The news of global changes in iTunes started back in May when the first leaks of macOS Catalina wee published on several news websites. The official announcement didn’t make us wait. At the beginning of June, the changes in iTunes became a hot topic of discussion.
Long story short, iTunes is now split into three smaller apps – Music, Podcasts, and TV. Each of those, occupy a particular niche of iTunes’ functionality. When your Mac will be upgraded to the next version fo OS, so will be your iTunes.
Let’s go over the main changes
The key reason for iTunes reforms was its complexity. In more than 18 years, the platform has simply become too much. It was one thing when the service was just about buying music. Then, it became a supporting tool for iPods. The connection between the software and hardware was so tight that Apple even claimed that iTunes doesn’t make money, but iPods do.
Well, these good times are now gone, along with the popularity of iPods. So, one crucial pillar of iTunes’ business model was gone a long time ago. The platform had to become
more self-sufficient, and enriching the functionality seemed like the easiest way to do it.
It wasn’t long until iTunes also became a podcast hosting platform. A logical decision, indeed – why create separate services for podcasts if you can integrate it into your favorite music manager? There, however, first issues appeared. The interface had to stretch thin to accommodate several thousands of podcasts – and now that number has grown to 700 000.
Finally, the TV upgrade came in. Again, on its own, it made total sense. People were not
traditionally watching TV and instead, wanted to connect it to their devices. The best part is, they were even ready to pay. That’s where the final stretch had to come in.
By 2019, iTunes was filled with features, thousands of settings, filters, and dozens of menu. For new users, this was merely overwhelming. Apple, always hungry for some innovation, found themselves backed into a corner. So much change is yet to be done, but no space that could accommodate it all.
So, what are the benefits of upgraded iTunes?
? A simple interface. From its beginning, we loved this platform for its
simplicity. iTunes has lost it, but now, it has the chance of regaining that
elegant, intuitive design.
? More space for new features. Apple was tied in its innovation attempts
simply because the software couldn’t handle it.
? Fewer bugs. Splitting a monolith software into smaller, more manageable
pieces is a big step towards simplifying maintenance. Now there is less code to
edit ad it’s easier to oversee and modify.
? Clearly outlined purposes. Each tool covers a particular niche and
Apple will want to become a leading provider in each of them. This means each
service will have to develop individually without occupying each other’s
? Less CPU consumed. The platform with the functionality as rich as what
iTunes had, cannot be lightweight. The software has to install a bunch of
additional components and run them in the background. With smaller tools, there
is less need in these components, and therefore, the operating system will
carry a much lower load.
How does it all relate to Windows?
As soon as the news of the update came out, Windows users couldn’t help but notice that there is not a single word about their future. Later, however, the company ad to give
some answers. It turned out, the Windows’ version of iTunes will not be changed.
Now, this is where the situation gets interesting. Should Windows users be jealous of Mac users because they get the cool upgrade? Or, maybe it’s vice versa, and these are Mac owners that now have to worry because there is no guarantee of a new update being better?
Even if we put the petty Windows-Mac rivalry aside, there are still a lot of unresolved issues. Here is just a short list of questions that the news of iTunes updates spike in
Window users’ heads.
? What about the synchronization? If Mac users get an upgrade as well as iPhones and iPods, will these standalone applications be synchronized with a Windows version? Let’s not forget that the main reason for installing iTunes on a Windows PC is the ability to be connected to Apple devices. It would be a disaster if the synchronization ended up disabled due to these changes.
? How will the updates for Windows continue? Should we expect a split-up for our
PCs as well or new releases will be published for the all-in-one platform?
? Will the development team have time to release patches for Windows or will they be busy with brand new solutions for Mac instead?
? If Windows version will be split up later on, is thee a chance to refuse the upgrade?
? Should I install iTunes on my PC at this tme of uncertainty?
Let’s answer these questions, and while we are at it, take a look at the future of iTunes for Windows.
The future of iTunes for Windows PCs
Understanding the changes in iTunes for Windows is no small deal. As for now, it’s the most
popular software in the Microsoft Store, leaving behind even Instagram and Netflix. When you have millions of users who are dedicated to the music manager that isn’t even native to their operating system, that’s how you know things are serious.
Installing iTunes makes sense
If anything, the fact that devleopers started paying mor attnetion to the service should encourage you. If you install iTunes no, you’ll have time to work on older interface, maange your music on familiar territory, and fully prepare for the upcoming update.
If you are a beginner to iTunes, then you absolutely shouldn’t delaying getting an iTunes download for Windows 7. All the tutorials and guides are wirtten in regars to the old functionality. You’ll have time to learn more about the app before the interface chnages. With experience of using an old version, you’ll have no issues with even simpler new standalone apps.
Windows is not Apple’s priority yet
Obviously, and it’s unreasonable to expect that. Even Mac users didn’t see the official release of macOS Catalina. These new apps are available only in the demo version and are still being tested.
As soon as apps for Mac are released and tested correctly, that’s when Windows users can expect some of the developers’ attention to shift to their issues. So far, it looks like we will use the latest version of iTunes at least for 3-4 months, if not till the end of the year.
The Windows iTunes is likely to split up too
We think the only reason why Apple hasn’t split up Windows’ version as well is that their hands are full with the work on Mac version now. After all, they are releasing a new version of OS, and upgraded iTunes apps are just the tip of an iceberg.
However, to make oftware management and maintenance more manageable, it makes absolute sense for them to adopt the same approach to Windows. That’s also why we encourage WIndows users to follow news on iTunes upgrades for Mac – you never know when the same news will strike us as well.
Can I prefer the old version instead?
If you see that you are not entirely satisfied with what new apps have to offer, you can refuse the upgrade. For Mac users, it’s a bit tougher – they would have to ignore the
entire OS upgrades, including security patches, additional system functionality, and interface updates. Declining a new version of an OS is no joking matter.
Synchronization will still work
The only thing is, it will hardly be perfect at the beginning. While the core of synchronization is likely to remain the same, the feature itself will need polishing. It’s one thing to synchronize a single platform, and another to connect three standalone apps.
Still, Apple developers understand that seamless connection between music on Windows and iOS/Mac devices is the main reason even to install iTunes for PC. So, synchronization is undoubtedly here to stay.
Windows users have no reason to be upset so far. Sue, iTunes updates look quite promising. All three split-up apps look music simpler and intuitive that iTunes did. Still, we already got the majority of issues resolved after iTunes was officially added to the Store.
At least, now iTunes doesn’t install a bunch of additional software components to run them in a background mode. So, we are already close to a perfect iTunes experience. Sure, it’s sad that we won’t get upgrades anytime soon – but hey, at least it’s not getting worse.
So, is the future of iTunes for Windows bright? We’d say it is. Meanwhile, while developers are busy with Mac and iOS devices, we should follow the news and get ready for news on Windows upgrades. Windows’ iTunes will probably turn into three standalone applications, too. So, we are lucky to have a chance to follow the upgrade while it doesn’t influence our PCs. Our user experience, after all, has finally gotten tolerable, and even (almost) comfortable.