In 2001 Apple launched an application for is macOS that was first a media player then grew to become something more. Apple iTunes could download and organize media files for playback, with all media coming from the iTunes Store. Then its function extended to full multimedia. Next it gained internet radio broadcast capabilities. It also became a mobile app. But these additions over the years gradually became criticized by users for making iTunes bloated. Usage of the app on all platforms has tapered to the point that Apple seems about to take drastic measures. Soon iTunes will be torn apart.
The Verge reports that Apple is going to separate the various functions of the current iTunes application. In the next macOS update there will now be several apps, each focusing on music, podcasting or internet TV for example. They will all be similar in structure to the Mac’s Apple News, iOS mobile apps that can be ported and use on the desktop macOS. In a way the dismembering of iTunes is a sensible direction. Reverting back to a separate music-only app would help to steer away the Apple Music service from other seemingly extraneous stuff that has cluttered up iTunes.
Such has been the intent by Apple to launch new apps for every notable function of iTunes that they have even begun designing new icons for them. Some of these have been leaked (as seen in the banner image above). The separate TV app would work well with the promotion of the upcoming Apple TV Plus over-the-top subscription service. Other Apple apps soon to get this Marzipan mobile-desktop portability include Apple Books for their e-book download library. It might even be merged with the iOS 12 Books app from fall of 2018. No further information on the splitting of iTunes exists beyond these initials bits.
By 2019, or almost two decades since its release, Apple iTunes has been seen as an experience that has not much changed to its own detriment. The application’ software interface comes across now as either quaint or downright antiquated. And of course there is the bloat that the planned separation of functions into individual Marzipan apps hopes to address. This one falls into Apple’s recent initiative to streamline some common apps between desktop macOS and mobile iOS. Still, iTunes does have some use left, namely in the syncing of older iOS devices and the iPod. For that at least, it will remain even when its features have been already separated.
Images: AppleInsider and Tech One