Will Apple break up iTunes?

iTunes LogoWho don’t know iPods and iTunes? These iconic marks were on market for years. You had to place your music files into iTunes library and then sync them with iPod. Practically no edit options are available on iPod itself – you have to make changes on desktop iTunes and then sync them with iPod. This philosophy is still present even on iPhones XS and iPads Pro. It’s true, that you can download 3rd party music players based on folder hierarchy on iPhones, iPads and iOS-equipped iPods (iPod touch), but you can’t sync these apps with desktop iTunes, which may be pain if you love iTunes for playing music, as I do.

I would be glad, if I was able to manage my music not only on Mac, but also on iOS iTunes and then sync changes back into Mac. But Apple only allows Mac to iOS sync. Someone may said, that there is an iCloud Library, but that’s not enough. Not mentioning needed Internet connection, even with iCloud Library I can’t edit metadata, artworks, lyrics, exporting single music files for backups, etc. Mobile iTunes is not as robust as desktop iTunes. For example, how can I reach in iOS something like this?:

iTunes Songs

Click here for full-sized screenshot

There are just few details available in mobile iTunes, it’s just a toy in compare to professional iTunes on Mac, it even can’t work without its desktop counterpart. It’s just extremely limited mobile companion app and I would be glad for the same feature-packed iTunes on iOS, but it won’t happen.

Desktop iTunes is not just about playing music. It is very robust app for Apple’s ecosystem, you can even use old iTunes account alongside Apple ID. It’s historically based and pretty aged. Personally I think iTunes looks like typical bloatware player with many non-music features, like backing up and restoring iOS devices. As Apple user, my music streaming service of choice is Apple Music. But, to be honest, if I was on Windows or even Linux, I would probably get Spotify. iTunes for Windows is evil from hell, I would have to register Apple ID with many, many unusable stuff and services Im I’m not interested in. Apple’s ecosystem with my iMac Retina 5K, iPad Pro 2018 and iPhone 6s works great, I’m using Apple’s services, so iTunes is very useful for me, but I remember when I had Android-based smartphone. It was not so “sexy”, two bloated IDs (from Apple and Google). If you are 100% Apple user like me, you will probably like iTunes (I mean macOS version).

Apple should split up iTunes into separate apps. A music player for music with optional ability to sync in two ways with its mobile counterpart and integrated Apple Music service, a podcast app, an iOS devices manager, a video player, etc. iTunes, as we know it today, is too bloated.

In upcoming macOS 10.15, which will be previewed at WWDC 2019 in June, it’s rumored, that Apple will do some splits – a new standalone apps for music, videos and podcasts. it’s questionable, if it will be Marzipan-based or AppKit-based app, but it looks like it will be classic AppKit app, according to a report from 9to5Mac. It should keep many of music features of current iTunes app, like (smart) playlists, advanced library management and ability to sync with iOS devices and iPods.

Back in 2013 with OS X Mavericks, Apple did something similar to digital books by creating new stand-alone app called simple “iBooks”, which is in current macOS Mojave called “Books”.

I can’t wait for upcoming WWDC, but I don’t think that my dream – full featured iTunes for iOS, or at least for iPads, is gonna happen.

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