After 18 years, iTunes is dead

Gone but not forgotten: The software will be phased out by Apple’s newest operating system.

June 05, 2019
After 18 years, iTunes is dead L: Hulton Archive/Getty Images R: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images  

This week Apple announced the dissolution of iTunes, its former flagship software after an 18 year run. The announcement was made at the tech behemoth’s annual developers conference and the change is set to take place this fall when macOS Catalina, the latest operating system will be introduced. In a press release Apple stated “macOS Catalina replaces iTunes with three all-new apps that greatly simplify and improve the way Mac users discover and enjoy their favorite music, TV shows, movies and podcasts.”

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The immediate gut reaction to a technological update, especially one that notably disrupts the user experience, is usually one of skepticism. You may be thinking "What about my playlists and the 10,000 songs I manually downloaded over the past decade?" and the answer is that your files are going to be reorganized rather than deleted. All the old music you’ve either purchased or ripped from Limewire or CDs will show up in the Apple Music library while your device will now appear in the finder tool for backups and syncs.

Despite our reliance on streaming services as the de facto method for music consumption, the death of iTunes marks the end of an era. As mentioned in a piece by The Ringer, we rely less on carefully, user-manicured smart playlists serving as a core component of the music-listening experience. Instead, our day-to-day relationship with music is crafted by the algorithms in our streaming platforms.

After 18 years, iTunes is dead