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i Tunes as a music playing software predates both the music store it became synonymous with and the i Pod (when Apple announced the first version of i Tunes, it advertised that it could be used to transfer music to “popular MP3 players from Rio and Creative Labs”), but it was the tight integration of these three pillars that made it such a formidable piece of software.
You could buy a track for just 99 cents, rip some more from a CD, organize them into a playlist, and then quickly sync it to your i Pod, all with the same piece of software.
It’s not that Apple’s “Digital Hub” disappeared, it just transitioned into the cloud.
As i Pods were replaced with i Phones, the home computer was no longer the center of the digital household.
But now, in the year 2019, it’s finally being put out of its misery — and ours.
With mac OS 10.15 Catalina, the primary functions of i Tunes will be spun out into separate Music, TV, and Podcasts apps, bringing an end to the program’s two decades of dominance within the Apple software and hardware ecosystem.
As time went on, this approach morphed i Tunes from a sleek jukebox and i Pod companion into an overladen piece of software that cried out to be updated seemingly every time you tried to open it.
It envisaged the Mac as the hub that sat at the center of everyone’s digital lives, linking together digital cameras, music players, and “handheld organizers.” This became the driving philosophy behind i Tunes, a piece of software that could contain all of your entertainment.i Tunes’ core competency — organizing and managing your music collection — was no longer necessary once everything you could ever want was being streamed from the cloud for a flat monthly rate.When i Tunes first launched in 2001, Apple proudly touted its ability to rip, organize, play, and burn music.Total revenue for the music industry fell to billion in 2012, at the height of digital sales, down from billion in physical sales alone in 2003, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.The advent of streaming (fueled in no small part by Apple’s own late entry), meant that the i Tunes buy-to-own model was no longer the status quo, nor the music industry behemoth it once was.
Apple knew that people could be tempted to pay money for digital music rather than pirating it if the process was convenient enough, and the success of the i Tunes Store proves it was right.