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Apple details how iTunes axing will work in practise

The iTunes app may be dead, but the iTunes Store continues in macOS Catalina. (Source: Apple)
The iTunes app may be dead, but the iTunes Store continues in macOS Catalina. (Source: Apple)
Apple has detailed how its life after iTunes will work for users following its demise in macOS Catalina later this year. The Cupertino giant has released a support page on its website addressing a few key concerns right up front including what will happen to purchases, playlists and syncing functions.

Apple has finally pulled the pin on its iconic iTunes app after 16 fruitful years. While the transition to a new three app structure should be relatively seamless for most people, things will definitely be different for better or worse once macOS Catalina is released in the fall. At the top of most user concerns have been what will happen to existing purchases of songs, movies, TV, audiobooks, podcasts, playlists, syncing functions and iTunes gift cards. To address these concerns, Apple has published a new support document on its website with the catch phrase "New apps, same library."


Music that has been purchased or imported will be available in the new Apple Music app. Similarly, painstakingly created user playlists and smart playlists created in iTunes will also be available in the new Music app. Subscriptions to Apple Music will still be optional, while perhaps counterintuitively, the iTunes Store lives on for music purchases. Although it actually makes sense in that iTunes Gift Cards and iTunes credits will continue to be valid and the iTunes Store first came into being to facilitate music purchasing. Now it is going back to its original incarnation.

Movies and TV

Similarly, movies and TV shows that have previously been purchased (or that have or will be rented) will appear in the new Apple TV app. TV, movie and rental content can still be purchased a la carte through the new app while eventually Apple will also offer its forthcoming Apple TV subscription service through this app as well.


Apple has created an all-new Podcasts app for the desktop which where podcasts will live on following deprecation of the iTunes app. Users familiar with the Podcasts app on an iPhone should have no trouble adjusting to having it in a standalone format on a desktop as well.


Audiobooks will be integrated into a revamped Books app for Mac. Apple will also continue to sell audiobooks to customers through this app portal as well.


One of the reasons Apple has been able to transition away from a dedicated iTunes app is that it is hasn't been central to the iPhone or iPad experience for a long time now. However, there are still plenty of customers who like to sync their content locally rather than stream it or download it from the cloud. This feature will remain, but it moves into Apple system Finder sidebar, which makes a lot of sense. It will also continue to allow users to create complete local backups of device content.

It looks like Apple has covered off everything. Let's just hope when it launches later this year that it all goes as smoothly as it should work in theory.

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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2019-06- 6 (Update: 2019-06- 6)