Nearly two decades after launching iTunes and changing music retail forever, it looks like Apple is finally shutting down the digital retailer, according to reports.
Bloomberg reports that during the software keynote at next week’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in California, Apple is going to replace iTunes with standalone music, television and podcast apps.
A move that has been rumoured for years, it will align Apple’s media strategy across the board: iPhones and iPads already offer separate Music, TV and Podcast apps in lieu of the centralised iTunes app that lives on Macs and Macbooks.
The new Music app is expected to offer some of the same functionalities that iTunes currently does – such as purchasing songs and syncing phones – but just with a more polished interface.
The end of iTunes means an end of an era. Before Steve Jobs debuted iTunes in the early 2000s, the music industry was struggling to deal with illegal downloads on file-sharing sites such as Napster, Kazaa and many more. Jobs’ new innovation presented the digital era’s first sustainable, user-friendly way to listen to music.
The latest incarnation of the now iconic music playing device comes in the form of the seventh generation iPod Touch, which is said to run “twice as fast” as its previous model due to an A10 Fusion chip.