Is iTunes Going Away? Sort Of. Here's What's Taking Its Place.

Is Apple Music the same as iTunes? No, but there is some overlap. Here's the deal with Apple's new music setup.

Where is iTunes on my Mac? This might be a question you're asking if you have just updated to MacOS Catalina or later, or switched from a PC to a Mac. Apple replaced the music part of iTunes with Apple Music at the end of 2019, so while many people have made the transition already, first-time Mac owners or the newly updated might be feeling anxious about where their music went, and worry it's hidden behind a paywall. While it is true that Apple Music has replaced iTunes in the latest MacOS updates, you're still able to access your old library for free, and can still buy individual songs and albums instead of paying for the subscription service. Here are the answers to all your questions about the Apple Music/iTunes switch including how does Apple Music work, who can get the current iTunes version, and what about non-music content?

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Is iTunes Going Away?

In a word, yes. But not for everyone right away. iTunes in its original form is no longer available on Macs running MacOS Catalina or later, but all the same contents, purchases, and capabilities are still available on your device, just in different places. We'll get into that below. To stay on top of all the changes Apple is constantly rolling out, check out our Tip of the Day!

What Is Apple Music?

Apple Music is Apple's music platform. It launched in 2015 as a music subscription service, and has since grown to include videos and your iTunes library. There are lots of great Apple Music features so if you're not familiar with it, it's worth checking out.

Who Can Still Use iTunes?

If you have a Mac and haven't updated to MacOS Catalina or later, you can still access iTunes. However, since Catalina isn't even the latest MacOS, you may find keeping iTunes isn't worth the functionality loss of not updating your system.

If you have a PC computer, you are also still able to access iTunes, and can update it through Apple's website.

How Does Apple Music Work? Can I Still Access My Old Purchases?

Yyou can! You'll need to download them to your computer through the Apple Music app rather than iTunes, though.  Here is how:

How to Download Previous Purchases to Your Mac

  1. Open Apple Music and click Account in the top menu bar.

  2. Click Purchased.

    Is Apple Music the same as iTunes
  3. Click the download icon next to the purchase you want on your Mac.

It's that easy!

Related: How to Find & Download Music from Apple Music on iPhone

What Is Replacing iTunes?

Fortunately, Apple strength is creating intuitive user interface, so your media has been divided up in a way that makes a lot of sense. Podcasts are in the Podcasts app, music is in the Music app, and movies and TV shows can be found through Apple TV.  Device management function like backing up your iPhone to your Mac are in Finder. 

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Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both's picture

Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both

Amy Spitzfaden Both is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, an award-winning novelist, and an iPhone enthusiast. Over the past decade, her work in the publishing industry has included live coverage of industry events including the Yale Publishing Course and Magazine Innovation’s ACT 9 Experience, providing editing services for several start-up publishing houses, and acting as newsstand consultant for magazines such as The Old Farmer’s Almanac and The New York Review of Books. She graduated from M.I.U. with a Bachelor’s in Literature and Writing, and has gone on to publish two novels and two short stories. Her debut novel Untold won the 2014 Chelson Award for Fiction.
Writing everything from book reviews to skincare tips, Amy discovered a passion for bringing exciting and useful information to even the most casual researcher. The mix of usability and endless possibilities is what drew her to Apple products originally, and the more she learns, the more she loves.
Amy lives in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter. When she’s not writing or glued to her iPhone, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and creating her own tea blends.