Tech & The Web

iTunes Shutdown Announcement Worries Music Fans

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When Apple recently announced its plan for an iTunes shutdown, many loyal Mac users were immediately worried. But it doesn’t sound like there’s reason to.

What will the iTunes shutdown mean to you and your music? That’s the question many of us have been worried about.

Apple announced on June 3 at its Worldwide Developers Conference that it plans to kill iTunes, which made its debut in 2001.

In its place, it will introduce three — yes, three — apps in place of the one. When Mac OS’s  Catalina upgrade rolls out this fall, iTunes will be replaced with Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV.

iTunes changed the way I bought music

I was late to the iTunes party, to be honest. When it first debuted, it was more about organizing music you’d already purchased in the form of compact discs. The iTunes Store came about in 2003, and you could suddenly buy music — by the album or by the individual tune — legally.

But admittedly, I didn’t immediately trust it. There was so much news back then about pirating music illegally that I wasn’t quite convinced that there wasn’t some trap waiting to spring.

By the time I did join the iTunes phenomenon, it quickly changed the way I bought my music.

For those of you of a certain age, this may be difficult to imagine. But before iTunes, when you really, really liked one song, you had to go to a brick and mortar store and buy a whole album. Even if the album consisted of 14 or 15 songs, all but one of them royal stinkers, you were stuck buying the whole album!

iTunes allowed people to buy just the tracks they wanted, which meant you could have a wider variety of music that you knew you actually enjoyed by more artists for the same money.

No longer was I forced to buy a collection of a dozen songs because I loved one of them.

My current iTunes library has thousands of tunes in it. Some of it came from old compact discs I uploaded into my library. Others came from the iTunes Store.

I’ve organized them into playlists that correspond with different moods.

I have a little of everything. Believe it or not, I actually have even a few country tunes and one or two that would best be categorized as rap, even though neither genre are favorites of mine.

Naturally, when you have that much music organized over so many years, news of an iTunes shutdown makes you take notice. And ask questions.

Here’s what Apple says about all that music

On Apple’s website, it gives this description of Apple Music:

Apple Music will help users discover great new music with over 50 million songs, playlists and music videos. And 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.

In other words, the music from your iTunes library just moves to Apple Music.

Granted, I haven’t touched Apple Music so far because I know it’s a subscription-based service. And frankly, I’ve subscribed to as many streaming services as I care to at the moment.

But the iTunes shutdown sounds like it also means an Apple Music makeover. With playlists there and the same option to buy music, it appears there’s no real change in how we’ll be able to enjoy the music we’ve already paid for.

And Apple Podcasts will get the podcasts I’m currently subscribed to under iTunes.

If anything, the breakup is supposed to create three faster-moving apps in favor of one large app some have insisted is far too bloated.

As it sounds now, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about when it comes to all of your music.

Let’s hope it stays that way!

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.