Apple pulls plug on iTunes LP

“A leaked music industry memo from Apple tells us the company is about to close down the already moribund iTunes LP format, an interactive digital format introduced by Steve Jobs in 2009 as a way in which labels could attach digital files to audio products,” Jonny Evans writes for Apple Must. “The memo warns that Apple will not accept any new submissions using iTunes LP content after March 2018, and that existing iTunes LP collections will be ‘deprecated’ from the store across the next of the year. Customers who purchased albums featuring such content will still be able to download it using iTunes Match.”

“History may show that one of the highest-profile iTunes LP collections ever made came from The Beatles, following Apple’s 2010 deal to sell music from the band,” Evans writes. “iTunes LP features were created for all 13 Beatles albums, including a unique mini-documentary about the creation of each album. Fans spending $149 on the “Beatles Box Set” also received a 1964 concert film as part of the deal.”

Evans writes, “I’m guessing Apple wants to encourage music artists to release unique AR-based content that will be made available across its platforms.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Adios, iTunes LP. I always seems more like a tool for Apple to coax artists onto iTunes and to embrace iTunes digital distribution than a modernization of the LP.

Apple: We do not charge a production fee for iTunes LP – October 13, 2009
Inside the new iTunes LP format – September 15, 2009
Apple’s new TuneKit framework (used in iTunes LP and iTunes Extras) has Apple TV written all over it – September 14, 2009
Apple releases iTunes 9; featuring iTunes LP, Home Sharing, Genius Mixes & more – September 09, 2009<


  1. I thought this would be great when it first came out, but the problem with iTunes is that it’s designed for casual music listening, teenagers and people on the go. For this it is a wonderful bit of organizational software.

    For the serious music listener that iTunes LP was appealing to, it is a monolithic low sound quality bloatware (although some of the Mastered for iTunes sound amazing for 256k). Too bad.

    For best sound, Audirvana

    For incredible adaptability throughout the home and great sound quality, Roon

    And yes, both offer to use iTunes for organizing your library, but I keep all the low bit stuff separate from my 44/16 to 24/192, DSD and now MQA streaming through Tidal (which is available through both Audirvana and Roon, but way more imbedded in the latter)

    Happy Listening!

  2. Problem is that most people now use their phones for playing music. They are doing other things than reading the album cover or extras when listing to the songs.
    The concept was cool but really need a more modern format.
    I personally would prefer more intuitive genius selections in Apple Music. I never listen to Rap but will get selections from that genre all the time.
    If someone cracks the secret to music discovery, it could be a new paradigm shift.

    1. The key to better music discovery and a much more functional iTunesApple Music ecosystem is to replace Edie Cue with someone who understands how to create both form and useable function for the user.

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