How Apple’s iTunes went so wrong

William Gallagher for AppleInsider:

Now that Apple is splitting up the iTunes app, it’s time to see what a lightning bolt the original iTunes app was to music and to Apple. And it’s time to see where —or whether —it went so wrong that the WWDC audience cheered to see it be replaced by Music, TV and Podcast apps.

Just over a decade after it was introduced… Tunes was a music-playing, film-playing, TV-playing, music-buying, film-buying-or-renting, TV-buying, iPod syncing, iPhone setup and backup, podcasting lipsmacking, thirst-quenching, Facebook and Twitter app, with ringtones. And then in 2015 they added Apple Music.

If you came in cold to iTunes in 2015, say, it was a phenomenally confusing app. That’s why people cheered when Apple announced that it was breaking up the features of iTunes into separate apps.

MacDailyNews Take: Goodbye, iTunes (sort of, Windows sufferers, appropriately, get to suffer along with it for now, with no end date in sight). You served Apple well, even helping to propel the company to new heights, but, by the end, you’ll forgive us when we say, “Good riddance, bloatware!”


  1. What’s the big deal. iTunes evolved as Apple did. I remember when iTunes came out and I started ripping all my CDs. This was well before the iPod was released and during the time of the first iMacs.
    Of course it became bloatware but look at everything it handled over the last 20+ years. Just to think that the software lasted that long and went from a CD ripping app to ring able to handle multiple formats, plus act as a media server and interface for an online store.
    I have over 2TB of media content in my library and iTunes has managed that well with minimal issues. I think that is remarkable.
    It is great that Apple is breaking up the app. It’s overdue but this application served well for many years and been the mainstay for Apple’s growth outside of Macs.

    1. I am not enthusiastic about Apple breaking up iTunes. Do you really think the new apps will handle your 2TB of media seamlessly without a hiccup? iTunes was due for an overhaul but this breakup seems more like a convenient way for Apple to standardize even more of Mac OS with their stripped down iOS apps (and more effectively sell Apple Music subs) than enhance the user experience. I’ll be sticking with High Sierra on my main machine until it stops receiving security updates.

  2. I can’t really comment on issues with iTunes for Windows because I haven’t used it in a decade.

    That said, I’ve never had a problem with iTunes on the Mac. It has always worked just fine for managing my 6500+ song collection across all my devices using using iTunes Match.

    The ‘iTunes sucks’ meme is the tech echo chamber at its finest. Utter group think with no basis in reality.

  3. I’ve always loved Sound Jam (iTunes)! It was a great transition from illegally downloaded (e.g. iPod + Napster) to purchased media. Well done, Apple! It also saved us from the nightmare that was .wma + Zune that could have taken over the world. It’s time to separate many of its functions now.

  4. I use iTunes to backup my iPhone and I suspect Apple will discontinue this function to force all iPhone users to back up to the cloud. Apple giveth and Apple taketh away.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.