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When Apple launches its new Mac software, macOS Catalina, this fall, you're going to see a lot of changes to iTunes. The app as you know it — regular ol' iTunes — is being replaced by three apps, including Apple Music, Apple TV and Podcasts.
If you have a ton of ripped music, playlists and a highly organized library, you might have worried about some headlines proclaiming that iTunes is dead.
It is, kind of, but you don't need to worry about your music. Let me explain what's going on.
iTunes was first launched in 2001. While it was once useful, it's turned into a sort of catch-all for media content. That's why Apple's finally splitting it into separate apps on the Mac, like it does on iPhones and iPads.
Note that the change only affects Mac users, according to media reports. Windows users will still use iTunes.
After the switch, Apple says, all your music will automatically show up in the Music app. That includes all of your playlists, ripped albums and purchased content. But movies and TV shows you purchased over the years will now live in a separate app called Apple TV. Podcasts will live in a separate podcasts app.
Audio books will continue to be available through the Apple Books app, instead of in iTunes.
Some people use iTunes instead of iCloud to sync their iPhones and Macs. That function will move to the Mac Finder.
While iTunes the app will be dead on the Mac, the store will live on. You'll still be able to use any iTunes gift cards you may have sitting around to buy new music or apps or movies and TV shows. You'll just need to open the iTunes Store from the left-side panel inside the Music app, or open the equivalent stores in the TV or Podcasts app, to buy new content.
"The iTunes Store will remain the same as it is today on iOS, PC, and Apple TV. And, as always, you can access and download all of your purchases on any of your device," Apple explains on its support page.
This isn't to say the migration will be perfect — migrating to new versions of any software often has hiccups. We won't know how smooth the experience is until it launches this fall.
But the point is: Even though iTunes is going away, your music and iTunes gift cards are not.