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Apple’s iTunes is shutting down after more than 18 years of service

iTunes is set to announce the end of the iconic downloading service as it prepares to unveil an update to its macOS operating system rolling out a string of replacement apps for music, TV, and podcasts at its annual developer conference that takes place on Monday.

Apple reportedly will announce three new Mac services so users can access their music, TV shows, movies, and podcasts, all of which currently exist on the company’s iPhones and iPads. Mac users will have to manage their devices through the Music app despite the iTunes fall. It’s not yet clear what will happen to iTunes for Microsoft Windows.

“iTunes has been the way Apple users listen to music, watch movies and TV shows, hear podcasts, and manage their devices for almost two decades. This year, Apple is finally ready to move into a new era. The company is launching a trio of new apps for the Mac – Music, TV, and Podcasts – to replace iTunes. That matches Apple’s media app strategy on iPhones and iPads. Without iTunes, customers can manage their Apple gadgets through the Music app”.  Bloomberg notes.

iTunes revolutionized the music software world in the early 2000s — first available on personal computers running macOS or Windows. As former Apple CEO Steve Jobs said when iTunes first came to Windows PCs: “It’s like offering a glass of ice water to somebody in hell.”
The shuttering of iTunes makes sense in today’s media climate in which most of listening has shifted toward various streaming services. iTunes has fallen by the wayside in recent years even for Apple, as the company has been promoting its own streaming service, Apple Music. The new plan for Apple’s streaming software aims to create a more seamless cross-platform streaming experience for users.

While it has decreased in popularity in recent years, iTunes was the service that helped spark a sea change in the physical record industry model and shift the zeitgeist toward digital music consumption when it was launched in 2001.

Apple’s new ways and approach to its apps and updated operating systems will be elaborated at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, CA.