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Apple announces intent to end Itunes


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At long last, the demise of iTunes has come. On Monday, Apple announced that it will phase out the software once and for all. “If there’s one thing we hear over and over, it’s ‘Can iTunes do even more?’” quipped Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, onstage during the company’s annual developers conference. He then ran a demo of the trio of apps that will soon replace the platform: Music, TV, and Podcasts.

There are plenty of strategic reasons to put that poor 18-year-old software down to rest. Business-wise, this is all part of Apple’s strategy to transform into a bona fide entertainment studio. Separating different content into specialized platforms allows the company to promote its ever-growing slate of original programming, while expanding the possibilities for monthly subscription services. But even from the user perspective, iTunes has long felt old and clunky. What began as a music player meant to compete with Winamp (rest its soul) has over the years become a bloated catch-all for every media file on a person’s computer. It lurches between music, movies, podcasts, and audiobooks, and blends confusing promotional subcategories like “For You” and “Browse” with a person’s permanent libraries. In its past few updates, it has grown only more confusing to navigate, becoming a constant flash point on Apple bulletin boards. I interact with iTunes in its current form in the same way that I interact with that one package of chicken that has become a permanent, icy fixture in the back of my freezer: accidentally and as infrequently as possible.

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