Apple's break-up of iTunes will have little impact on libraries and playback for Mac users...

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited June 4
Starting in the next release of MacOS, Apple is replacing iTunes in favor of three new apps -- Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV. Here's a look at what you can expect to see once Apple makes the split.


Importing libraries and existing files

Apple's new macOS Catalina will bee able to import users' existing libraries from iTunes, including music purchased through iTunes, audio ripped from CDs, and MP3s. Users will also have non-iTunes files synced to the cloud, the same as it performs in Mojave.

However, Apple recommends a library consolidation before upgrading to ensure that files won't be lost in the transition.

AppleInsider is still evaluating Home Sharing, and will report back as soon as we can.

The matter of syncing devices

The predicted death of iTunes led to speculation about how iOS devices would be synchronized. According to Apple, this task is now being given to the macOS Finder.

Once plugged in, iPhones, iPods, and iPads will interface with a Mac the same way an external drive or USB stick, with an icon on the desktop. Finder will feature a device-specific interface that closely mimics the traditional iTunes interface. This means users will likely not notice much of a difference compared to to the experience of syncing over iTunes in practicality, but experience it in a slightly different environment.

In our testing, this process is smooth. Users still don't have access to the entire file system, however.

4K HDR and Dolby Atmos via HDMI

Apple's iTunes has always been able to play back properly encoded 4K content -- until Catalina, it hasn't been able to play back iTunes 4K content, however.

Using the Apple TV macOS app, a user will be able output iTunes 4K HDR content via HDMI with an adapter. Users will be able to output Dolby Atmos in the same way, but only with a Mac laptop introduced in 2018 or later. It is not yet clear if Movies on the Mac will allow users to download an entire file, or just stream it like the Apple TV 4K does.

This essentially turns a recent Mac into an Apple TV 4K, allowing users to take their libraries to their living room 4K TVs, should they not have the smaller device.

iTunes on Windows: what now?

Apple also realizes that there are a fair amount of Windows users who have collected vast libraries of music, videos, and podcasts. Unfortunately, at this stage, it doesn't look like Windows users are going to be getting their own versions of Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV.

However, Apple has stated that they're going to continue to support iTunes on Windows computers, meaning that no one is going to be losing decades-old libraries. Apple may release Windows specific apps in the future, but for now, Windows users will continue to use iTunes the way they always have.

Some of details were revealed by Ars Technica and we've confirmed them in the course of our testing on Tuesday.

AppleInsider will be reporting live throughout WWDC 2019. Get every announcement as it happens by downloading the AppleInsider app for iOS, and by making sure to follow us on YouTube, Twitter @appleinsider, Facebook and Instagram.
lolliver
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 628member
    But will there still be a store? Will we still be able to buy tracks?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 26
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 557member
    I guess that does conclude the iTunes is a mess.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 26
    TomPMRITomPMRI Posts: 9member
    So, what happens to users of older Mac hardware stuck at Sierra? Will iTunes still be functional? Will iTunes Match still work?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 26
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 936unconfirmed, member
    I was hoping this didn't happen as I'm against fragmentation.

    The new syncing announcement was fu**cking genius though, as syncing your device via iTunes always felt awkward post iPod-era. Moving it to Finder gives me hope I can drag and drop media.

    Making a separate Podcast app made me wonder about all those podcasters telling listeners to "subscribe to us on iTunes"....
    edited June 4 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 26
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,604administrator
    DAalseth said:
    But will there still be a store? Will we still be able to buy tracks?
    I'm assuming this is sarcasm, but I'll answer anyway in case it isn't.

    Yes.
    AppleExposedlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 26
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 628member
    DAalseth said:
    But will there still be a store? Will we still be able to buy tracks?
    I'm assuming this is sarcasm, but I'll answer anyway in case it isn't.

    Yes.
    It was not at all meant sarcastically. I have my music with me. Usually when I'm listening I don't have access to WiFi or Cellular. What's more everything I've read indicates that AppleMusic is utterly inept at Classical. I have a streaming Classical service I listen to when I can, and pay for. But a lot of the time I want to hear MY music. If Apple eliminated selling tracks, I'm going to look at getting my music elsewhere.. 
  • Reply 7 of 26
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,545member
    TomPMRI said:
    So, what happens to users of older Mac hardware stuck at Sierra? Will iTunes still be functional? Will iTunes Match still work?
    It’s unclear, but I would expect that iTunes (and Match) will continue to work exactly as it does for at least a couple more years, at which point you’ll be well overdue to move to something newer.
    TomPMRIwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 26
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,604member
    Mrs Rayz2016’s sister rang the day before the show to tell her that she needed to back up all her music because Apple would be deleting it and only supporting streaming in the next release. 

    Where does this nonsense come from?


    lolliverlostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 26
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,545member
    DAalseth said:
    If Apple eliminated selling tracks, I'm going to look at getting my music elsewhere.. 
    But they haven’t. Apple Music plays classical just fine, incidentally. Why not give the free trial a try and see for yourself?
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 26
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 936unconfirmed, member
    DAalseth said:
    But will there still be a store? Will we still be able to buy tracks?
    I'm assuming this is sarcasm, but I'll answer anyway in case it isn't.

    Yes.

    Rayz2016 said:
    Mrs Rayz2016’s sister rang the day before the show to tell her that she needed to back up all her music because Apple would be deleting it and only supporting streaming in the next release. 

    Where does this nonsense come from?



    All the stupid anti-Apple rags publishing DOOM articles.

    This is confusing people.
    chasmlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 26
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,355member
    The history of music distribution is really interesting, an iTunes is a chapter in it. I can be a bit dispassionate about this, as I am not a hard-core audiophile. I do recognize though many people are very, very passionate about this, and any suggestion that "their music" is someone not completely under their immediate control at all times with any option they might desire sends them into an uncontrolled tizzy. 

    My immediate reaction was thinking about the legacy macs I have around that will function dramatically different than Catalina ones. Eh, I can probably get over it. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 26
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,152member
    DAalseth said:
    But will there still be a store? Will we still be able to buy tracks?
    I'm assuming this is sarcasm, but I'll answer anyway in case it isn't.

    Yes.

    Rayz2016 said:
    Mrs Rayz2016’s sister rang the day before the show to tell her that she needed to back up all her music because Apple would be deleting it and only supporting streaming in the next release. 

    Where does this nonsense come from?



    All the stupid anti-Apple rags publishing DOOM articles.

    This is confusing people.
    What anti-Apple rags?
    gatorguy
  • Reply 13 of 26
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,355member
    DAalseth said:
    But will there still be a store? Will we still be able to buy tracks?
    I'm assuming this is sarcasm, but I'll answer anyway in case it isn't.

    Yes.

    Rayz2016 said:
    Mrs Rayz2016’s sister rang the day before the show to tell her that she needed to back up all her music because Apple would be deleting it and only supporting streaming in the next release. 

    Where does this nonsense come from?



    All the stupid anti-Apple rags publishing DOOM articles.

    This is confusing people.
    The vast, vast majority of people in the world don't understand their tech at all. They don't want to. They want to be angry about it. It somehow became fashionable to complain about science and technology rather than understand it. 
    AppleExposedpscooter63chasmlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 26
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,152member
    eightzero said:
    DAalseth said:
    But will there still be a store? Will we still be able to buy tracks?
    I'm assuming this is sarcasm, but I'll answer anyway in case it isn't.

    Yes.

    Rayz2016 said:
    Mrs Rayz2016’s sister rang the day before the show to tell her that she needed to back up all her music because Apple would be deleting it and only supporting streaming in the next release. 

    Where does this nonsense come from?



    All the stupid anti-Apple rags publishing DOOM articles.

    This is confusing people.
    The vast, vast majority of people in the world don't understand their tech at all. They don't want to. They want to be angry about it. It somehow became fashionable to complain about science and technology rather than understand it. 
    There are plenty of legitimate complaints to make about Apple and the rest of the computer industry. This isn’t part of the anti-intellectualism cancer that’s been gaining ground the last few years.
    chasm
  • Reply 15 of 26
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 936unconfirmed, member
    dysamoria said:
    DAalseth said:
    But will there still be a store? Will we still be able to buy tracks?
    I'm assuming this is sarcasm, but I'll answer anyway in case it isn't.

    Yes.

    Rayz2016 said:
    Mrs Rayz2016’s sister rang the day before the show to tell her that she needed to back up all her music because Apple would be deleting it and only supporting streaming in the next release. 

    Where does this nonsense come from?



    All the stupid anti-Apple rags publishing DOOM articles.

    This is confusing people.
    What anti-Apple rags?

    A quick search:

    https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2017/12/06/apple-terminate-music-downloads/

    https://consequenceofsound.net/2017/12/apple-to-phase-out-itunes-store-by-the-beginning-of-2019-report/

    Can't find the big article that made it seem Apple will no longer support downloads.


    Further reading informed me that it will no longer be called "iTunes". Fucking lame to drop the iconic name..... What will the store be called? Now I'm seriously concerned the store may have been dropped.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 26
    macseekermacseeker Posts: 431member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Mrs Rayz2016’s sister rang the day before the show to tell her that she needed to back up all her music because Apple would be deleting it and only supporting streaming in the next release. 

    Where does this nonsense come from?


    Probably from social media.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 26
    I thought the way that Federighi introduced the new Music/TV/Podcast apps to replace iTunes was a fun highlight of the keynote. 
    lollivertokyojimuwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 26
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,545member
    Further reading informed me that it will no longer be called "iTunes". Fucking lame to drop the iconic name..... What will the store be called? Now I'm seriously concerned the store may have been dropped.
    It hasn't, and it won't be. I can't be certain, but I'm willing to bet that the name iTunes will stick around for the store name. But rest assured ... the store has not been dropped.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 26
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,355member
    dysamoria said:
    eightzero said:
    DAalseth said:
    But will there still be a store? Will we still be able to buy tracks?
    I'm assuming this is sarcasm, but I'll answer anyway in case it isn't.

    Yes.

    Rayz2016 said:
    Mrs Rayz2016’s sister rang the day before the show to tell her that she needed to back up all her music because Apple would be deleting it and only supporting streaming in the next release. 

    Where does this nonsense come from?



    All the stupid anti-Apple rags publishing DOOM articles.

    This is confusing people.
    The vast, vast majority of people in the world don't understand their tech at all. They don't want to. They want to be angry about it. It somehow became fashionable to complain about science and technology rather than understand it. 
    There are plenty of legitimate complaints to make about Apple and the rest of the computer industry. This isn’t part of the anti-intellectualism cancer that’s been gaining ground the last few years.
    Eh. If you mean taking advantage of peoples' ignorance or willful ignorance as a legitimate complaint, I'd concur.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 26
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,604administrator
    dysamoria said:
    DAalseth said:
    But will there still be a store? Will we still be able to buy tracks?
    I'm assuming this is sarcasm, but I'll answer anyway in case it isn't.

    Yes.

    Rayz2016 said:
    Mrs Rayz2016’s sister rang the day before the show to tell her that she needed to back up all her music because Apple would be deleting it and only supporting streaming in the next release. 

    Where does this nonsense come from?



    All the stupid anti-Apple rags publishing DOOM articles.

    This is confusing people.
    What anti-Apple rags?

    A quick search:

    https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2017/12/06/apple-terminate-music-downloads/

    https://consequenceofsound.net/2017/12/apple-to-phase-out-itunes-store-by-the-beginning-of-2019-report/

    Can't find the big article that made it seem Apple will no longer support downloads.


    Further reading informed me that it will no longer be called "iTunes". Fucking lame to drop the iconic name..... What will the store be called? Now I'm seriously concerned the store may have been dropped.
    The store is absolutely not dropped. More shortly.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
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