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After much speculation and a lot of emergency backups this week, Apple announced at the WWDC that iTunes won’t go away so much as it will evolve. Eighteen years after it set the music industry on its head, the media software will separate into three distinct apps on the Catalina Mac OS. In the new OS, music, podcasts, and television will have separate media management.
A lot of drama, rumors, and half-truths surrounded the announcement, prompting a siege of articles and opinions. For example, there were unsubstantiated reports that Apple was ready to stop selling music, but users won’t see that anytime soon. Apple remains committed to providing a full blown media management solution to manage ripped files, purchase new content, or subscribe to streaming music, magazines, or movies and TV.
Apple announced a new stand-alone music app, TV app, and podcast app for the Mac desktop. Any music Mac users own or previously ripped will remain accessible from the new Music app. Any gift cards or credits will transfer seamlessly. All movies and TV shows owned will appear in the new Apple TV app.
The changes will only be made on macOS. Windows users will keep the classic iTunes software, even local backups, in all of its quirky glory.
Streaming made up 75% of the music industry's revenue last year. The company likely hopes to take advantage of similar revenue opportunities when Apple TV and Apple News launch.
The redesign supports the company’s new business focus as it reinvents itself as a streaming provider. Breaking iTunes into more manageable apps allows the company to support the launch of streaming content while drawing revenue from Apple music.
Megan Southard is a writer, mom, technology enthusiast, and movie junkie. She dreads the day her kids have to explain gadgets to her and is old enough to say, "I was the remote for our TV growing up."
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