Apple is taking down iTunes. The company's long-running media player, media library, internet broadcaster and mobile device application has been around since 2001, and was one of the backbones of the brand's entertainment ecosystem. Solely focusing on music when it debuted, the app expanded to include videos and eventually podcasts and e-books to keep up with the changing landscape when it comes to how people consume media. It's both available on MacOS and Windows operating systems, and was initially mandatory for installing software updates for iOS devices. Later mobile models have started to deviate from it, however, although it can still be used to transfer files between a computer and iOS applications.
Throughout the years, iTunes' decreasing necessity has had a direct parallel to its performance. In 2008, Apple was criticized for letting unauthorized third parties install updates to people's iTunes programs, despite fully knowing the security risks this entails. The app has also been accused countless times of being bloated as part of its goal to make it an all-encompassing multimedia platform. And now, the time has finally come to retire the product.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple is ready to move forward in terms of their media organizing platform as they discontinue iTunes. It turns out, the Cupertino-based tech giant will be veering away from the holistic approach that iTunes was striving for in the last several years, and instead, will be segmenting media based on their formats. The company is expected to launch a trio of new applications for Mac - Music, TV and Podcasts in lieu of the heritage product. This move has been rumored for years now, and is a welcome development for users of Macs and MacBooks who are tired of the outdated software. The official announcement is set to be made at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California.
Users can expect the replacement apps to have the modern look and mechanics fit for the newer Macs and MacBooks. The Music software, in particular, is said to have the same functionalities of iTunes like purchasing songs and syncing them to iPhones, but without the additional outdated features that weigh it down. Not much is known regarding the TV and Podcast software at this point, but it's safe to assume that it'll follow the same rule of thumb used for Music. Previous leaks suggest that the new apps will use the new Marzipan technology, allowing Apple to create apps that work across Macs, iPhones and iPads - something that they've been already testing with apps like Home, News and Stock which became available through MacOS 10.14 Mojave.
Considering what it's become in recent years, not a lot of people will miss iTunes once it's no longer around. Still, it deserves credit for revolutionizing the way people stored and consumed media. In the grand scheme of things, its upcoming demise signals a shift in Apple's branding when it comes to being an entertainment provider. Rather than being a straightforward tech company, it plans to expand in different directions when it comes to being a competitive player in the entertainment service provider industry. They already have plans for their own streaming service, with a slew of original shows involving high-profile individuals set to launch this fall. There's also Apple Arcade - a new gaming subscription service for iOS.