Evidence of standalone Music, Podcasts apps for macOS surfaces, signals iTunes breakup

Posted:
in macOS edited May 9
Noted developer Steve Troughton-Smith on Friday said he is confident that Apple is working on new, standalone Music, Podcast and potentially Books apps for macOS, suggesting the company plans to dismantle its lumbering iTunes giant.

Marzipan
Apple unveiled the start of its plan to bring iOS apps to the Mac at WWDC 2018.


Shared in a series of tweets, Troughton-Smith's hypothesis lends credence to rumors that Apple intends to break up iTunes. The online music platform has over the years become bloated as it took on an increasing amount of responsibility, from iPod and iPhone management to video, podcasts and audiobooks.

Apple in March confirmed a new TV app for Mac would arrive later this year as the company rolls out Apple TV+, taking video out of the iTunes stable. New Music and Podcast apps would further relieve the overburdened platform, while a refreshed Books app could include audiobook support.

The developer did not share the source of his suspicions, but said the claims are based on concrete evidence.

"I am now fairly confident based on evidence I don't wish to make public at this point that Apple is planning new (likely UIKit) Music, Podcasts, perhaps even Books, apps for macOS, to join the new TV app," Troughton-Smith said in a tweet. "I expect the four to be the next wave of Marzipan apps. Grain of salt, etc[.]"

Troughton-Smith references Project Marzipan, Apple's internal name for a project that will ultimately allow developers to easily port iOS apps to Mac. Shades of the initiative were shared during 2018's Worldwide Developers Conference, when SVP Software Engineering Craig Federighi said Apple is working to incorporate iOS-only frameworks into macOS.

Apple's macOS Mojave was first to benefit from Marzipan, with first-party apps Home, News, Voice Memos and Apple Books all being ports of their iOS counterparts. Developers were promised access to the cross-platform within the year, and an early SDK is expected to debut at WWDC 2019.

AppleInsider will be covering WWDC live from June 3 to June 7.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 570member
    Very good news. I've thought it needed this for some years.
    aaronsullivandesignrn2itivguychasmbitmodcornchip
  • Reply 2 of 48
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,919member
    The only times I use iTunes is when I want to add music to iCloud music library or want to load video on to my iPhone or iPad. You would think by now Apple would have a way to do this without needing to use desktop iTunes. Especially when they’re positioning iPad Pro as a laptop replacement. The iOS music and TV should allow you to add media. Having to download it on a desktop/laptop, import it into iTunes and then sync with your iPhone or iPad is retarded. Oh and while they’re at it, allow people to edit iCloud Music and imported video metadata on device. Having to do that through iTunes is silly too.
    Tuubor
  • Reply 3 of 48
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,019member
    About time.
  • Reply 4 of 48
    👍👍 way up.  
    edited April 5
  • Reply 5 of 48
    "perhaps even Books"
    Doesn't macOS already have a standalone Books app?
    edited April 5 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 48
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 783member
    It can’t come some enough...

    Ideally it should be broken up into the following-

    Music (including music videos and voice memos), with improved boxing of your own content and streaming content

    TV/Movies (ditto on boxing of owned, rental and streamed content).

    Podcasts

    Back-up (doubt Apple will do this one as it may cut into iCloud BUs)

    Books is already stand alone but could benefit from organizational tools).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 48
    "perhaps even Books"
    Doesn't macOS already have a standalone Books app?
    I think they're referring to the audiobook support.
    chasm
  • Reply 8 of 48
    The existing Books app barely counts. pretty close to useless) - I have to use calibre, which at least has SOME organizing tools. UI is horrible though.
    The old iTunes overall did a decent to good job of organizing books.
  • Reply 9 of 48
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 131member
    The only times I use iTunes is when I want to add music to iCloud music library or want to load video on to my iPhone or iPad. You would think by now Apple would have a way to do this without needing to use desktop iTunes. Especially when they’re positioning iPad Pro as a laptop replacement. The iOS music and TV should allow you to add media. Having to download it on a desktop/laptop, import it into iTunes and then sync with your iPhone or iPad is retarded. Oh and while they’re at it, allow people to edit iCloud Music and imported video metadata on device. Having to do that through iTunes is silly too.
    I agree except I use iTunes to add music to a laptop hard drive. 
  • Reply 10 of 48
    designrdesignr Posts: 499member
    Waaaay over due.
    cornchip
  • Reply 11 of 48
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,703member
    badmonk said:


    Back-up (doubt Apple will do this one as it may cut into iCloud BUs)

    They could just push all device management over to Configurator 2 (and maybe give it a better name), since that's where you can still rearrange home screen layouts and do backups outside of iTunes.
  • Reply 12 of 48
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,703member
    The only times I use iTunes is when I want to add music to iCloud music library or want to load video on to my iPhone or iPad. You would think by now Apple would have a way to do this without needing to use desktop iTunes. Especially when they’re positioning iPad Pro as a laptop replacement. The iOS music and TV should allow you to add media. Having to download it on a desktop/laptop, import it into iTunes and then sync with your iPhone or iPad is retarded. Oh and while they’re at it, allow people to edit iCloud Music and imported video metadata on device. Having to do that through iTunes is silly too.
    As far as video goes, I don't know why you'd waste all that time versus using a DLNA player that does wifi transfers. No transcoding, no syncing, etc. Infuse, nPlayer, VLC, etc.
  • Reply 13 of 48
    payecopayeco Posts: 295member
    The only times I use iTunes is when I want to add music to iCloud music library or want to load video on to my iPhone or iPad. You would think by now Apple would have a way to do this without needing to use desktop iTunes. Especially when they’re positioning iPad Pro as a laptop replacement. The iOS music and TV should allow you to add media. Having to download it on a desktop/laptop, import it into iTunes and then sync with your iPhone or iPad is retarded. Oh and while they’re at it, allow people to edit iCloud Music and imported video metadata on device. Having to do that through iTunes is silly too.
    If you’re talking about adding non-DRM videos that you’ve downloaded/ripped from a DVD/Blu-ray/whatever why not just use the VLC iOS app instead for video playback? Turn on the Sharing via WiFi setting in the app on your phone or iPad and then go to the address it tells you in your browser on your computer. Then you just drag and drop video files of pretty much any file format into that browser window and they’ll transfer to your device wirelessly. It’s pretty damn cool.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 48
    I'm still clinging to iTunes 12.6.5.x
    Wow I'm glad I never took the time to learn the 'upgrade' protocol as it appears to be changing yet again?
    I like managing all my 'bits' on my mac, at a central source - iTunes...
    I have this vague recollection Apple used to promote ease of use???
    What am I missing here?
    edited April 6
  • Reply 15 of 48
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,403member
    Great idea and overdue, as others have said<<br>
    I get where they were going with it, iTunes was a platform as much as an app, sort of like how FaceBook and Chromebooks work, but it fundamentally clashed with Apple's own app philosophy, which normally has a resistance to over-integration.

    The problem, as Microsoft can quickly tell you, is that if you make your app a platform then your users would prefer that you never never change the platform again except in the tiniest of bug-fix sort of ways, and any major changes go over like a lead balloon with users.

    I think Badmonk has it more or less right (except about Books, but I'll come back to that), and I think Apple is starting to position the TV app the way he's thinking (and in the process making the iTunes Store less monolithic. Backup already exists (have you seriously forgotten Time Machine?) and clearly doesn't cut into iCloud backup because smart people know that having an off-site backup (as well as local backups) is a best practice.

    As for Books: I have zero idea what some of the posters above are talking about with "organization." Maybe it's because I don't have a library of 12,000 ebooks/PDFs to keep track of, but I do have a hundred or two, and the "collections" tool alongside the search bar and sort categories seem to more than do the job easily enough for me with minimal effort. Maybe they haven't really explored the program much?
  • Reply 16 of 48
    kimberlykimberly Posts: 210member
    iTunes is bloatware that's for sure.
  • Reply 17 of 48
    henrybayhenrybay Posts: 76member
    About time. iTunes is impossible to navigate in its current form. Split it into smaller, focused and more manageable pieces. 
    knowitallSpamSandwich
  • Reply 18 of 48
    Thank God
  • Reply 19 of 48
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,919member
    payeco said:
    The only times I use iTunes is when I want to add music to iCloud music library or want to load video on to my iPhone or iPad. You would think by now Apple would have a way to do this without needing to use desktop iTunes. Especially when they’re positioning iPad Pro as a laptop replacement. The iOS music and TV should allow you to add media. Having to download it on a desktop/laptop, import it into iTunes and then sync with your iPhone or iPad is retarded. Oh and while they’re at it, allow people to edit iCloud Music and imported video metadata on device. Having to do that through iTunes is silly too.
    If you’re talking about adding non-DRM videos that you’ve downloaded/ripped from a DVD/Blu-ray/whatever why not just use the VLC iOS app instead for video playback? Turn on the Sharing via WiFi setting in the app on your phone or iPad and then go to the address it tells you in your browser on your computer. Then you just drag and drop video files of pretty much any file format into that browser window and they’ll transfer to your device wirelessly. It’s pretty damn cool.
    Are these playable in any app then? I’m assuming the content is still stored in the TV app? I currently use Infuse as my video playback app (the TV app sucks for local content).
  • Reply 20 of 48
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,919member
    The only times I use iTunes is when I want to add music to iCloud music library or want to load video on to my iPhone or iPad. You would think by now Apple would have a way to do this without needing to use desktop iTunes. Especially when they’re positioning iPad Pro as a laptop replacement. The iOS music and TV should allow you to add media. Having to download it on a desktop/laptop, import it into iTunes and then sync with your iPhone or iPad is retarded. Oh and while they’re at it, allow people to edit iCloud Music and imported video metadata on device. Having to do that through iTunes is silly too.
    As far as video goes, I don't know why you'd waste all that time versus using a DLNA player that does wifi transfers. No transcoding, no syncing, etc. Infuse, nPlayer, VLC, etc.
    I use Infuse for my video playback but never got the wireless transfer part to work so I gave up.
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