Is This the Death of iTunes?

Rumors are spreading around the internet saying iTunes is about to meet its death bed. As reported by 9to5Mac, Apple will launch new utilities to specific handle managing specific capabilities that are currently handled by iTunes. This means, iTunes will be wiped out and it will be replaced by separate Books, Music, TV, and Podcasts apps in the next version of MacOS.

The stand-alone apps would be Marzipan apps that share similar overarching design and codebase with its iPhone and iPad equivalent. App developer Steven Troughton-Smith said, “I am now fairly confident based on the evidence I do not wish to make public at this point that Apple is planning to have new Music, Podcasts, perhaps even Books, apps for MacOS, to join the new TV app. I expect the four apps to be the next wave of Marzipan apps.”

iTunes is a nutshell is terrible and eliminating it would be a piece of great news for us. It did not start great, and through the years it did actually improve. Even developer Marco Arment described it as a “toxic hell stew of unreliability” in 2015. Apple users are only forced to use it for Apple devices and the app remains unfriendly to customers as ever.

The app presumably will stick around for a while as the preferred legacy method for connecting old Apple devices even though Apple might move to break iTunes functionality into other apps. It is still essential to maintain backward compatibility. That is why Apple still needs to keep the old software for a while to provide it.

If Apple cannot be able to perpetuate back and shoot it for a few more years, maybe it could at least take some extra weight off its back. It is a lot easier to own an iPhone and evade iTunes than it used to be, but it would be nice to have an official Apple app to go with the official Apple phone that actually officially ran well, was relatively easy to navigate, and easy to use.

One challenge of iTunes is that it is stuffed with functionalities that the original design never intended to have. iTunes was never really good as a simultaneous media player, synchronization tool, content organization library, and storefront as it was originally designed as a music player. After 16 years, it was stuffed with “everything else”.

The pursues of separate apps for different media on the Mac is part of Apple’s UIKit efforts that was launched at Worldwide Developer Conference in 2018. During the event, Apple introduced tools that aimed at making it easier for app makers to bring their iOS apps over to the Mac, and it launched Mac versions of News, Voice Memos, Stocks, and Home with last fall’s macOS Mojave update. We are expecting to hear more about these efforts at the 2019 WWDC that will start on June 3.

Wait for the change to hit you in MacOS 10.15 this fall.

Guilherme Rambo’s report has the most information about probable alterations to the Books app in MacOS. It will look a lot similar as to the News app on the Mac with a sidebar that has a title bar will provide access to Library, Book Store, and Audiobook Store.

Audiobooks can be found iTunes. By that, it would be one way of Apple to split off some of that app’s current media management duties.

Rambo says that Music, Podcasts and TV apps will be built using Marzipan, Apple’s program for bringing more iOS apps to the Mac.

According to Rambo’s report, iTunes does not seem like it will be going away entirely. Apple still needs a way for older iOS devices to still sync manually with the Mac devices.

Breaking up iTunes into an easier-to-manage set of apps sounds like a step in the right direction for Apple. iTunes will stay a little longer until Apple finds a new solution to manually since devices.


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