iTunes () is a media player, media library, Internet radio broadcaster, mobile device management utility, and the client app for iTunes Store, developed by Apple Inc. It is used to purchase, play, download, and organize digital multimedia, on personal computers running the macOS and Windows operating systems, and can be used to rip songs from CDs, as well as play content with the use of dynamic, smart playlists. Options for sound optimizations exist, as well as ways to wirelessly share the iTunes library.
Originally announced by CEO Steve Jobs on January 9, 2001, iTunes' original and main focus was music, with a library offering organization, collection, and storage of users' music collections. In 2005, however, Apple expanded on the core features with support for digital video, podcasts, e-books, and mobile apps purchased from the iOS App Store (the last of which it discontinued in 2017). Until the release of iOS 5 in 2011, all iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads required iTunes for activation. Until the release of iOS 5 in 2011, iTunes was required for updating mobile apps. Newer iOS devices have less reliance on iTunes in order to function, though it can still be used to back up the contents of mobile devices, as well as to share files with personal computers.
Though well-received in its early years, iTunes soon received increasingly significant criticism for a bloated user experience, with Apple adopting an all-encompassing feature-set in iTunes rather than sticking to its original music-based purpose. On June 3, 2019, Apple announced that iTunes in macOS Catalina would be replaced by separate apps, namely Music, Podcasts, and TV. Finder would take over the device management capabilities. This change would not affect Windows or older macOS versions. By the mid-2010s, streaming media services surpassed iTunes' buy-to-own model, starting to generate more revenue in the industry.
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