Still confused by the death of iTunes? We’re with you: Apple has given us tidbits of information about the upcoming retirement of its desktop media player, but several key details remained unclear.
Now, the company posted a new document (noticed by 9to5Mac) which explains exactly what will happen to the various facets of iTunes and how it’ll all work in macOS Catalina.
In terms of content, the easiest way to follow the changes is to think of four different types of content that were available for purchase through iTunes – music, movies and TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks – as each being moved to its separate app: Apple Music, Apple TV, Podcasts and Apple Books. Everything you’ve purchased, rented or imported into iTunes will be available in these apps.
Furthermore, your iTunes Gift Cards and credits won’t disappear; you’ll be able to use them with the new apps, as well as the App Store. And you’ll still be able to buy music on the Mac, iOS, PC and Apple TV through the iTunes Store. For other types of content, you’ll have to use the individual apps: You’ll buy movies and TV shows through Apple TV and books through Apple Books.
Finally, there’s the important matter of syncing, restoring and backing up your mobile devices – iPhone, iPad and iPod. That will all move to Finder, the file management app that’s available on every Mac.
This covers the basics, but Apple has shared some additional details. The company says that the new apps will organize your media collection in the same way your iOS apps do, and that accessing all your media will be “faster and simpler.”
The iTunes Store will remain the same as it is today, but it will no longer be a part of iTunes, the application – it will now reside in the (improved) Sidebar in the Apple Music app. What good is the iTunes Store if your music needs are catered through an (optional) Apple Music subscription, you may ask? Well, if you do subscribe to Apple Music, it won’t be very useful, and Apple will give you an option to hide it. Finally, if you’re not familiar with Apple Music (or can’t even download it right now because you’re in a country that’s not supported yet), don’t worry; everyone’s getting it with macOS Catalina.
As for Apple TV and Apple Books, both apps will have a store similar to the iTunes Store, and you’ll buy your movies, TV shows, and books there.
As for syncing, Apple says that “all of the ways” that you currently manage devices in iTunes will appear in Mac’s Finder app. This should also make it easier to drag and drop files to and from your devices.