Apple purges iTunes, as Music, TV and Podcasts apps take over syncing

Apple purges iTunes, as Music, TV and Podcasts apps take over syncing
Apple's arguably most hated piece of legacy software - iTunes - just got killed today at the WWDC keynote, and the interesting part is that it won't be renamed to something else, but different modules will be taking its place instead. The iTunes syncing and download service is a relic of the past anyway, and will be phased out as Apple's CEO Tim Cook announced a move away from the iPhone as the centerpiece of the company's strategy.

The Apple Watch gained more independence from the iPhone, a new iPadOS aims to close the gap with laptops, and Apple will is pushing the new watchOS with its fresh healthcare solutions, according to the report. Anything but the iPhone. With the new macOS Catalina, Apple is also getting rid of its oldest and most annoying app/program.

R.I.P. iTunes

One of the slower and more cumbersome to use of Apple's legacy software, the jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none iTunes will be replaced with apps that now duplicate its functionality. Instead of using it for watching videos, or listening to music and podcasts, Apple's new Music, TV, and Podcasts apps for the Mac will be taking over. What about shuttling files to and from and managing the phone, though, what iTunes used to do?

Well, those functions will be taken over by the new Music app, of all things. Apple even started purging the iTunes accounts on Instagram, Facebook and the like, indicating the ancient software's imminent demise. When you plug in your iPhone from now on, you will see precisely nothing instead of the bloated iTunes window. Good riddance? 

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19 Comments

1. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 681; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

Good news. It’s time to retire iTunes. I hope Apple seizes this opportunity to give people at least a little more freedom and ease in shifting data between iOS devices and computers or USB sticks.

2. BL4NKF4CE

Posts: 134; Member since: Aug 06, 2017

iTunes is not being killed off.... it's just being split up into different apps. Movies/TV in the TV app, and music in the Music app. All the features such as downloading and buying music, syncing and backing up iOS devices, burning CDs (for those who still burn CDs) are gonna be available on the Music app.

5. libra89

Posts: 2276; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

But I wonder how this will work for those who use it on a computer. One that isn't a Mac, that is.

3. Alcyone

Posts: 363; Member since: May 10, 2018

Too bad I put my 5s in the trashcan. Maybe, just maybe, if Apple manages to surprise me, I may go back. Tired of the stale rehashes.

4. Vokilam

Posts: 1181; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

What about those people with PCs? Is the new Music App be available for PC?

6. libra89

Posts: 2276; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

This is what I'll like to know as well. I hope that music will be too, and movies/tv.

10. Vancetastic

Posts: 1241; Member since: May 17, 2017

If they are not, I’d consider that a huge mistake, and sort of a slap in the face to users.

12. Vokilam

Posts: 1181; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Yep! That’s exactly how it will feel. Basically there are alternative ways to get music onto your iPhone (I prefer wireless file manager over iTunes), but not that many people know that iTunes is not required and think iTunes is the only way - those people will be dumbstruck after they get iOS 13. Phonearena, I have an article idea for you.

7. domfonusr

Posts: 1084; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Over the course of many years, I have built up quite a collection of my favorites (music, TV, and movies) in iTunes media format. What will happen to my library? Will I still be able to play those songs and shows? I don't want to spend $10 a month on an Apple Music subscription, and certainly not spend more on Apple TV+ or whatever just to be able to get to my movies. I don't want to have to abandon my iTunes library, either. What will be the method for playing the songs and shows that I already own?

8. Vokilam

Posts: 1181; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

I was able to put all my iTunes purchased music (and the rest of music) to android when I switched to Samsung few years back. So pretty sure you’ll be fine.

9. domfonusr

Posts: 1084; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

That would be really helpful if I could do that. How does that process work? All of my iTunes files are either m4a or m4v format, and I don't know how to convert it to something that, say, my Android phone will read and play. Is there a way to convert all of those?

13. Vokilam

Posts: 1181; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

My Samsung plays m4a files. But if you want to go that route (I used to do that for my PC collection) google m4a to mp3 converters - I have a good one, and if I don’t forget - I’ll post the name once I get home.

16. domfonusr

Posts: 1084; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Thank you so much! I have generally had good experiences with Apple products and services, but I just can't afford to go to an all-subscription-based model for my media consumption (which it would seem that Apple is headed to), and so I am now in a place where I have a library of m4a's and m4v's that I need to convert into mp3's and mp4's if at all possible, so that my Android phone can replace my iPod nano when iTunes goes away for good (which has basically already been announced). I listened to the WWDC keynote for quite a while, trying to hear what they were going to do so that people could still play their m4a's and m4v's, but there were no real answers on how that was going to work precisely. I was disappointed. I am more suspicious than ever that they are going to require an Apple Music subscription just to be able to play your iTunes music, and an Apple TV+ subscription just to be able to play your iTunes TV episodes and movies. I am holding off on updating iTunes until I can get my stuff out of iTunes and into a new service that will let me keep exactly what I own, and not charge me a monthly access fee just to see and hear files that I already own. I certainly appreciate the help and your previous experience regarding this. Thank you!

11. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3103; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

What about back ups? Or is it going to be restricted on iCloud?

15. libra89

Posts: 2276; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Such a good question.

14. Rager722 unregistered

I have a MacBook but I also use Android and have all of my music files on iTunes, will I be able to still transfer my music from iTunes to Android?

17. domfonusr

Posts: 1084; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

There is a way to do that now with iSyncr-iTunes, but it still requires that you keep your native music files in iTunes, and will only convert one playlist of up to 100 songs to sync from your PC (iTunes folder) to your Android phone without paying for the pro version of the app. I recently (in the last couple of months) downloaded it, and tried it just enough to see how it works, but my fear is that, with iTunes supposedly going away completely, there may not be any support for it going forward.

19. domfonusr

Posts: 1084; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

I see now that you have a MacBook... I am pretty sure iSyncr-iTunes had a Mac version available that does the same thing for Mac's that the Windows version does for a PC. But, like I said, if iTunes disappears off of your MacBook with the next update, it would hardly be a benefit to you.

18. svknet

Posts: 30; Member since: Mar 13, 2017

I have iPod purchased in 2009 and I used iTunes with Sync my MP3 files from Windows PC to iPod using iTunes, how can I do that now? If I keep my current iTunes software on PC, will it still function in same manner like earlier. PS: I haven't used iTunes to sync my iPod for last 2-3 years.

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