Apple Replaces iTunes For The Streaming Age
Apple revealed at WWDC 2019 in San Jose, Calif. this week that it is ending the iTunes software program as its been known and shifting emphasis to more streaming friendly segregated content-type entertainment apps, like Apple TV.
Apple executives revealed the company will be phasing out the 18-year-old iTunes program/app starting this fall with the release of the free software update for macOS Catalina (version 10.15). The company will instead push three separate standalone apps covering video (Apple TV), music (Apple Music), and podcasts (Apple Podcasts).
By organizing content by media type under different streaming-based apps, Apple believes it will make the user experience more streamlined, easy to use and relevant to the way customers are using services today. However, the new apps and the Apple content store will continue to enable users to enjoy previously stored and purchased content as well as to continue to purchase and enjoy new selections. The company emphasized that it is not replacing iTunes with streaming-only services.
In addition to appearing on dedicated Apple TV devices and in iOS-based products like Mac computers, the Apple TV app is now appearing on other hardware platforms as well, including 2018 and 2019 Samsung Tizen-based smart TVs.
The Apple TV app, which will eventually be known as TV+, will have access to iTunes users’ full personal libraries of purchased iTunes movies and TV shows, including titles supporting 4K/HDR streaming and Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound. The Apple TV app will also enable users to access in-app streaming service partners including: HBO, Showtime, Starz, Smithsonian Channel Plus and others.
In addition, owners of Apple Macs will be able to run the Apple TV macOS app to output 4K/HDR and Dolby Atmos (the latter from 2018 or later Mac laptops) content to a supporting TV via an HDMI cable with an adapter.
Similarly, the Apple Music app will make it easier to find and stream music content while continuing to play existing iTunes music libraries. Users will be able to access previously purchased downloads (purchased through iTunes or elsewhere) as well as ripped and locally stored selections. The company said the Apple Music app in macOS Catalina will import entire existing music libraries from iTunes. Windows PC owners will be able to continue using iTunes until further notice, but the company did not mention if it would continue servicing or updating that application going forward.
The Apple Podcasts App will make it easier to listen to favorite channels and archived files while enabling listeners to search for and find relevant podcasts streamed over the internet with the help of robust “machine learning” techniques.
Meanwhile, users of Apple devices like iPhones, iPads and iPods, will be able to synchronize those devices in the typical way using the Finder file management app on Mac PCs. Windows PC users will be able to continue using iTunes software until further notice.
By Greg Tarr
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