Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Music.app on macOS 10.15

Jason Snell:

The Music app is basically iTunes—but with a design update that puts Apple Music at the fore. You can still see your entire music library, of course, and even buy music on the iTunes Store if you want to. As someone who uses iTunes with Apple Music every day, I’m okay with this change. And if you click on the Songs view in the Library section of the sidebar, you will get your classic iTunes song list back, like it never left.

Nick Heer:

The preferences window in Music on Catalina is still modal, so all is right in the world.

Doug Adams:

I thought Apple would keep a “legacy” iTunes around, in the same way QuickTime Player 7 and Aperture were allowed to languish. But I’m guessing the new new media apps work well enough that such a strategy was deemed unnecessary.


Current iTunes scripts will not work with Music.app or AppleTV.app. At least, not without some slight modifications. Music.app’s scripting definitions file is virtually the same as iTunes (likewise the Apple TV.app).


No Column Browser (sad).

Damien Petrilli:

Seems that Apple Music is now the default on the Music App and that you have to enable the option “show iTunes Store” to purchase your music.

Bad sign for purchasers of music like me, and another crappy move from Apple trying to force its services upon users.

Adam Engst:

What about the syncing features of iTunes? macOS Catalina builds them into the Finder. Attach an iOS device to a Mac and it appears in a Finder window’s sidebar. Select it and what looks like the standard iTunes sync settings screen appears in the window. You won’t get syncing or management of iOS apps, but you’ll be able to back up, update, and restore devices from the Mac.

Juli Clover:

Apple told Ars Technica that on Windows, there will be no changes. Those who use iTunes on a PC to manage their devices, listen to music, and make iTunes purchases will be able to continue to do so.


Update (2019-06-04): It does not seem to support Home Sharing. [Update (2019-06-06): It’s there but has moved to System Preferences.]

Update (2019-06-06): Apple (MacRumors):

macOS Catalina makes it faster and simpler to access all of your “ripped” or imported music, purchased media, and more. The new apps organize your media just like the same apps on iOS. Your entire media collection will find a new home and transition automatically into the new Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Podcasts apps. In addition, your previous iTunes Store purchases and synced libraries will not change on any of your devices.

Kirk McElhearn:

In essence, nothing much has changed. The iTunes name is still used for the iTunes Store, despite some publications claiming that the iTunes name was being retired, or that Apple was ending its music download service.

I don’t know… For years, people have been kvetching about iTunes, and all it took was for Apple to move a couple of media kinds to different apps, and to change the name of the music player, and everyone’s suddenly happy, but also dancing around the grave of an app that hasn’t really changed that much. You can still buy music from the iTunes Store, rip your CDs, sync your devices, make playlists, and so on.

Update (2019-08-22): Kirk McElhearn:

As I dig deeper, I find that a lot has been simplified. There are tasks I had described in my book that had multiple steps that are simpler, and there were often several ways to do something, whereas, now, there is generally just one. I find myself cutting large sections of my book’s content because of this simplification.

I will miss the column browser; I used this tool constantly to navigate my library by Genre, then Artist, then Album. With Artist, Album, and Genres view, it’s hard to get the big picture. If you have, say, 135 Grateful Dead albums, you need to scroll through the Grateful Dead entry to find the one you want, whereas in the column browser, I could quickly scan a concise list. Or when I wanted to listen to Kind of Blue, it took a few clicks, a quick scan, and I found the album.

The other feature I’ll miss is that in Songs view – that’s the one where you see items in a list – you can no longer display album artwork. I used that extensively, together with the column browser, as you can see above, because it’s a quick way to scan content to find what I want.

Update (2019-08-29): Kirk McElhearn:

One big change is the demise of the column browser, a unique tool in iTunes that lets you quickly scan and browse your library, and pick music to play.


I’ll miss this tool, which dates back to the first version of iTunes. (For screenshots, see this review of iTunes 1.0 on ATPM. One interesting quote from the review: “It may be noteworthy that the iTunes library can only hold 32,000 songs, though that should be plenty of room for most uses.”)

Update (2020-06-09): Damien Petrilli:

You know the code of iTunes was cleanly split when you receive in the TV App notifications that it failed to download new song you purchased...

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> macOS Catalina builds them into the Finder.

That's actually really cool.

Home Sharing is indeed still supported. It has moved under Media Sharing in the Sharing panel in System Preferences. Was a huge relief when I finally found it!

@chrash Thanks! That actually makes a lot of sense. It just doesn’t show up when you search.

iPod Classic support is still there. Kinda miracle I would say.

Steven Woolgar

But did Album Shuffle make it through the redesign?

Have there been any screenshots of the Songs section? I’m curious if they kept multiple columns in the table view...

[…] Previously: Music.app on macOS 10.15. […]

Will the new music app in OS Catalina have a column browser? I have organized a huge collection of cds using the browser.

@Mac The column browser is not in the beta version of macOS 10.15.

Michael Buss Andersen

My biggest beef with the new app is that almum view takes you to a new view instead of just expandin right there to reveal the songs. This is quite disruptive and quite unnecessary on the large screen. 🤷‍♂️

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