Moments ago at Apple’s 2019 World Wide Developer Conference, Apple’s Craig Federighi confirmed that the company is discontinuing iTunes as an app for the desktop MacOS.

As reported Friday, the company is splitting the (rather bloated) iTunes app into specialized apps for Music, Podcasts and TV. Federighi began his presentation by joking about how bloated iTunes had become, showing mockups of Calendar and Mail inside the iTunes window.

The new “Apple Music” app appears to continue to support user libraries, though the company is notorious for forcing changes (iTunes was a frequent casualty of this) which require elaborate work arounds. The main emphasis of his presentation, though, was on Apple Music’s streaming option.

The entire discussion about iTunes and the new successor apps took just a few minutes before moving on to other matters, and was extremely light on the details. This is how 18 year old apps are put out to pasture.

All of the new software will be available to developers immediately (in beta form), with a public seed in July. The final software will be released in the Fall of 2019.

Streaming revenue now makes up nearly half of the music industry’s total revenue from recorded music. Revenue from downloads of mp3s, WAVS and other downloadable files declined by double digits – down 21.2% – in the last year alone, according to the annual report from the IFPI.

On Sunday Apple deleted all content from iTunes’ Facebook and Instagram pages, according to The Verge. The move was widely interpreted as representing a “clean slate” as iTunes is retired.


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