The iTunes era is over. At its annual developer conference today, Apple announced that it is splitting iTunes into three separate macOS apps: Podcasts, TV, and Music. The update will ship with macOS 10.15. The change makes sense, and has already happened on iOS. Apple Podcasts, for example, have been around iPhones and iPads for years, but never made it to macOS devices. iTunes itself is a relic of a different era when people bought all of their music and movies in one place, and it has felt neglected and outdated for quite some time.
The new apps feature colorful sidebars and clear menus that are easy to navigate, especially compared to the bloated iTunes. Apple Music, as the name suggests, is singularly focused on music and offers personalized recommendations while Podcasts is dedicated to the podcast listening experience. Along with the podcast app, Apple is announcing the introduction of a new machine learning feature that indexes shows so users can more easily search for content. The TV app will include exclusive content from Apple as well as shows from other vendors, including Showtime and HBO. It supports 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos audio.
Apple is focusing on services to increase hardware sales, so giving people a specific app to find specific content follows the company’s trajectory and new subscription offerings. The TV app, for example, is where the company’s new Apple TV Plus service will exist. People who still use iTunes for syncing will no longer see an app opening to do so. A phone or iPod will sync through the Finder sidebar.