Apple’s most prolific media player, iTunes has officially been shuttered by the tech company.
Apple executive, Craig Federhigi made the announcement at the Worldwide Developers Conference. The application will be split into three separate services; Apple Music, Apple Podcast, and Apple TV.
iTunes was Apple’s digital media hub for 18 years. It was never the best media player available and Apple never really gave it a fighting chance. Its legacy, however, is undeniably powerful.
In 2001, at the Macworld Expo, Steve Jobs described how computers were bringing on the digital age by changing the devices used by people and how people interacted with their devices.
“We believe the PC, or more importantly the Mac, can become the digital hub of our new emerging digital lifestyle, with the ability to add tremendous value to these other digital devices.” Jobs said.
Nine months later, the iPod was released and went on to make Apple a very valuable company, but before that iTunes was making waves.
In its earliest iteration, iTunes revolutionized how and where people could access music. Its later bloat tells the story of how digitization ate the world.
Porting iTunes to Windows OSes was inevitable, iPod owners (now iPhone users) have to receive support, no matter the desktop OS they preferred.
But the addition of audiobook support, TV shows, music videos, podcasts, movies, college courses, etc., proved too much. But Apple kept plugging away, adding more features like iTunes Match and Genius Mixes, cluttering up the application and creating what Marco Arment referred to as “a toxic hellstew of technical cruft and a toxic hellstew of UI design.”
Now, in the negative space of its obsolescence, a fourth age is taking its place. Streaming has entered the arena and is poised to rule it all.
But we cannot forget what iTunes did for media players.
Goodbye iTunes…and thank you. You did so much for us.