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Mac’s New OS Spells the End of iTunes

It’s been nearly 20 years that iTunes has been the primary music player and library for Apple users, but with the new Mac OS update—Catalina—iTunes will no longer exist… at least not the way it did before… sort of.

Previously, everything that was saved as an MP3 or MP4 file—so music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks—would be saved in your iTunes library. However, with this new update, Apple is splitting iTunes into four more specific and focused categories: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, Apple Books, and Apple TV.

The idea here is obviously to streamline the app so it’s more user-friendly and allows you to spend less time searching through your library for a specific file (remember how files previously could be mislabeled, so you could have movies and TV shows mistakenly labeled as music).

What’s Staying

Apple Music will function as a precursor for the company’s new subscription service. However, it will still include all the previous features of iTunes, such as Apple Lossless collections and smart playlists. So if you’re concerned about losing all the playlists you’ve been working on since iTunes first launched 18 years ago, fear not.

The previous subsections of For You, Browse, and Radio will also still be available, as will be the option to purchase single songs and albums rather than a monthly subscription.

However, similar to the way iTunes will be importing all previously purchased music to Apple Music, Apple TV will still provide access to any movies or TV shows you purchased before the changes.

Apple TV will also provide the option to purchase or rent movies and TV shows without a subscription to any of the Apple TV channels, similar to the way iTunes operated in the past.

Additionally, the changes to iTunes will only be on Apple devices, so any devices running iTunes on Windows will remain unchanged.

What’s Different

Apple TV will function exclusively as a subscription service—you’ll be able to stream the same content you would from your Apple TV directly through the same (so you’ll be able to stream shows from channels like HBO, and Showtime provided you subscribe to them).

Meanwhile, Apple Podcasts will provide a pretty straightforward approach—you’ll easily be able to keep track of your favorite podcasts through the app.

The new OS will be rolling out a new feature called Apple Books, which will provide access to previously purchased audiobooks as well as the option to rent or purchase more.

Other Features

Catalina’s also coming with a new feature called Apple Sidecar which will allow your iPad to function as a mirrored display for your Mac—essentially, you’ll be able to use your iPad as an external display for your Mac.

Sidecar shouldn’t be too difficult to set up either—according to the new update, it operates via a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection (to use this feature, both devices must be running on the iOS Catalina, of course).