Don't mourn for iTunes. Here's how to now listen to music on MacOS
Once you upgrade to MacOS Catalina, iTunes gets the heave-ho. Luckily, your music stays.
Clifford ColbyManaging Editor
Clifford is a managing editor at CNET, where he leads How-To coverage. He spent a handful of years at Peachpit Press, editing books on everything from the first iPhone to Python. He also worked at a handful of now-dead computer magazines, including MacWEEK and MacUser. Unrelated, he roots for the Oakland A's.
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Over the years, Apple handed more and more responsibility to the MacOS version of iTunes until the app seemed to be in charge of all your MacOS entertainment needs. Mac users will be much better served in Catalina, which adopts the iOS approach of letting several apps handle individual tasks.
While Apple has split iTunes into three apps, the switch to Catalina doesn't have to be jarring. Here's what you need to know about breaking free of iTunes in MacOS Catalina.
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Get started with the new Apple Music app
Apple's made it fairly easy to move from iTunes to its new music service in Catalina. For example, music that you've bought through through iTunes or imports from elsewhere will be available in the new Apple Music app.
Likewise, music playlists you created in iTunes will already appear in the new app -- you won't have to transfer a thing. iTunes gift cards and credit will still work, and you'll still buy music through the iTunes Store. Here's how to get set up and start listening to music.
1. In the Dock, tap the Music app to open it.
2. When prompted, use your Apple ID and password to sign in to the iTunes Store.
3. Tap the Get started listening button, and the Music app will pull in your iTunes playlists -- both the ones you've built and the smart ones iTunes made for you.
4. If none of your music is showing up and you sync your music library with Apple Music or iTunes Match, tap the Show all music button up at the top of the Music app. You can also choose the All Music option from the View menu to see all your songs.
Use the iTunes Store
While Music is new, the iTunes Store is much the same.
1. In the Music app, over on the left in the Music sidebar, and tap iTunes Store.
2. Apple's music store should look familiar to you, with new music running down the center of the app's window, charts over on the right and music that might interest you near the bottom.
If you are interested, you can also sign up for Apple Music -- Apple's similarly named subscription music-streaming service.
1. In the left sidebar, up near the top, tap For You to check out Apple Music, which lets you stream songs, listen to curated playlists and tune into radio stations.
2. Tap Try It Now to start a free three-month trial. After the trial, Apple Music is $9.99/£9.99/AU$11.99 a month. After you sign up, set a calendar reminder so you don't get charged after 90 days if you decide to back out.
If you are looking for the movies and TV shows you used to keep in iTunes prior to Catalina, those are now in the Apple TV app. Audiobooks are in the Apple Books app, and podcasts are in the Apple Books app. For more on Catalina, here's our fuller take on the new MacOS.