Apple is saying goodbye to iTunes: once the company’s revolutionary music program.
iTunes software made buying songs for 99 cents easy and available to everyone on the internet.
These days many people no longer use iTunes. On the iPhone, what iTunes does has been divided into separate apps for music, video and books. Apple replaced iTunes in the new operating system for its Mac computers called Catalina that was released Monday.
Having separate apps for music, video and other services lets Apple better control the kinds of media that it wants to sell. For example, it will permit Apple to push its TV streaming service and music services. Company officials hope this will help ease the effect of slowing sales for the iPhone.
Years ago, iTunes was a way to get music onto Apple’s main product, the iPod music player. Users connected the iPod to a computer, and downloaded songs simply and easily.
“I would just kind of mock my friends who were into anything other than iPods,” said Jacob Titus. He is a 26-year-old designer in South Bend, Indiana.
Apple began its iTunes Music Store in 2003, two years after releasing the iPod. It had simple pricing: 99 cents for a single song or $9.99 got a whole album of music. Because the price was so low, many buyers preferred legally using iTunes to getting illegal internet downloads.
But over time, iTunes expanded to include podcasts, e-books, audiobooks, movies and TV shows. As the software grew to support additional abilities, it lost its beloved simplicity.
Then, wireless downloads made it unnecessary to physically connect iPhones to a computer to get music and other media.
“At the time it seemed great,” Titus said. “But it kind of stayed that same speed forever.”
The way people listen to music also has changed. The RIAA, a U.S. music industry group, says it now gets 80 percent of its money from subscriptions and streaming services.
“The move away from iTunes really does (show) the general industry move away from sales” and toward subscriptions, said Randy Nelson of company Sensor Tower.
The Mac’s new Music app uses the old iTunes icon. It includes songs already bought from the iTunes store as well as Apple’s free online radio stations. It is also the home for Apple’s monthly music subscription service.
Apple Music subscribers will no longer see the iTunes music store on their computers, unless they restore it. Non-subscribers will see the store as a tab, along with ways to subscribe to Apple Music. On iPhones, iTunes Store remains its own app for buying music and video.
I’m Susan Shand.
The Associated Press reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for VOA Learning English. Mario Ritter Jr. was the editor.
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Words in This Story
software – n. the programs that run on a computer and perform certain functions
app – n. a computer program that performs a special functio
mock – v. to laugh at or make fun of someone
download – v. to move or copy (a file, program, etc.) from a usually larger computer system to another computer or device
subscription – n. an agreement that you make with a company to get a publication or service regularly and that you usually pay for in advance
icon – n. a small picture or design on a computer screen that represents a program or function
tab – n. a small, identifying label (called a tab) that, when selected on a computer screen, causes something to happen