When it was first introduced in 2001, iTunes was just music management software for makes. But Apple kept asking more of the program: movies, TV, books, podcasts, and, of course, synching iDevices.
Anyone who has spent any time with iTunes knows that each iteration of the program has been more bloated than the one that came before. Despite being on version 12, it stopped getting better long ago.
As it tried to do everything, it often did nothing well and still missed key features. If you have a very large music library, you’ll know that iTunes often chokes or crashes. Searches can be slow and clumsy. In an era when more people are gravitating towards high-resolution music files like FLAC, iTunes can’t handle them. And there’s no social media integration (yeah, yeah, there was Ping–but how long did that last?)
But come Tuesday at the World Wide Developers Conference, though, iTunes as we know it will die.
Apple, in a long rumoured move, is going to break up the program into separate and dedicated Music, Movies, and Podcast apps. No more centralization. This isn’t as weird as it first sounds. After all, iPhones and iPads already have standalone apps like this.
A new slick user interface is promised. Syncing of devices will be done with the Music app. And yes, we’ll still be able to purchase songs from the iTunes Music Store (or whatever it’ll be called). Apple isn’t prepared to shove us all to a streaming-only world. Yet.
I for one welcome this change. It should have happened long ago.