Where Are iTunes Features in macOS Catalina?


With macOS CatalinaiTunes is gone once and for all. Music, videos, and podcasts have new applications, and Finder now supports synchronization and device backups. Here's what you need to know in a post-iTunes world.

iTunes is not completely gone, however, Apple will still provide the classic iTunes application for Windows PC.

The music is now found in the music app

Applying music in macOS Catalina

macOS Catalina includes a new application called Music, which uses an application icon very similar to the one used by iTunes in the past. You'll listen to Apple Music streaming, access previously purchased music, manage your local music library, and make new digital purchases on the iTunes Store. This is also where you will find Apple's music video library.

The Music app looks great on iTunes, although simplified and lightened to focus only on music. If you have an Apple Music subscription, the app should automatically add to your iCloud music library, as long as you are logged in to your Apple ID under System Preferences> Apple ID.

The Music app does not display the iTunes Store by default or your star rating. You can re-enable these features by clicking Music> Preferences, and then turning on "iTunes Store" and "Star Rating" in the General tab. These preferences are very similar to those you had before in iTunes, including the ability to specify local media folders under the Files tab.

Preferences in the application MacOS Catalina Music.

Click on the quote icon in the upper right corner of the screen to view the lyrics, if any. You can also click on the list icon next to it to see the songs to play. Navigate to the old iTunes mini-player by clicking on the album art in the Current Play box.

If other users have shared their library locally, a small drop-down menu appears next to "Library" in the sidebar. Click on it to reveal all the other libraries to which you can connect.

How to share music on macOS Catalina

If iTunes was right, it was library sharing: a simple way to share your music library with the rest of your local network by checking a box. Fortunately, you can still do it. you simply need to activate it from your Mac's sharing preferences:

Go to System Preferences> Sharing.
Click Media Sharing and give your library a name, and check the "Share Media with Guests" option.
Click on "Options" to set an optional password. You can also specify whether you want to share specific playlists or the entire contents of your music library.

It's also at this location that you can enable home sharing, which allows you to share your library seamlessly via other devices connected to the same Apple ID.

Enabling media sharing in macOS Catalina

Other apps sharing iTunes XML data

iTunes is often favored by DJs and other media professionals for its direct approach to music organization. Many third-party applications have been designed for the iTunes library, which allows DJs to use their music library in third-party applications.

The removal of iTunes for the benefit of music has caused problems to many. XML data sharing is supported in Music, but many third-party applications have not yet been updated to accommodate changes. Apple recommends anyone relying on applications such as Traktor and Serato (which can both use the XML data from iTunes) to wait for developers to have updated their apps.

For now, you can still use Music's XML data in third-party applications, but you will need to manually export each playlist using the options in the File> Library command (not to mention changing the "Format" to XML ). Any changes you make will not be synced to your music library. It is therefore a temporary fix.

Device synchronization is now handled by the Finder

Synchronize iOS devices in macOS Catalina via Finder

IPhone, iPad and iPod device management is now fully managed by the Finder. This includes media synchronization, manual updating of iOS, restoring factory settings and creating local backups. Apple has essentially moved the controls that were previously in iTunes in Finder.

To manage your iOS device under macOS Catalina:

Connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac via a Lightning cable.
Unlock your device and tap "Trust" and enter your password when prompted.
Open a Finder window and scroll down the sidebar until you see "Tim's iPhone" (or the name of your iPhone).
Click on the iPhone and click on "Trust" then wait.

You should now see your iPhone appear in the Finder window and a table of tabs to manage the device settings and support. In the General tab, check the box "Show this iPhone in Wi-Fi mode" to enable wireless synchronization (know that this is much slower than using a Lightning cable).

These controls are virtually identical to those found in iTunes before it is removed. You can choose to manually back up your iPhone to your computer, which is ideal if you switch from one old iPhone to another. If you want to manually manage backups of your iOS device, you will always find them in the ~ / Library / Application Support / MobileSync / folder.

Click on each of the tabs to manage music, movies, TV shows and any other content you may want to sync with your iOS device. The Files tab allows you to download and download files into application directories, a feature previously known as "iTunes File Sharing". Use drag and drop to copy files to and from your mobile device.

Note: Apple has maintained backward compatibility with earlier versions of iOS so you can sync devices older than iOS 13 with the help of Catalina and Finder. If you've updated your iOS device to iOS 13, you'll still need to use Catalina to sync and manage your device (previous versions of MacOS would not work).

Listen to podcasts in the new Podcasts app

New Podcasts app in macOS Catalina

A new application called Podcasts is now used for managing podcasts. This is very similar to the Music app, with the difference that you will find new episodes of your favorite podcasts instead of music. All podcasts that you want to sync to your iPhone will need to be managed using Finder.

You can use the Podcasts app to browse the Apple Podcasts library, subscribe to new programs and see what's popular by clicking Top Charts. Go to Podcasts> Preferences to set options such as how often the app checks for new content, when to download new episodes, and how to disable automatic deletion of episodes read.

Downloaded podcast episodes no longer appear in your iTunes library folder and instead hide in ~ / Library / Group Containers / 243LU87 thirame.groups.com.apple.podcasts / Library / Cache.

Watch video content in the TV application

New TV application under macOS Catalina

The latest new app calls TV and, despite its name, it's all the video content you can buy, rent or subscribe. This includes everything you've already purchased on iTunes, new movies for rent, and the next Apple TV + subscription service.

Click the Library tab to quickly access the videos you already have. The other tabs are about browsing, renting and buying new content. Click on a movie or TV show to see the trailers and find out more. You will also see a list of actors and teams involved in the movie, and you can click on any of them to see more content.

Launch TV> Preferences and click on Files to set the location of your favorite media folder. You can import movies and other content by dragging and dropping. Anything you download will be stored in your usual Movies folder as a MOVPKG extension that can be played by the TV application. Third-party applications will not be able to display these files correctly because of the DRM used.

Goodbye iTunes

The removal of iTunes is one of the most radical changes of macOS Catalina. The use of applications dedicated to music, podcasts and videos makes sense. Removing iTunes from iOS device management is a decision that Apple probably should have made years ago. Things have so much more meaning now.

These are not the only features we like in Apple's latest desktop operating system. Check-out What's new in macOS Catalinaand whether or not you need to upgrade now or wait.

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