Apple Drops iTunes, Old Software Updates for PowerPC Macs [Vintage News]

Apple Drops iTunes, Old Software Updates for PowerPC Macs [Vintage News]

iTunes icons through the years.

PowerPC-based Macs have long been considered dead and buried by Apple, but the company just put a few more nails in the coffin to prevent any corpse risings. With the release of iTunes 10.7 this week the ubiquitous media control center becomes Intel-only, requiring at least a Core Solo processor and Mac OS X 10.6.8.

In a related one-two punch, Apple has also stopped providing online Software Updates for Mac OS X versions 10.0 through 10.3, as well as Mac OS 9. These items are now available only by direct download from Apple’s support website.

These moves are certainly not unexpected, nor unusually rapid by Apple’s standards. Actually I’ve been surprised at how long iTunes has supported PowerPC systems. Current web browsers and Flash players have long abandoned the G3s and G4s of our youth, but iTunes can still (slowly) sync our iPods.

iTunes debuted under Mac OS 9 — as a rewrite of the venerable SoundJam MP — and has been included with all Mac OS versions since. iTunes 10.6.3 is the last version to support PowerPC processors running Mac OS X 10.5.8.

The discontinuation of online Software Updates was an even quieter change, made back in July without much notice at all. Apple has posted a tech note announcing the news:

As of July 23, 2012 (23-07-2012), the Software Update service feature of Mac OS 9 through Mac OS X v10.3 is no longer available, but you can manually download updates if you need to.

Few people are accessing these updates these days, so presumably Apple has decided to pull any remaining server resources. Mac OS X “Tiger” 10.4 is the earliest release which supports Intel-based Macs, all the older versions are PowerPC only. Manual downloads can be found on Apple’s Support Downloads page.

Pardon me while I go have a Pint with my Pismo…

  • Thanks Mark Hitchin
  • djkikrome

    My poor G5 iMac. I’m so sorry they’ve done this too you. May you rest in peace next to the PowerMac 7200 over there. Yes, over there by the Mac Classic and the Mac SE. Above the ImageWriter. Past the Iomega 100 Zip Drives pile and the extra SCSI cables that I might need some day. Yes G5. Relax and be at peace.

  • PowerPCForever

    This has no effect on me whatsoever. My 7-year-old G5 iMac just keeps on going and going. It will be fine with iTunes 10.6.3 and Safari 5.0.6 and Mac OS X 10.5.8 for several more years. And when this one dies, I’ll buy another off Craigslist just like it for $100. There just isn’t much functionality difference between my computer and the brand new ones.

  • Tallest_Skil
    There just isn’t much functionality difference between my computer and the brand new ones.

    This is trolling, but not the anti-Apple kind of trolling. Just the dumb kind.

About the author

Adam RosenAdam Rosen is an Apple certified IT consultant specializing in Macintosh systems new and old. He lives in Boston with two cats and too many possessions. In addition to membership in the Cult of Mac, Adam has written for Low End Mac and is curator of the Vintage Mac Museum. He also enjoys a good libation.

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