As is tradition, the WWDC (Apple World Wide Developers Conference) promised huge changes for the Apple lineup. Whilst their computers now being worth way more than a car is a notable change, there’s also been some Apple news that fans have long been dreading. Their beloved iTunes App, with music carefully bought from the iTunes store and segmented into hand-picked playlists, is dead. If this is you, we feel you. My beautifully curated playlists took hours back in the day!
But times they are a changin. Where you get your music from matters. The iTunes store doesn’t rule the music streaming business any more and Apple are reconsidering the best way to listen to music.
Whilst Apple isn’t always leader of the pack, what they say tends to go. They’ve eschewed folding phones for now, but once their version comes out you can bet it will be industry leading. Look at their big decisions like getting rid of headphone jacks or using AirPods. Those changes stick! So figuring out what’s happening with the iTunes app and the best music apps to use instead is definitely key after this important Apple news.
RIP iTunes: What Happened To The iTunes Store?
In short, the iTunes store has had a pretty big makeover. Think Mia in the Princess Diaries style.
Apple is splitting the iTunes App into three: Music, TV, and Podcasts. It does make sense as the iTunes store itself was an absolute monster, covering a multitude of uses that can – and now will – be covered by other apps. Apple is also trying to focus more on its Apple TV, with recent announcements of shows including a huge array of stars in a variety of capacities. Moving that into a separate app makes a lot more sense fiscally and for general usability.
iTunes was groundbreaking, emphasis on was. In their press release, Apple have stressed that the clunky, slow iTunes app is a thing of the past; the music app is “lightning fast, fun and easy to use”.
If the iTunes App Has Gone, What’s Happening To My Music?
First of all, don’t panic – Apple don’t want to let their users back catalogues go just yet! But it is a bit confusing, as fundamentally the apps are different. Music requires a monthly subscription whereas songs were purchased individually on iTunes.
If you’ve purchased music through the iTunes App / iTunes Store, they have a record of it and should be able to access it through the Music app. It doesn’t mean that you own the copy itself, but that you own the license to listen to that music whilst it’s on the app. It’s why you’re limited on letting others share your downloads; it isn’t the same thing as having the physical CD copy, for example, which you can lend to a friend with absolutely no issues.
Apparently, there will be some form of integration where you can still purchase music through the iTunes store, via the music app, and you can use your iTunes gift cards to do so. Your old music will still be available to you as well. Theoretically, then, iTunes app users haven’t lost anything in the move.
…users will have access to their entire music library, whether they downloaded the songs, purchased them or ripped them from a CD. For those who like to own their music, the iTunes Music Store is just a click away.Apple previews macOS Catalina, Apple Press Release
Which Are The Best Music Apps To Use Instead?
Honestly, if you’re linked into Apple and have already spent money in the iTunes store, sticking with the new music app might be your best bet. You don’t lose your money and it will (hopefully) be more intuitive with your Apple products; a win-win for everyone.
However, if you’re looking for a change people often tell us that they listen to Spotify whilst listening with their TT headphones; a monthly subscription service, Spotify has music, podcasts, and playlists tailored to your music tastes. It is also free, but paying each month gets rid of the ads. Alternative channels are Amazon Music and YouTube Music; they’re some of the biggest names about so you get a lot of choice, and might make more sense if you use one channel a lot anyway.