Music note icon isolated on floral blue round button

By: Nick Gambino

Apple as it currently exists was practically built on the back of iTunes. The legal answer to the thorn in the music industry’s side (Napster and every other free MP3 site), iTunes was Steve Job’s brainchild way back in 2001 when things were looking pretty bleak.

But that was nearly 20 years ago and in tech years that’s like 4 million years ago. Apple is well aware of the short lifespan of any tech innovation and so they’ve announced that they are shutting down iTunes with the release of macOS 10.15 Catalina in the fall. And though it was inevitable, it still hurts.

I have a lot of fond memories of legally downloading music, movies, and TV shows through iTunes. In fact, there was a time period before Netflix streaming where I didn’t have a TV let alone cable, and so would buy every season of a show I was binging. That’s how I got through my first viewing of several seasons of The Office.

Tim Cook and Co. aren’t abandoning the functions of iTunes but are merely dividing it up between three main apps – Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Podcasts. They are all completely different types of media so it makes sense that they would have separate homes. The process of syncing your devices will be conducted through the Finder app on your Mac. You’ll be able to backup, update and restore right in the sidebar, which should make things way easier.

Now, iTunes will disappear from the Mac and iDevices family but apparently, it’ll live on as a Windows app for those who use it but don’t own a Mac computer. I can’t imagine that makes up a large portion of iTunes users, but at least some people won’t have to worry about the interruption to their music listening system.

For those Mac iTunes users (me) we’ll still have complete access to all of our iTunes content. “Users will have access to their entire music library, whether they downloaded the songs, purchased them or ripped them from a CD,” an Apple press release states.

Once you update to the new MacOS your entire visual and audio library should transfer over to its respective app without issue. How glitch-free this will be, we’ll have to wait and see. Some little nag in the back of my mind tells me I’m going to have some trouble.