Jim Rossman: Is Apple breaking up iTunes? Yes and no

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A reader has a question about iTunes: "I heard a rumor that Apple was doing away with iTunes and replacing it with (Apple) Music. If so, how does that affect us old folks who still use the old iPods that rely on iTunes? I tried to find as much information as I could, but it's getting more confusing. Any help will be appreciated."

This is a good question because it affects iPad users as well.

The answer depends on what kind of computer you use.

If you have a Windows PC, you will continue to use iTunes for Windows to interact with your iOS devices. This includes syncing music and videos as well as offloading photos and videos you've created.

Mac users will see things differently, but it depends on which version of macOS they're running.

Apple just released the latest version of macOS called Catalina. If you are using any version of macOS prior to Catalina, you won't see any changes to iTunes functions.

You will see the changes after you make the jump to Catalina (macOS 10.15).

The change in how you interact with your iPod and iPad in macOS Catalina is pretty drastic.

According to Apple, your music, videos, podcasts and audiobooks are organized into their own dedicated apps. Before Catalina, they could all be found in iTunes.

Now Mac users will need to look for Apple Music, Apple TV, Apple Podcasts and Apple Books.

I, for one, am glad Apple decided to break up the bloated iTunes app into multiple apps that actually make sense.

My old iTunes library can now be found in the Apple Music app, which is also where I can subscribe to Apple Music or buy songs or albums from the iTunes Music store.

Buying or renting movies or TV shows or subscribing to Apple's new Apple TV+ service is now done in the Apple TV app. If you had ripped or purchased movies in your iTunes library, you'll find them in the Apple TV app.

Finally, you might be wondering how you'll interact with your iPhone or iPad to back up, restore or move files around.

When you connect your iOS device to your Mac running Catalina, instead of finding it in iTunes, you'll now find your device in the Finder window, on the left side column.

That's where you'll be able to set up syncing of music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, audiobooks, photos and files. It's also where you can back up and restore iOS.


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