Apple Might Be Getting Rid of iTunes

Posted on May 31, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple with 16 Comments

Apple will soon be getting rid of its iTunes app. Bloomberg is reporting that the company is working on new standalone apps that will replace iTunes on the Mac.

And yes, we kind of knew this already. Back in April, we wrote that Apple is working on new Apple Music, TV, Podcasts, and Books app for the Mac that will be replacing iTunes. At the time, it was uncertain whether Apple will be completely getting rid of iTunes, as it wasn’t clear whether the new Apple Music app will have the capability to let users manage their Apple devices as iTunes does right now.

But according to Bloomberg, the new Music app will indeed allow users to sync their devices and manage them instead of having to use iTunes. We got a look at the new Apple Music app recently, and it doesn’t look very different from iTunes either, but it could mark a major change in strategy for Apple.

What will be more interesting to see is how Apple deals with replacing iTunes on third-party platforms. Whether the company will release new Apple Music, TV apps for Windows to replace the classic iTunes app (which is also available via the Microsoft Store) remains unknown. The company also launched iTunes on third-party smart TVs recently, so I’m assuming they will simply get rebranded to Apple TV once the company’s video streaming service launches later this year.

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Comments (16)

16 responses to “Apple Might Be Getting Rid of iTunes”

  1. John Dunagan

    My ancient iPod Nano Red will bite it, I'm sure, but what about our existing tunes?

  2. red.radar

    I hope managing customer owned content is an easy process. I also hope that access to Movies still gives you a downloadable file. It was kind of nice to be able to cache/archive all that content and not have to stream it all the time.

    • mattbg

      In reply to red.radar:

      This is the problem I have with iTunes. I don't know when, but at some point it became nearly impossible to add arbitrary content to an iPod Touch because anything dragged into iTunes would split every song into its own album.

      It was not a metadata issue - if I add the tracks to the iTunes library then they sync fine as intact albums. But the iTunes library is so difficult to maintain with it not having such simple functionality as auto-scanning of existing folders that it's a waste of time.

      And of course they make it difficult for third party apps to maintain functionality, so nobody bothers.

      I'm an otherwise happy Apple + Windows user but iTunes has never been a pleasant experience unless you do things exactly the way Apple wants them done (which is to source all of your music through iTunes, whether from the Store or from CDs ripped with iTunes).

  3. karlinhigh

    Currently, iTunes is also a device backup and recovery tool. I hope Apple makes a standalone program for those functions, that doesn't automatically try merging the contents of my computer and my customer's device.

  4. pdhemsley

    I think iTunes was announced to be available on Samsung smart TVs only (with others like LG getting AirPlay instead). That announcement came before the Apple event where they unveiled Apple TV+ and the new iOS app.

    In the end the app on Samsung TVs launched under the Apple TV brand, which perhaps is an indication that iTunes is indeed going away. Presumably the original announcement mentioned iTunes because it pre-dated the wider set of TV announcements last month.

  5. simont

    Hopefully they can get rid of iTunes on Windows as well

  6. lvthunder

    So it sounds like they are splitting iTunes up and then renaming what's left to Apple Music.

    I do have an idea though. Instead of reporting speculation we could wait until the WWDC keynote on Monday (or is it Tuesday) and let Apple tell us what's happening.

  7. mclark2112

    I hope they keep my iTunes Match, all my music is in that service...

  8. ahassall

    I'm still unhappy with Apple for forcing me to upgrade my Gen 5 iPod touch to a version of iOS that will not allow me to play music, podcasts and audio books in a smart playlist using the music app. I didn't upgrade on purpose, but every time my iPod would need to be restored, it would get upgraded to the current iOS version. I ride motorcycles and just want to select the playlist and go. The same is true for my cars that will interface with my iPod, but do not support Car Play. They don't recognize the podcast and audio book apps. If the problem was that a podcast of audio book would play during shuffle, the iPod can tell the difference and shuffle should have been rewritten to only play music.

  9. truerock2

    My son just stepped into my study. His iPhone 6 was stuck in boot-up, flashing the Apple logo and rebooting again.

    He wanted to use my Windows 10 PC to flash his iPhone using iTunes.

    I told him to go find his own Windows 10 notebook with his own iTunes.

    So, I guess their will be some type of Apple Windows 10 app for performing iPhone maintenance?

  10. wocowboy

    I am just thrilled that I will now have to launch 4-5 different programs in order to have all the media I have on my computer properly organized and synced to my iPhone. And probably another separate application that only takes care of device management, iOS updates, etc. Having all that handled by ONE application is just so old-school. Or it must be, according to the whining and moaning all these pundits have been doing while demanding that iTunes be broken up into separate applications for each different type of media. The fact is, the iTunes has been doing a great job of organizing, syncing, and device management since it came out years ago. The interface might be a bit obtuse at times, I will agree with that, but for media management and syncing it works just fine.

  11. Tony Barrett

    I would normally say good riddance iTunes - one of the worst bits of software ever written, but in this case, it's clear if Apple do this, it's not to benefit their customers, but likely more about ensuring continued revenue somehow, or to increase the customers dependency on the Apple ecosystem, but wrapped in some glossy coat of paint. Call me a skeptic, but Apple rarely do things purely for customer benefit.

  12. saint4eva

    Apple killed iTunes? iTunes has been dead since 10 years ago.