Almost two decades after Apple presented its panacea to a dying record industry, iTunes, the computer giant is finally unplugging its famous download store.
Buried in a stream of corporate updates shared overnight from California, where the trillion-dollar company is hosting its annual developer’s conference, Apple unveiled its own version of an iTunes-killer.
It’s unbundling what’s now become a clunky service into three all-new apps for music, TV and movies, and podcasts, which will launch later in year with the next version of Mac OS, titled “Catalina.”
The new Music app for Mac will be fast and fun to use, according to the corporate blurb, and should feature a licensed catalogue of more than 50 million songs, playlists and videos.
And what about your precious downloads? Apple thought of that. Users will have access to their entire music library, whether they’re downloaded, bought or ripped from a CD, a statement reads.
Apple will continue to operate the iTunes Music Store in the Finder on Mac, according to Billboard, and the iTunes app is expected to live on in Windows.
When it launched in the U.S. in 2003, the iTunes Music Stores was a breath of fresh air for a record industry that was trying and desperately failing to come up with an alternative to “free” (the download store arrived in Australia more than two years later, on Oct. 25, 2005).