back to article Apple iPrunes iTunes: Moldering platform's death expected to be announced at WWDC

Apple is expected to confirm the imminent death of its iTunes service to be replaced with separate apps for music, video and podcasts. The venerable service launched in 2001 and helped push the iPod to the top of the dedicated listening device charts. It provided an early, easy-to-use way to access paid-for music. But with …

  1. Korev Silver badge

    So Apple are going to focus on their core business

    1. msknight

      You peeled off that joke very quickly.

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

        The seeds of that joke have been there for ages

        1. Korev Silver badge

          I was keeping it, just skin case

    2. Tim99 Silver badge

      Will it be fruitful?

    3. macjules Silver badge

      They'll just worm their way out as usual.

    4. Lotaresco Silver badge

      With the demise of iTunes Apple will Grieve, James.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I don't get it.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hurrah iTunes is dead, shit what's coming next ?

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge

    "iTunes had disappeared from social media"

    You're remembering it wrong. There was never an iTunes, whatever that is.

  4. Buzzword

    App Store should go the same way

    What about the app store? Instead of downloading an app once, users could pay a subscription to use the app; to get updates; to access the app's servers; etc. App developers will love it; users may be less happy.

    1. Zarno Bronze badge

      Re: App Store should go the same way

      I believe that's currently included in the recommended yearly hardware maintenance fee.

    2. Steve Todd

      Re: App Store should go the same way

      That model is already supported (App subscriptions with recurring fees). Its not popular with users so it isn't used much beyond professional products (think Autocad et al).

  5. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

    Does that mean they are killing off the iPod

    I thought the iPod basically needed iTunes to function?

    Edit: Well I should of Googled that first, as it runs iOS obviously has access to the app store.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Does that mean they are killing off the iPod

      I guess if you have a pre-iOS iPod you're SOL.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does that mean they are killing off the iPod

      There is going to be an Apple Music application that will take on that role for music, so iPods will still be supported.

      They didn't drop the functionality of what iTunes does, they are just dropping the kitchen sink application that has taken on multiple roles over the years and split them out into music, TV, etc.

      And presumably existing installs of iTunes will continue to work.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        They're breaking Finder instead

        Finder is taking on most of what iTunes does.


  6. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Hang on a moment

    But with streaming services now taking about three quarters of music revenues, the days of downloads are numbered.

    by streaming services, I assume you also include radio stations, because otherwise the numbers are very wrong.

    Some of us will always prefer downloads to hardware we control no matter how sweet the streaming deals seem: they're loss-leading dependency deals.

    1. xeroks

      Re: Hang on a moment

      Unfortunately, that's largely irrelevant. Downloaders are probably already a minority, along with blu-ray watchers.

      Streaming is a lot better for the middleman, as it means they no longer have to pay the artist any money, while it looks cheaper to the end user. Until, of course the service stops, and your library disappears.

      In the next few years, expect streamers to require a subscription for each of the major labels, each of them still not paying the artist.

      1. Eddy Ito

        Re: Hang on a moment

        Blu-ray still doesn't sell as well as DVD but yeah, even combined there are likely more streamers.

      2. Lotaresco Silver badge

        Re: Hang on a moment

        "Until, of course the service stops, and your library disappears."

        I don't worry about having a library for a streaming service, because as far as I'm concerned streaming is just a variant on broadcasting but with the advantage that I can watch it when I like rather than when the programme is broadcast.

        There are some things that I want to keep (rare) and for those it will either be Blu-ray or a download. That's where iTunes has been useful, their catalogue includes lots of rare and difficult to source movies and TV shows at (mostly) reasonable prices. I would be ticked off if Apple decided to prevent access to the stuff I paid for. Although that's easy to circumvent these days since de-DRM apps are fairly widely available.

        I heard yesterday that this change won't affect Windows users since Apple is keeping iTunes on Windows.

  7. Lotaresco Silver badge

    iTunes service?

    Isn't it the iTunes app that's about to be killed off, not the service? That is, all the iTunes store backend will remain to support the new apps. This is roughly similar to the BBC's awful Sound/iPlayer split. What I can't tell is for how long the current iTunes which has DRM'd content that has been paid for will continue to work.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      BBC Sounds

      Yesssss… The BBC advertises its BBC Sounds app constantly, but never in any of its promotional announcements has it ever actually bothered to say why I should take the time to install it instead of the BBC iPlayer Radio app, which I already have.

      What advantages/disadvantages does the BBC Sounds app have, or are they just burning through licence payers’ money in hand outs to their meeja/dev chums, because…?

    2. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge

      Re: iTunes service?

      "how long the current iTunes which has DRM'd content that has been paid for will continue to work."

      And there in lies the question.

      All that content I paid for that came with a neatly packaged backup to sit on the shelf is mine in perpetuity.

      All that content I paid for online needs some other form of backup, and since it has DRM, how do I restore and authorise it?

  8. batfink Silver badge

    This will be the last straw

    If I can't use iTunes to buy, download and play my stored music, then I'm off. Apple have already pissed me off mightily by farting around with Books so it makes it difficult to add all my PDF manuals to it.

    For my current use cases - using music libraries across several devices via periodic syncs - iTunes has been ok. Turning iTunes into a streaming service will break that, so I'll make the effort to move to something else. I don't wish to rent my music, I want to own it. I also regularly travel to places where connectivity is dodgy (ie anywhere outside major population centres).

    While I'm about it, I'll also make the effort to move all my books/pdf's to some other reader.

    iTunes is the only reason I stick to the Apple ecosystem at the moment so this would just mean there's no reason at all for me to buy iPhones. Bye-bye Apple then.

    Talk about shooting yourselves in the foot...

    1. batfink Silver badge

      Re: This will be the last straw

      ...and I forgot to ask: Suggestions for music player replacements for iTunes from you commentards?

      I need it for music, audiobooks and podcasts only. Sync to various devices, the most troublesome of which I expect to be the old iPod (Classic version???) which lives in the car. (Don't want to replace that if I can help it - it's a good solution at the moment. Will probably even pull it to bits and replace the spinny disk when it fails)

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: This will be the last straw

        There are these alternatives but the list is about a decade old. Then again I guess classic iPods haven't changed much in the past decade either.

        1. Mike 16 Silver badge

          Last Decade?

          Was I hallucinating a time when one could partition the space on an iPod and just copy stuff to it?

          Having a spinning-rust original iPod got you music _and_ a handy backup drive.

          Pretty sure I was not hallucinating being able to re-arrange the apps on my Touch or phone with a decent drag-and-drop bit in iTunes, rather than the multi-window 15-puzzle hell that is modern iOS.

          Yeah, iTunes sucks, but it (and iPhoto, and iDVD) sucked _less_ than their modern replacements.

          Now get off my lawn!

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Last Decade?

            I raise you iWeb. That was a complete waste of time, I tried to get it to make a photo album and it generated code which turned its nose up at non-Safari browsers.

            1. Mike 16 Silver badge

              Re: Last Decade?

              Never tried iWeb, but iPhoto used to do an OK job of exporting an album as a website (that worked across at least Firefox, IE, Safari, and iCab).

              Photos doesn't allow it at all. Like all the newish Mac stuff, the apps are siloed roach-motels: data checks in, never checks out.

              Hmm, I guess the Eagles were right about Hotel California. Maybe I should try stabbing MacOS with my steely knife? Nope, still can't kill the beast.

    2. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge

      Re: This will be the last straw

      "I don't wish to rent my music, I want to own it."

      Sorry to disappoint, but unless you wrote the music or specifically bought exclusive ownership from the author and artist, technically you don't own any of the music.

      You may own a non-exclusive licence that allows you to listen to it any time you like. You may own some physical media that contains a copy of the music. But you don't own the music.

      That said, like you, I like being in control of my own destiny. I don't want to stream the music, I want to have my own (licensed) copy I maintain.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This will be the last straw

      You will be able to use an Apple Music application to buy, download and play your stored music, so nothing will change except the name and not having a kitchen sink approach that made it also include TV, podcasts and other stuff.

      People have been complaining about how much iTunes sucks, especially on the PC, for years and now everyone is up in arms that it is going away? I guess you can't please everyone.

  9. Tikimon

    Don't need Itunes for an Ipod

    A few years ago Itunes decided to delete various songs on my Ipod, about 20% of them if I recall. I never bought a damn thing from Apple, so they probably decided my freebies and finders and bought-somewhere-else tracks were "unauthorized". Whatever that case, that's the LAST time I let Itunes anywhere near my Ipod.

    Since then I've been using CopyTrans. Lets me load anything I want on my Ipod, without Big Brother Apple deciding what I can and can't do with it. I suspect there are other non-Apple utilities to let you manage your 'pod, have a look see.

    1. Lotaresco Silver badge

      Re: Don't need Itunes for an Ipod

      "Since then I've been using CopyTrans."

      Ooh that's handy. I used to use Senuti but I've no idea if that works these days. Thanks for the tip.

      With three iPods for me, and one for SWMBO, and over 80GB of music I don't want to lose it. I'm already ticked off by the disappearance of the iPod from the store. The iPhone app doesn't cut it.

    2. Chet Mannly

      Re: Don't need Itunes for an Ipod

      +1 for CopyTrans

      I have an ancient ipod I use at the gym, been using copytrans for years to transfer music to it.

  10. Del_Varner

    I hope they fix the cover art fiasco

    I hope they fix how they handle cover art. I add a new album to my iphone and it randomly assigns a cover from something else

  11. Del_Varner

    I hope they fix the cover art fiasco

    Often, when you copy an album to your iphone, it randomly assigns a cover from something else, unless you do all your music at once.

  12. Zimmer

    Obligatory XKCD reference

    Steal This Comic

    'nuff said...

  13. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Streaming is useful way of finding new music, but the issue with streaming is that the rug can be pulled out from under you at anytime leaving you with nothing to show for it. The steaming music service could close down, or they could have a fall out with certain record labels and they labels remove the songs from the service. At least with download you still have you own copy you can play no matter what.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iTunes is the Cupertino Zune...

  15. Aussie Doc Bronze badge

    Has it really gone?

    So if iTunes is now being replaced by three 'other' apps, has it really gone?

    A rose by any other name and all that.

  16. Anonymous Cow Herder

    Songs of Innocence

    Does this mean I can finally get rid of that dam U2 album?

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