss Craig Federighi poked fun at all this bloat on stage, joking that iTunes should have a calendar and email, too.
Why is Apple ending iTunes?
As teased late last week, Apple has officially decided to discontinue their iTunes music service, choosing instead to break up the desktop service and offer three separate applications for music, television and podcasts. One of the biggest questions that longtime users of iTunes had upon the initial discussion of the new service is what would happen for your existing music. During Monday's announcement for the new macOS Catalina operating system that revealed the separate apps for Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV, it was revealed that Apple doesn't intend to let the back catalogs of their users disappear. And with new developer technologies, users will see more great third-party apps arrive on the Mac this fall. Though iTunes was groundbreaking for its time, there were complaints over its functionality, something that the new Music app hopes to improve upon. The description in the press release reads: "The new Music app for Mac is lightning fast, fun and easy to use.
On Friday afternoon, social media erupted after Bloomberg News reported that Apple was set to announce the end of iTunes, which transformed the music business when it was launched. Apple representatives did not respond to requests for comment on the report. If true, it will mark the end of a year run that kick-started the digital commerce revolution. Listeners imported millions of compact discs onto hard drives. Over the years iTunes evolved in typical Jobs fashion — by killing features that he and his team deemed obsolete and experimenting with initiatives. The platform toyed with Facebook-style social sharing and with Twitter-style newsfeeds.
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