Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Apple Is Finally Killing Off iTunes

Mark Gurman (via Nick Heer):

As part of the [TV app] overhaul, the company will discontinue its dedicated apps on the Apple TV set-top box that let users rent and buy movies and shows. It will also remove the movie and TV show sections from the iTunes Store app on iPhones and iPads. […]

The idea is to steer more customers toward the main TV app, which sits at the center of Apple’s expanding video strategy. There, users are able to subscribe to TV+ as well as third-party video services like Starz and Paramount+. The app already lets customers rent and buy programs, making a separate iTunes option unnecessary.

That’s too bad since, though they could use lots of improvements, I prefer browsing purchased TV shows and movies in the old apps.

Kirk McElhearn:

iTunes was probably the most important app that Apple ever made. Released in 2001, it helped make Apple the company it has become. While it was not the first music management app, it quickly became the go-to tool for ripping CDs, creating playlists, burning CDs, and syncing music to iPods. iTunes became Apple’s Trojan horse; this free app’s popularity allowed the company to create the global music marketplace that changed the music industry.

After splitting iTunes on the Mac to a group of individual apps in 2019, Apple maintained the app on Windows. But the company is now planning to split iTunes into several apps on that platform as well: the Microsoft Store lists “preview” versions of apps for Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Devices, the latter being an app that manages syncing to iPhones and iPads.


Soon, all that will be left of the iTunes brand is the iTunes Store for music. And people buy much less music than in the past, having mostly shifted to streaming.


Apple no longer releases iProducts; the last iBook was released in 2005, Apple still uses the umbrella term iWork for its productivity apps (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote), and iCloud is the heart of its cloud storage system. But new products and services have Apple in their names: Apple TV, Apple Music, Apple Watch, and so on.

John Gruber:

I purchase/rent all my movies and TV shows on my Apple TV, where “iTunes” isn’t mentioned. (And in the age of streaming, I really only purchase/rent movies — the TV shows I watch are all streamed nowadays.) So why keep the iTunes Store app around on iOS — they could just add a Store tab to the Music app. Buy your music — if you buy music — in Music, and buy your movies in TV.


4 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Too bad. I won't miss iTunes, it was always a mess best avoided, but in the TV app, Apple has managed to make the experience even more confusing. Search, navigation and discoverability are still abysmal. Speaking of bad UI... has the music app improved? I gave up on it a couple of days into my trial period and haven't bothered to check it out again.

Sorry to be a hater. Really. I wish I could like the direction Apple is taking with these services but upon trying them out, I get the feeling they make them confusing so the user will simply give up on choosing what to hear/watch and hand over control to Apple.

Not my service.

And still no resume playback for iTunes, which was available on SoundJam MP 2.5.3, from which iTunes was developed in 2001.

The article says "iTunes was probably the most important app that Apple ever made." If I remember correctly, Apple didn't make it -- it was previously a program (we didn't call them "apps" in those days) called SoundJam MP, created by a couple of developers and published by a small company. I was an early customer and liked it a lot.

Later, Apple bought SoundJam and renamed it as "iTunes". Minor point, I know... but a surprisingly large number of apps or services that we think of as coming from a big company were really bought up from a small developer.

@Lawrence iTunes included lots of code from SoundJam MP, but the design was totally different. It was not just a renaming.

Leave a Comment