iTunes Is Dead. What Will Happen To Its Best Feature?
By: Victor Luckerson
Source: The Ringer
The news that Apple is killing off iTunes has done more than just prompt nostalgia. It’s caused a crisis among users who cling to smart playlists, which both previewed the streaming age and honored the obsessive music curation habits of years past.
For 15 years, Marc Cameron has stuck with iTunes, since the day he got a click-wheel iPod in middle school. The nearly two-decade-old music player has stored his ripped CDs, his downloaded tracks, and the virtual library he’s accumulated via Apple Music. He now possesses 48,000 songs in total, a number as unwieldy as the multimedia behemoth iTunes has mutated into over the years. “You have the opportunity to customize so many things,” Cameron says. “It’s almost like a gift and a curse.”
The timeline of iTunes, launched 10 months before the iPod in January 2001, follows a familiar technological arc. An experience that initially felt magical became mundane and eventually miserable. Services like Spotify and Netflix have rendered the program’s original functionality—serving as a repository for the digital downloads on your hard drive—obsolete. And so on Monday Apple finally announced it’s pulling the plug on the software, prompting a flood of nostalgic memories about its hypnotic visualizers and increasingly clunky interface.