iTunes isn’t dead. It’s alive and better than ever [Opinion]

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Apple Music in macOS Catalina
iTunes is being replaced with Apple Music and several other apps.
Photo: Apple

Headlines this week trumpeted the death of iTunes. While these stories made good clickbait, they understandably caused concern for those who used this application to build up extensive music and video libraries. You may be one of the people left wondering what’s going to happen to decades of purchases.

Relax, your music and video collection isn’t going anywhere. It’s actually getting easier to access.

iTunes is splitting up, not going away

Even in the post-iTunes world, Apple will continue to sell music, movies, TV shows and ebooks. With iPhone sales slowing, this company is expanding its service offerings, not cutting off a lucrative revenue stream. These sales just won’t all happen in one monumental application.

“All of your favorite iTunes features, including the iTunes Store, will soon be available in three new and more focused apps designed for macOS Catalina,” Apple promised.

The company is taking pains to calm the fears of customers: “Your entire media collection will find a new home and transition automatically into the new Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Podcasts apps.”

It’s a reorganization, not the Apocalypse

All past music purchases will appear in the Apple Music app debuting in macOS Catalina. This will offer users’ saved playlists too. There’ll even still be an iTunes Store to buy music.

The Apple TV app will host movies and TV shows purchased or rented from iTunes. It’s also where video will be bought in the future.

There’s a new Podcasts app just for these audio files. And an updated Apple Books app will contain previously-purchased audiobooks, and it’s where additional ones can be bought.

For goodness sake, don’t pitch out your Apple gift cards. The company assures its customers that “iTunes Gift Cards and iTunes credits will be maintained and can be used with the new apps and the App Store.”

Hurray for the death of iTunes

Rather than a source of concern, the end of iTunes should be a cause for rejoicing. This application is a bloated monstrosity that needs to be put out of our misery.

Once a way to transfer music to iPods, Apple later added video syncing and podcasts to iTunes. Installing iOS apps came with the iPhone, then an ebook store was added when the iPad launched. While featurecreep in this software came naturally, it’s high time iTunes was divided up into its component parts.

With this split up, each of these app can concentrate on what they do best. The developers of Apple Music can make shopping for songs the best experience possible without having to consider that the same application needs to be able to install iPhone operating system updates. No one will have to navigate past a screen of hot new TV shows to find the podcast they want to download.

Don’t panic

This reorganization isn’t a radical change. It’s just the Mac following a path laid down by iOS. iPhone ands iPad have had separate applications for music, video, ebooks and podcasts for years. If you’ve used an Apple phone or tablet, you’re already basically familiar with how macOS Catalina will handle multimedia.

Then new arrangement will be easier to use and more logical. Not all lumped together, as iTunes was.

Please note that nothing said here applies to Windows users. That version of iTunes isn’t going away at all. Sorry, Windows users.