iTunes 12 preview: Several separate apps, iTunes Radio UK, App Store improvements, HD audio expected

“It’s been nearly two years since Apple released iTunes 11 to a shaky reception, but it looks like we could be in for a new version of iTunes, presumably iTunes 12, this autumn,” Ashleigh Allsopp reports for Macworld UK.

“One of the most talked about rumours is that Apple is planning to split iTunes into several apps,” Allsopp reports. “iTunes began as a music player and manager, but since then Apple has squeezed in lots of new features including the iOS App Store, video, podcasts, iTunes U and more. It’s getting pretty overcrowded, so we think Apple might decide to turn iTunes 12 into a possible total of seven different apps: Music, Videos, Podcasts, App Store, iTunes Store, iTunes U and iTunes Radio.”

“iTunes 12 is expected to come with optional HD audio tracks that are available to download from the iTunes Store at a small additional cost,” Allsopp reports. “The tracks will be 24-bit rather than the lower quality 16-bit AAC tracks that Apple currently sells through the iTunes Store.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. I can see why they kept it all that functionality as part of a single program all these years, since so much is tightly related, but keeping the name iTunes gave the impression it was getting bloated with tacked-on features. They could perhaps have rebranded it “iManager” or even “iLife” (while stopping the use of iLife as an umbrella name for a suite of programs).

    1. Don’t think renaming it would do anything to fix the problem. That would just confuse people looking for iTunes, for no apparent reason.

      Breaking it up into separate apps like in iOS is clearly the right solution to iTune’s bloating functionality problem.

      1. Why can’t you have it as separate apps but through a unified interface, at the moment I find the separate items on iOS as more confusing than convenient. As for name iManger sounds like Microsoft rather than Apple it needs to be something like iMedia or a name that equally covers the entertainment aspect but then presents the integrated services within but separate less boosted apps.

  2. I keep seeing these arbitrary terms used to describe audio quality greater than CD (usually, audio sampled at 24bit resolution and 96kHz sample rate).

    HD Audio is a set of audio-related standards devised by Intel that in many ways looks like Core Audio on Mac OS X, and it is a set of hardware and driver specifications for multi-track audio in PCs. It has nothing to do with the subject of this article.

    High-quality audio has been out there for some time, and it never really gained much traction. There is, however, a loyal fan base for pristine audio quality, for whom CD as an audio standard was a mediocre compromise and who are salivating over the prospect of the ability to actually buy music sampled at 96kHz in 24 bits.

    It is nice to see Apple going out of their way to meet the needs of this small group. They tend to be rather vocal, and besides, this re-enforces Apple’s image of a purveyor of uncompromising quality.

    1. HD Audio isn’t a trademark of Intel. HD is a commonly accepted initialism for High Definition and in this article is used as “HD audio” (lower case audio). Numerous other companies refer to HD Audio the same way Intel does, that is “Intel® High Definition Audio” or “Intel® HD Audio”.

      Yes, HD audio is as meaningless as Hi-Fi, as far as specifications go, but it’s commonly accepted and the point of this article is to say that Apple will be offering a higher quality of audio where the rumor is that it will be 24-bit instead of 16-bit (no other specs mentioned).

  3. Start by re-naming it iTunes iMedia. Make the individual components available as stand-alone apps, but also accessible via the main app itself.

    iMedia should be the content manager that contain iTunes (music app), iRadio or Beats (streaming music), Audiobooks, Podcasts, Movies and TV.

    The iTunes Store needs to be combined with the Mac App Store. At the very least, the App Store itself needs to be merged. Why is one store buried in iTunes while the other is a stand-alone app? The store can be tabbed for Mac, iPad, iPhone and tv (long overdue). iMedia can keep digital content like the iTunes Music Store and Music Videos.

    And maybe a separate Syncing App handles all of the syncing between your iDevices and applications like iPhoto.

    Either way, Apple has their work cut out after letting things get very messy over the years.

    1. Aah so I am not alone, thank you for. On firming I am not the only one who sees the logic of this even down to the same name iMedia as the coverall. Seems a far better solution to lots of separate apps clogging up your home screen with undoubted overlaps.

      1. My opinion on iTunes: bloated, slow and confuse.
        So, I limit its use to play music. I avoid as much as possible to manage music on the iPad and I use it to transfer files to the iPad if I have no other alternative.
        I used to love iTunes back in 2005 when I bought my first Mac.

    1. Music Match actually turned iTunes to piece of junk (not forgetting podcasts). We deleted 17 iTunes libraries and started using Spotify, Pandora, Amazon and just using PCs for music management.

      It’s fine if you just have some pop music, but when you have all kinds of audio (WAV studio files, multiple takes of same songs, bootleg recordings, lectures, language courses) that you don’t want on the Cloud, etc. iTunes Match creates such a mess it’s not worth using it. When you have a library it doesn’t mean that you will listen every song one day, but that just in case you need to listen one recording some day you can find it there.

  4. This is definitely a smart move. Though iTunes runs like a dream on my shiny new iMac, performance was far from ideal on my 5-year-old MacBook. Splitting the apps will hopefully improve performance on older machines.

  5. ITunes 12. Well. Internet radio is *exactly* as bad as it ever was – here in the UK, you might expect to get a list of the national radio channels – BBC, Planet Rock, Absolute etc etc. but – nothing. And all that a search does in the ‘radio’ page is to come up with albums containing the search term. One actually wonders if the iTunes design team even think about what may be useful, rather than just implementing Jony’s ‘flat’ interface and making stuff *more* difficult to find. We still can’t do useful things like rely on iTunes for a household media server o OK, sharing allows some features, but if a family member want to add new songs or help ‘tidy up’ the media store, it’s just not possible. opening multiple iTunes pointing to the same library just gives ‘file locking’ errors. this thing could be the global standard by which all others are judged; it’s actually just a barely acceptable ‘me too’ that we are saddled with for connecting to our iDevices. And then we are limited by connecting to the SAME computer we were originally associated with. Yes, sure, I can understand the technicalities of why all things are limiting factors – but they should be busted way out of the water by now.

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