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What Will Happen To My Media When iTunes Is Gone?

Wednesday June 12, 2019. 03:00 PM , from MacMost
WHen macOS Catalina comes out this fall, iTunes will be replaces with Music, Podcasts and TV apps. This leaves many people wondering what will happen to their iTunes puchases, media and how they will sync their iOS devices. The transition should be seemless for all, with many just experiencing the equivalent to an app name change from iTunes to Music. Syncing will move to the Finder. Changes to some aspects, like ringtone syncing, is unclear.

Check out What Will Happen To My Media When iTunes Is Gone? at YouTube for closed captioning and more options.
Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with A lot of people are worried about what's going to happen when iTunes goes away. Let me explain.
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When MacOS Catalina comes out it's not going to have iTunes anymore. So what will it have and what will happen to all your stuff. Right. You've got music. You've got stuff you've bought. You've got movies. Well, it's pretty simple. What's going to happen is instead of the iTunes app we're going to have three separate apps. Music, Podcasts, and TV. These will take over most of the functionality of the old iTunes app.
Now if you just use iTunes for music, like the music from CD's, purchased from iTunes, bought from other sources and imported in, then you can think of it just like this. That the app is simply changing its name from iTunes to Music. You'll find all the functionality you need in the new Music app. All the purchases that you've made before and all of the music content that you've got is going to go automatically into the Music app. So when you upgrade to Catalina and you run Music all your stuff will just be there. It's actually not going to go anywhere. It will still be stored in the same library, in the same place on your Mac. It will just be a new app that accesses that library. Yes, your playlists will be there too. It should be a pretty seamless transition.
So what about moving forward. Will you be able to do the same thing with the Music app, ripping songs, importing ones from other sources, and there will be the ability to purchase new ones. As a matter of fact you'll be able to purchase them from the iTunes Store. That's right.The name iTunes isn't completely going away. There will be an iTunes Music Store inside of the Music app.
So what about your podcasts? Some of us use iTunes just for podcasts or a combination of music and podcasts. All the podcast stuff is going to go to the podcast app. You've had the podcast app on iOS for awhile as well. The screens look very similar. You'll be able to follow your podcasts and everything that you've got going on now on your subscriptions will just carry over in the new app.
Now not a lot of people are talking about what's going to go on with the new TV app. It's going to take over the TV and movie sections of iTunes. So anything that you've purchased, anything that you've may have rented. That's going to appear in the TV app. But the TV app is also going to look a lot like the TV app on Apple TV and iOS. Which is great because it means all the new stuff Apple's doing for TV we're going to get on the Mac as well.
Another aspect of iTunes is audiobooks. But there's already a Books app and the Books app is simply going to continue to take over the audiobooks functions. So anything you've purchased in the past and future purchases you'll make you'll use simply with the Books app. So the Books app will do both eBooks and audio books.
So the transition should be really seamless. When you upgrade to Catalina it should all happen automatically. As a matter of fact there's not really anything to happen. Your libraries and everything will stay in place. It's just the new apps will access things instead of iTunes. Now a lot of people have been asking me should I be backing up my iTunes stuff. The answer is, of course, yes. You should always backup everything. You should of course have regular backups and before updating your operating system you're going to make sure your backups are intact. Maybe make an extra one anyway. There's no reason to think going from one app, iTunes, to three apps, Music, Podcasts, TV, is going to make any real difference with the actual data on your drive.
So a big problem is that a lot of people are saying iTunes is dead. But it's really just this app named iTunes on the Mac. The iTunes Store certainly is still going to be there, even called that. So, of course, that means your gift cards that say iTunes on them are still going to be perfectly valid for purchases. You already can use those iTunes' cards for things like purchasing apps and things that aren't called iTunes.
But wait! iTunes does more than just play music, podcasts, and video. It can also do things like sync your iOS devices. Now a lot of us have moved on to syncing completely with iCloud. It's by far a better way to do things. It all happens automatically and wirelessly and you don't have to connect your device and manually sync. But if you still want to use that old method you can. That will be moving to the Finder. Here you see what it looks like. Basically the screens look identical to how they looked in iTunes but now you simply find it by selecting your device in the left sidebar in the Finder when you have it connected. Then you can sync all the various categories just as before. It looks like we have complete syncing functionality carrying over into Catalina. It's just going to be in the Finder instead of iTunes.
So what about ringtones. Well I don't quite have an answer for this yet because it's not clear how this is going to work. With Mojave we already lost the ability to sync ringtones. Which simply means select from a list which ringtones we want and sync every time we connect. But you could add ringtones from your Mac to your iPhone very easily. I expect that to continue in Catalina. It's just a little unclear how that's going to work step by step. There are other ways to add ringtones to your iPhone as well. So we'll just have to wait and see how this is going to work out.
Now there is still one place where you'll still be able to find an iTunes app. That will be on Windows. The iTunes app on windows allows users to manage their iOS devices using a windows machine and for the time being Apple's going to keep that app alive.
So what do you need to do? Well, right now you don't need to do anything. Catalina is in early testing for developers only. It will be in public beta in July. I don't expect it to be released until September at the earliest. So if there's anything that you need to do before you update we'll know before then. But most likely there's nothing you need to do at all. Run the update and everything will happen automatically. You'll see your music in the Music app, your podcasts in the Podcast app, and your TV and video content in the TV app.
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