As expected, Apple announced the demise of iTunes at WWDC 2019 this week, but it's not as simple as Killing the aging software and calling it a day. Apple's iTunes has been its primary media library, media player, and iPhone management tool since 2001, but with the release of macOS Catalina, it will be going away for good, at least on Macs. Naturally, this create a lot of questions.
Is iTunes Really Dead?
The answer is yes, iTunes will be eliminated as a standalone app with the next update to macOS. Which is expected next month, when Catalina arrives to replace Mojave. Instead of having one app that handles all your music, movies, TV, and podcasts, Apple will split iTunes into three separate programs. Much like it is on iOS devices, music will be handled by Apple Music, TV and movies will be housed inside Apple TV, and Podcasts will live on Apple Podcasts.
Apple Music app on macOS Catalina
What Happens to Everything I Bought on iTunes?
Apple has a streaming music service now, but we've probably all purchased a song or album via iTunes over the years. When the new Apple Music app replaces iTunes in the Fall, all your purchases will be transfer over. Like you do on iPhone, you'll open the Apple Music app on the Mac, where you can find songs you've bought. If you imported CDs and created playlist in iTunes, they will be there too. If you want to buy more music, the iTunes Music Store will be accessible via the Apple Music app.
Similarly, movies, TV episodes, or TV seasons, will move to Apple TV app. Podcasts will show up in the Apple Podcasts app, while audiobooks will be live in Apple Books.
Can I Get the New Apps Now?
You'll have to wait until the fall to get macOS Catalina and ditch iTunes. If you want it right this second, you'll have to become an Apple developer (which costs $99 per year). Or you can sign up for the public beta, which is expected next month. Keep in mind that both versions will be pre-release software, so there will be bugs.
Why Is Apple Doing This?
Since 2001, iTunes hasn't aged well. Apple prides itself on streamlined experiences and sleek interfaces, but iTunes has become a digital eyesore, bloated with too many services. This has been done on iOS and the upcoming iPadOS, so it makes sense for Apple to bring its desktop OS more in line with mobile.