Apple might just be about to save music lovers from the bloated disaster that is iTunes

“Sometimes even the most revolutionary things become obsolete,” Alex Perry writes for Mashable. “Such is the case with iTunes, Apple’s once-incredible music management app. iTunes is approaching its 20th year of existence and, while there are logistical reasons why Apple can’t simply say goodbye to the ancient app, it’s finally time to put it in a home.”

“The good news is it seems like Apple might do just that,” Perry writes. “The 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference is next week and Apple’s keynote address is expected to feature plenty of software announcements, including standalone apps for Music and Podcasts (among others) for macOS.”

“This could be great news for music lovers who like to organize and listen to their tunes on macOS. The iTunes app is famously slow and painful to use,” Perry writes. “While it was revelatory when digital music libraries were still novel and exciting, it eventually became bloated with the inclusion of podcasts, audiobooks, TV shows, and movies.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: While iTunes will linger, likely for many years, it’s slow death will make life easier for users.

Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. — Steve Jobs

Obviously we’ve long believed that breaking apart iTunes into individual apps is an excellent idea:

Apple, especially under Steve Jobs, has shown a great and admirable willingness to cannibalize themselves. They obliterated their iPod business with the iPhone, for one example. But, when it comes to iTunes, they seem paralyzed by fear of change. Apple paralyzed by fear is not a pretty thing and it doesn’t yield pretty things. It yields hot messes like iTunes.

iTunes screams to be broken up into separate, streamlined apps. It’s been screaming that for years. But Apple seems to be scared silly to do so — perhaps 800+ million credit cards have something to do with it — so they’ve tinkered around the edges, making questionable tweaks here an there and bolting on even more bloat.

Grow a pair, Apple, and do what needs to be done already.MacDailyNews Take, July 17, 2015

Related articles:
Apple’s macOS 10.15 will include standalone Music, Podcasts, and TV apps – April 10, 2019
It looks like Apple is finally about to kill iTunes – April 9, 2019

20 Comments

  1. One failure of nearly all Music apps is that they clump all classical music together as one entity. It’s as though I ask for pop music and it sends pop music from all different times and genres. I do wish they would break it down.

  2. I can’t help but wonder if all the folks complaining about iTunes are using the Windows version. I have a 2014 MacBook Pro and iTunes runs flawlessly on it. It does it’s job competently and without fanfare.

    The only other explanation I can fathom for people complaining about iTunes is techo-chamber groupthink…

    1. When your collection grows bigger than a little 512 GB or maybe 1 TB hard drive at most, then you will see how iTunes stumbles. Apple should never have attempted one app to manage music and movies and podcasts and radio and…… it was a fundamentally bad idea.

      1. My music library is 200GB, about 650 albums and my library is huge compared to most folks

        A 1TB music collection size is an vanishingly small edge case.

        Digital hoarders are not mainstream…

        1. “Digital hoarders”. Wow.

          So you expect people to throw away the photos, home videos, playlists, and other digital media that Apple has encouraged everyone to enjoy for many years now?

          What is your solution, other than to trash all digital records of your life? If you store it on a rental server to increase Apple’s monthly profit, is that not still “hoarding”?

          We store lossless music files, about 2 TB worth. That should be easily manageable by competent software, your endless Apple Apologist excuses notwithstanding.

  3. I think bloggers that use terms like disaster in describing a product are probably too dumb to figure out how it works, could it be better? easier? sure, I’ve never had any issues using iTunes.

    IMHO if they had a utility for working with devices (iPhones, iPads) and then an App for Movies and and App for Music, and let you access them from one another, it would be far better than trying to clump it all together.. That said, still really didn’t have any issues using iTunes the way it is now.

    1. I don’t like the idea of separate apps for each element that just bloats the interface rather than the App. However your idea of separate apps that access each other would be a decent alternative. I am no software engineer but is it simply not possible to have effectively separate apps that are accessed through a single media front end menu which feeds you into the separate apps if it is indeed technically better to have them separate? I really don’t want a load of separate icons to look for all the time, especially when running a bit tired.

  4. I prefer listening to music and podcasts on iTunes, it’s a more streamlined and less clunky process (not to mention the annoying Apple Music subscription intrusions in Music) than iOS. If we’re basically looking at ports of Music and Podcasts to the Mac then I expect the UX to be worse. Expect these “updates” to be like the new version of Pages, dumbed down for the masses to complement familiar iOS apps at the expense of granularity and user control.

    1. I agree the iOS situation now with Music has the opposite effect to wanting to relax and chill and at very turn being encouraged to start a subscription rather than simply playing my music as I have for years and in all those year told by Apple that’s the best way of doing it even when I argued a subscription option was always a good idea for many… Just dont head bang me with it Apple after you belatedly come round to thinking it’s the way to earn more money out of us.

  5. We were saved from iTunes over a decade ago. Then Apple sued Realnetworks into oblivion for having the audacity of working with people’s iPods and to manage them.

    1. What? I want to lose my rare songs, remixes, international versions. Is that better? Yeah… I have them backed up. But, I’ve got my own curated iTunes/ Apple Music playlists, smart playlists etc. Kind of a bummer to lose that and have to start over. One star?

    2. I’m with you. The new Music App needs to have all the same management options for our existing music, playlists, and smart playlists that we have in iTunes. I got burned badly by the Pages fiasco and this could be a lot worse if the transition is not seamless.

      1. Thanks for your positive feedback/ comment. Let’s seriously hope that Apple is with us, too. With all of us who have been faithful iTunes users over the last nearly two decades! Don’t screw up people’s photos and don’t mess with their tunes!

    3. I totally agree with Legacy Music. We even use iTunes to manage & share music we wrote, played & recorded ourselves. There will never be a streaming music service that will archive and conveniently share those old demos.

      Problem is, about every 6 months or less, the iTunes directory file gets corrupted and all playlists & song ratings are lost. Every day, iTunes spins its beach ball and I wonder when the next crash will come. Apple can and should do better …. assuming it still cares about user experience. It seems every day they demonstrate that they don’t care about any users that don’t pay a monthly fee to support poor Ive’s automobile collection, Cue’s basketball & wardrobe expenses, Schiller’s real estate empire or Cook’s social travel account. These are all much more important than quality software apparently.

  6. Re: the Jobs quote MDN used in their take… For a man of far reaching vision, that quote represents a remarkably narrow and short-sighted view.

    Not surprised though. Back in the day when it might have “inspired” Jobs, it was an attitude expressed by a controversial, short-sighted governor of Colorado, (Lamm if I remember correctly).

    At any rate, Jobs was wrong.

    Death isn’t the greatest invention of life.

    Mutation is. Natural or human-made, it’s where all progress comes from.

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