Apple quits iTunes after 18 years

After 18 years, Apple is saying goodbye to iTunes, the digital media player and library that has been the central platform for music, video and other content on Apple computers and mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad for years. Craig Federighi, head of software development at Apple, announced this during an annual presentation for software developers in the hometown of Cupertino on Monday evening.

Since the launch of the first iPods, iTunes has been the way for Apple users to get music on their phones and tablets. However, since music streaming is on the rise, thanks to services such as Spotify and Apple’s own Apple Music, music downloads have been on the decline.

Figures from NVPI Audio, the branch organization of the Dutch music industry, only received 10% from downloads in 2014, but that was less than 3% last year. Streaming almost doubled in the meantime from 36 to 71%.

Instead of iTunes, separate apps come on the laptops and desktops for music, video and podcasts that are already on the mobile devices. Syncing the iPhone and iPad is from the next version of MacOS – which will be called Catalina – via the Finder file management application. The reason for the change is said to be that because of its size, iTunes was relatively heavy – and therefore slower – in performing the tasks for which it is most commonly used today. And that is less and less often listening to music downloads.

During the presentation, dozens of other innovations were announced, including a new version of the operating system iOS with a “dark mode” in which the white background behind many Apple apps is replaced by a moody black.

In addition, the company presented updates for the Apple Watch, its own operating system for the iPad, a new powerful MacPro and the trailer for a new series for television streaming service with which Apple wants to compete with Netflix.

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