There is a new way to manage your music collection on your Mac. When Apple released macOS Catalina iTunes was replaced by a new Music app. In this article we walk thought the various features of the Music app and how to use them on your Mac. Read on to find out how to use the Music app on the Mac including some useful tips and troubleshooting advice.
What will happen to iTunes?
You might be wondering what will happen to iTunes if you install Catalina on your Mac. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that your iTunes music will disappear, once Catalina is installed you will find your entire music collection inside the new Music app. You won’t need to reimport anything, but you may want to spend some time getting familiar with the new-look app.
If you have an iPhone or iPad, or even an iPod, you will be familiar with the Music app, because it’s been on iOS for years. In macOS Catalina, Apple has finally brought iOS and macOS into sync when it comes to music management.
Speaking of syncing, the way you sync your iPhone with your Mac, and your music with your iPhone, has also changed in macOS Catalina, but we will address that in a separate article. How to sync your iPhone and Mac.
What about Windows users? If you are a Windows user wondering what will happen to iTunes, and how you will back up and sync your iPhone, fear not! Nothing will change for you. The same for anyone who has a Mac that won’t be able to run Catalina, you will still be able to continue to use iTunes.
It’s also worth mentioning here that the iTunes Store will remain on Macs that are upgraded to Catalina, although Apple appears to have hidden it… We will discuss how to use the iTunes Store in more detail below.
Moving from iTunes to Music on a Mac
Chances are you’ve been using iTunes for a while, in which case you will be familiar with logging in to iTunes using your Apple ID and password, you’ll also know that you can only authorise iTunes (and now the Music app) on five computers. (That’s why we always advise that you deauthorise iTunes before moving to a new Mac.)
When you open the Music app for the first time you will need to log in using your Apple ID and password (it’s very likely you have one even if you think you don’t, but here’s how to create an Apple ID).
Then all your music that you have purchased previously in Apple’s iTunes Store, any music you store in iCloud if you have signed up for iTunes Match or Apple Music, and, if you are a subscriber, the entire Apple Music library, will become available to you. (We’ll discuss the iTunes Store and Apple Music later on).
If that doesn’t happen immediately, it probably means the Mac isn’t authorised yet. If this is a new Mac, or even your first Mac, you will need to authorise it. In the Music menu click on Account > Authorisations > Authorise this computer.
Now that you are signed into the Music app you should be able to see any music you had previously imported from CDs, downloaded, bought from the iTunes Music Store, or downloaded from Apple Music (if you are a subscriber). All your playlists, ratings and other information should be retained.
Now you are in the new Music app you should find that it’s all pretty familiar, either because you use the Music app on the iPhone, or because it’s not a whole lot different to iTunes. The change is more about what’s no longer there, as opposed to what is there.
- All your music you have imported or downloaded will be available
- If you have tracks stored in the cloud (which is an option if you subscribe to iTunes Match or Apple Music) they will have a cloud symbol beside them, you can stream them, or download them
- Your playlists will be there and any ratings you have attributed to tracks will be maintained
- The Music app will also know the play counts of any tracks you have previously played in iTunes
- You can access Apple Music if you are a subscriber
Can I still buy music from the iTunes Store?
You might be wondering where the iTunes Store is…
You can still buy music from the iTunes Store – but you now need to go to Music > Preferences > General and select Show: iTunes Store before that option will appear.
You may also be wondering if iTunes Vouchers will still work once the Music app replaces iTunes – they will. The iTunes Store isn’t going anywhere, yet.
How to add music to the Music app on Mac
Want to add some music to the Music app? There are a few ways you can do so:
- Buy a track from iTunes Store (can’t see it? Check the step above)
- Download a track from Apple Music (if you are a subscriber)
- Import tracks from a CD
- Download tracks from another service
- Import tracks from a memory stick
You don’t need to subscribe to Apple Music in order to use the Music app. In fact, you could entirely populate your Music library with tracks you have imported from your collection of CDs. Of course we don’t advocate stealing music, so we don’t recommend any methods that involve ripping friend’s CDs, or downloading music from sharing sites, for example.
There are a variety of ways to add music to the Music app and we will run through each below.
How to buy music from the iTunes Store
As we said above, you first need to change your settings to reveal the iTunes Store as this doesn’t see to be visible by default.
As we said above, you need to reveal the iTunes Store, which Apple now hides by default (a strange move). Go to Music > Preferences > General and select Show: iTunes Store.
Once in the iTunes Store you can search for music, listen to a preview, and buy tracks, albums, or even music videos. Tracks cost between 59p and 99p.
How to download a track from Apple Music
If you have subscribed to Apple Music (there’s a three month free trial, and it’s £9.99/$9.99 a month, or £14.99/$14.99 a month if you sign up as a family – up to six people) you will be able to listen to anything that’s available via the service, that’s any of the 45 million songs (compared to 35 million in Spotify’s library).
You can sign up for a free trial here.
To listen to music in Apple Music, you could just search for an album or artist, or you can see what Apple thinks you might like based on your preferences. Just go to the For You section in the Music app. This will deliver your own personalised recommendations of music.
Apple provides playlists based on music you listen too and like, and music recommendations by its team of experts. It’s a great way of discovering new music you might not hear otherwise. You can also find out what your friends are listening too, if they are sharing that information via the service.
When you are playing tracks in Apple Music they are usually streamed from the cloud, however, you can download them into your library so that you can listen offline, add them to playlists and more.
To start you need to find the track you want. If you know what you are looking for you can search for it. Here’s how:
- Click on the Search field (you don’t have to type anything yet)
- You’ll see three options appear on the left: Apple Music, Your Library and iTunes Store. Select Apple Music.
- Now type in the track details or artist name.
- Click once on the name of the track you want to download and you’ll see a + sign
- Click on that + to add the track to your library.
- To check that the track is downloaded click on Recently Added.
We have a complete guide to how to use Apple Music here. Plus, here’s how to get Apple Music for free.
How to import tracks from a CD
If your Mac has a CD/DVD drive it probably is too old to run Catalina, and therefore you won’t be concerned with importing music into the Music app, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t import tracks from a CD. You just need to have access to a CD drive, either one that you plug into your Mac, or on a nearby Mac. We discuss how to use Remote Drive here.
- Slot your CD into the DVD drive.
- In the Music app you should see a CD button, click on it.
- Choose from Import all songs, or if you do’t want to import all songs just tick the ones you want.
- If you are connected to the internet you will see track information.
- Click on Import CD.
- Once the songs are imported, click on Eject.
By default your tracks will import as AAC files, but you can change the setting, or convert them to MP3.
Download tracks from another service
You don’t have to get your music from iTunes or Apple Music, you can download any music directly into your iTunes, as long as it doesn’t have some sort of rights protection associated with it tying it to a particular service.
When you download the music it will automatically go to your Downloads folder on your Mac.
Just open the Downloads folder, locate the tracks and drag them into your Music library. As long as they are a compatible format they will now be available to play in Music.
You may even find that if you click on the track in the downloads folder it will automatically be opened and play in your Music app, being added in the process.
Import tracks from a memory stick
The same goes for importing music from a memory stick:
- Plug it into your Mac.
- Locate the tracks.
- Drag and drop them onto the Music app.
Using the Music app
Our music library is decades old now, so it’s pretty messy and overwhelming, but luckily there are lots of ways to find the music you want to listen to.
How to find a track
If there is a particular track or album, or artist you want to play there are various ways to track them down in your collection.
You’ll find various options in the left hand nav bar of the Music app. The first section relates to Apple Music: For You, Browse, Radio, and below that, your Library: Recently Added, Artists, Albums, Songs. This is where you will see any music in your personal collection.
Depending on whether you have music in the iCloud Music Library (if you are signed up to iTunes Match or Apple Music) the music may be stored in iCloud rather than on your Mac, so you can click on a track to stream it, or click on the cloud icon to download it to your computer.
Recently Added includes anything new you have bought from iTunes, downloaded from Apple music, imported some other way. Artists, Albums and Songs are different ways of sorting what music you have – if you click on Artists, you’ll see a list of artists and beside that tracks by album, for example.
Albums view shows you all your albums with art work if that’s available, it’s quite a nice visual image if the artwork is downloaded, not so great if it isn’t (our library looks terrible in this view: here’s how to download the artwork).
Next you will find any Playlists you have set up. We’ll discuss how to use Playlists below.
How to play music on a Mac
To play music all you need to do is click on a track in your library.
However, what plays next will depend on a variety of factors.
If you want to play music from a particular album you need to locate your track in album view, then the rest of the album will play once the initial track finishes.
You don’t have to play the track in order – you could shuffle the tracks, just click on the icon with two arrows crossing.
Similarly you could play tracks by a particular artist by locating the track in the Artist view.
Alternatively you can just play a track and turn on shuffle so that the next track to play is a randomly selected track from your music library.
How to shuffle music
To shuffle music so it plays in a random order, click on the arrows on the left of the area at the top of the window that shows the track currently playing. When they are shaded dark grey the shuffle feature is on.
How to repeat a track
If you really like a track you can choose to play it on repeat.
The way you do this in Music is a little different, and not as obvious as in iTunes.
In the menu, click on Controls > Repeat > One, to play a track on repeat.
How to find out what tracks up next
If you have Shuffle on you can still see what track will play next.
- Click on the icon that shows three lines in a list.
- Click on Up Next. Here you will see the list of tracks that are on your Playlist.
- Hover on any track and a – will come up which will allow you to remove it.
How to skip a track
If a track starts to play that you don’t want to listen to it’s easy to just skip it. Click on the fast forward icon beside the play button.
If you skip tracks you don’t like you could remove them later by creating a smart playlist of skipped tracks and deleting them all – we’ll explain how to make a smart playlist below.
How to delete a track
Of course you could just delete a track from your music library.
- Right click on the track and choose Delete From Library.
- If you have iTunes Match you’ll see a message asking you to confirm you want to delete the song from your iCloud Music Library.
- Click on Delete Song.
Best way to sort music in the Music app
Now that you have some music in your library you’ll want to do a bit of housekeeping for the best listening experience.
If you have an iTunes library with multiple tracks amassed over many years we expect that you’d recommend anyone new to the Music app follow this advice.
We have over 5,000 items in our Music library. That’s probably a fraction of what some people have. We have to admit that we don’t listen to them all – in fact there are some that we actually hate listening too. You can easily make sure that the tracts you enjoy listening to play often and the ones you despise never play. There are various ways of doing this.
Rate your music
You can give a track a rating out of five, or you can heart a track you love. Once you have done that it’s easy to just play music you like.
The easiest way to do this is to click on the heart icon beside the listing for the track that is playing.
If you like to be a bit more specific, then you can rate your tracks, you’ll need to add the rating column to the Music view, so right/control-click on the row at the top and choose Rating.
Hover over that column beside the track you like and add a rating.
Other ways to sort your music
There are various ways you can manage your Music library, these haven’t really changed since iTunes. For example, you can choose what column headings appear, for example, alongside Name, Time, Artist, you can also see Genre, Plays (as in how many times) and it you right click on the bar you can choose from an extensive list of options including whether it’s been skipped, purchase date, last played, in addition to whether you have indicated that you ‘love’ it.
We find that sorting our library by the Most Played is a good way to find our favourite tracks.
However, the best way to play your favourite music is to create a playlist.
There are two ways to make playlists in the Music app (as there were in iTunes). You can either add music to a playlist, or you can create a Smart Playlist, whereby the music that fits a number of rules set by you is added to a playlist (we like this second method as it can be updated in real time).
Create a new playlist
If you want to create a New Playlist here’s what to do:
- Click on File > New > New Playlist.
- Name your Playlist – you will now see the playlist appear in the sidebar.
- Go to Songs, Artists, Albums or any playlist that might contain tracks you want to add to the new playlist, or simply search for the music you want to add – but note you can’t add Apple Music tracks without first clocking on + to ‘Add’ them and then opening Recently Added to locate them there (it’s not all that logical unfortunately).
- Locate your playlist in the sidebar but don’t click on it. Just drag the songs you want to add onto it.
Create a smart playlist
Apple also allows you to create Smart Playlists which work in a similar way to smart folders in the Finder. You set some rules and the music that fits those rules will appear in that playlist.
So, for example, you could create a playlist automatically that includes 30 songs by a particular Artist, or the 25 songs you have played the most, or the 25 songs last played, or songs last played in August 2007.
Create a genius playlist
iTunes had a feature called iTunes Genius, which was an algorithm that would gather similar tracks together. If there was a track you really liked you could click on iTunes Genius to create a Playlist of tracks like it.
This is maintained in Music.
Just right click on a track and choose Genius Suggestions. You’ll see a list of tracks you own, just click Start Genius if you want to start playing them, or click on Save as Playlist and a playlist will be saved.
Create an Apple Music Radio station
Another way to discover the kind of music you like is via Apple Music, if you have a subscription.
Find the track you want to base your Radio station on in your library and right/control-click on it as above.
Choose Create Station and it will immediately start playing your track, followed by other similar music from the Apple Music store.
This is a great way to discover new music you might not have heard otherwise.
In other news, the UK government is investigating whether streaming services pay artists enough.
iTunes is a media library, media player, online radio station (Beats 1), and much more. Apple Music is a separate music streaming service developed by Apple Inc. iTunes can be used as a media player to stream your music on the go. Apple Music cannot be used as a media player.How do I rip audio from iTunes? ›
Convert iTunes AAC Audio to MP3 with iTunes
Select one song you want to rip to MP3 format. 2. Click on File on the upper left corner. Then go to "Convert" > "Create MP3 Version".
In the Music app on your Mac, choose Music > Settings, then click Files. Click Import Settings, then select “Use error correction when reading Audio CDs.” Insert the CD and import the songs again.What happened to the iTunes app on Mac? ›
With macOS Catalina, your iTunes media library is now available in the Apple Music app, Apple TV app, Apple Books app, and Apple Podcasts app. And Finder is where you can manage and sync content on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.Do I need both iTunes and Apple Music? ›
While the two services work together, you're not required to use them together. You can use Apple Music without an iTunes Match subscription, and vice versa.Does anyone still use iTunes? ›
Today, iTunes as an app still exists on Windows devices and older Mac operating systems, still combining podcasts, videos, audiobooks and device management.Why can't I convert iTunes songs to MP3? ›
Apple Music files cannot be converted to MP3 format because these files use a kind of DRM that prevents it.How do I convert my entire iTunes Library to MP3? ›
In the iTunes app on your PC, choose Edit > Preferences, then click General. Click Import Settings. In the Import Using pop-up menu, choose the format you want to convert songs to, then click OK to save the settings. Select one or more songs in your library, then choose File > Convert > Create [format] Version.What program to rip from Apple Music? ›
|DRmare Audio Converter||Soundloaders|
|Price||Free trial; $14.95/month; $29.95/quarter; $69.95/lifetime||Free|
|Supported Platforms||Windows/Mac||Mobile and desktop web browsers|
|Output Formats||MP3/FLAC/AAC/ M4A/M4B/WAV||MP3|
|Input Formats||Audio from Apple Music, iTunes, Audible, etc.||Apple Music|
Windows users can still use iTunes. Apple iTunes and Music apps can rip CDs and play back the music on your Mac or Windows PC. To rip a CD with music on the Mac, follow the directions at https://support.apple.com/guide/music/import-songs-from-cds-mus2935/mac.
You can import songs from CDs into your iTunes library. Once you import songs, you can listen to them without having the original CD in the disc drive. The default encoding format is AAC. To change formats, see Choose import settings.Can iTunes still rip CDs? ›
Import songs from CDs into your iTunes library
In the iTunes app on your PC, insert an audio CD into your computer's CD or DVD drive, or into an external drive that's connected to your computer. If you don't see info for the CD, click the CD button near the top left of the iTunes window.
You can use apps like Vox player and MediaMonkey to manage your iTunes library. Q. What is Apple's replacement for iTunes? With the launch of macOS Catalina, Apple introduced dedicated apps namely Apple Music, Apple TV, Apple Podcasts, and Apple Books to replicate the functionalities of iTunes.Is iTunes still available 2023? ›
iTunes still exists in 2023, but only as a legacy app that is no longer supported by Apple. The future of media consumption on Windows is now divided into three separate apps: Music, TV, and Podcasts. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on your personal preferences and needs.Why can't i connect to iTunes on my Mac? ›
If your computer still doesn't connect, make sure your internet connection is working—open a web browser and visit a website. If your internet connection is OK, there may be a problem with the iTunes Store. Try visiting the store again later. Make sure your computer's date, time, and time zone are set correctly.Is everything on Apple Music on iTunes? ›
An Apple Music subscription offers all of the benefits of iTunes Match, along with access to the entire Apple Music catalogue. You'll get unlimited skips for Apple Music radio stations, unlimited listening for the entire Apple Music catalogue and access to your purchased and ripped library.What is the difference between Apple Store and iTunes? ›
The iTunes Store allows users to purchase and download items directly to portable Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and iPod Touch. Apple offers three apps, each of which provides access to certain types of content. The App Store app sells apps for iOS, and also provides updates to these apps.Why can't I download iTunes on my Mac? ›
iTunes is no longer supported for Mac, use the Music app instead.Where is music stored on Mac? ›
In the Music app on your Mac, click Songs in the sidebar. Do one of the following: Find out where a file is stored: Select the item, then choose Song > Info. The path to the file is shown at the bottom of the File pane (next to location).How much does iTunes cost? ›
So, how much is iTunes a month? Well, the standard subscription price is $9.99 per regular user. There is also a student subscription which costs $4.99. The best of all, in the users 'opinion, is the family subscription which costs $14.99 per month.
iTunes works with five audio file formats: AAC, AIFF, Apple Lossless, MP3, and WAV. Using the Import feature, iTunes can encode files from a CD to any of the five file formats. It can also automatically encode multiple file formats when burning a CD. Each file format is suited for a specific purpose.How do I download music from iTunes to my computer? ›
Download music to your computer
To download music in your iTunes library to your computer, do one of the following: Click the iCloud Download button next to the item. Move the pointer over an item (such as a song or album), click the More button , then choose Download.
Convert Apple Music to MP3 for Free
Sidify Apple Music Converter Free is the best freeware that enables Windows users to convert the Apple Music songs, iTunes M4P music, and audiobooks to digital audio formats like MP3, AAC, FLAC, or WAV.
While AAC versus MP3 sound capabilities don't vary considerably, AAC has the upper hand at lower bit rates. If you're working with bit rates lower than 128 kbps, you'll notice the difference. MP3 files will sound a little muddy and slurry while the AAC files maintain their brighter and clearer sound.Is there a way to download everything in your Apple Music? ›
- In iTunes or the Music app, click File > New > Smart Playlist. ...
- There are different ways to set the rules for the Smart Playlist. ...
- Make sure Live updating feature is toggled on.
- Go to the Library, find your Smart Playlist and click on the download option.
You can choose a different encoding option, including AIFF, Apple Lossless, MP3, and WAV. Music also supports HE-AAC files (also called MPEG-4 AAC files).Can you download and keep music from Apple Music? ›
Open the Apple Music app. Add a song, album, or playlist to your library. Touch and hold the song, album, or playlist that you added from Apple Music. Tap Download.Where does iTunes Store ripped music? ›
Burning is done to CDs, not from them. If you ripped CD's onto a computer using iTunes, music is stored in the Media folder for iTunes with other tracks added to iTunes, either from purchases or imports. Specific location depends on platform and operating system. Usually in the Music folder in your user profile.Why won't iTunes burn my CD anymore? ›
Try using a different brand of media or a different type of disc (for example, CD-RW instead of CD-R). Try choosing a lower burn speed. Some CD-RW drives don't work with iTunes. After you choose File > Burn Playlist to Disc, if your drive is shown next to CD Burner, it works with iTunes.What format does iTunes rip CDs? ›
When you import songs from CDs into iTunes, iTunes converts them into AAC format by default. You can choose a different encoding option, including AIFF, Apple Lossless, MP3, and WAV. iTunes also supports HE-AAC files (also called MPEG-4 AAC files).
1. MusicBee: Best free iTunes alternative. If you are looking for a player as an iTunes replacement and do not want to get into the hassle of data transfers, MusicBee is the one for you. One of the fastest tools to sync your music across all of your devices.Do I still need iTunes on my Mac? ›
With the launch of macOS Catalina, Apple replaced iTunes with dedicated music (Apple Music), video (Apple TV), podcast (Apple Podcasts), and audiobook (Apple Books) apps. You can access any previous iTunes purchases through these apps, as these apps pull content from your iTunes libraries.What is the difference between iTunes and the music app? ›
iTunes includes everything music, movies, TV Shows, podcasts, apps, ringtones, and more. Apple Music is a music and video streaming service. Music can be synced between Apple devices and computer. Music cannot be synced to Apple devices such as iPod Shuffle, iPod Nano, iPad, iPhone, etc.What is the oldest version of iTunes that still works? ›
5.3 is the oldest version that is still supported by the iTunes Store, and was also the last version that could manage apps. If iTunes 12.6.What is the newest version of iTunes? ›
Apple today released an iTunes 12.12. 8 update for Windows, with the software introducing security improvements and "support for new devices." This is the first update to iTunes since iTunes 12.12. 7, which came out in December 2022.When did Apple stop using iTunes? ›
Starting in 2005, Apple expanded on the core music features of iTunes with support for digital video, podcasts, e-books, and mobile apps purchased from the iOS App Store. Since the release of iOS 5 in 2011, these devices have become less dependent on iTunes, though it can still be used to back up their contents.How do I update iTunes on my Mac? ›
- Open the App Store on your Mac.
- Click Updates at the top of the App Store window.
- If any iTunes updates are available, click Install.
- In the Music app on your Mac, choose Account > Authorizations > Authorize This Computer.
- If requested, enter your Apple ID password to confirm.
- In the Music app on your Mac, choose Account > Sign In. If you already signed in to Podcasts or the Apple TV app, you're automatically signed in to Music.
- Do one of the following: Sign in with your Apple ID: Enter your Apple ID and password, then click Next.
Q. What is Apple's replacement for iTunes? With the launch of macOS Catalina, Apple introduced dedicated apps namely Apple Music, Apple TV, Apple Podcasts, and Apple Books to replicate the functionalities of iTunes.
Well, iTunes removal is not that easy. Keep in mind, that we do not recommend to uninstall iTunes as it may damage your system. If you just want to fix some issues with iTunes or reset the app to its default settings, use App Cleaner & Uninstaller.What is the new version of iTunes called? ›
The latest iTunes version is 12.10. 11, and the newest version of iTunes available on the Windows store is 12123.5.Where is iTunes on my Mac 2023? ›
- Open the Apple Music app.
- In the menu bar, choose Music > Preferences (this is the bar right at the very top)
- Go to the General tab and select iTunes Store.
- Click OK.
Lots of the differences are just with differences in platform. The mac version has much better text rendering, even on Vista iTunes text still looks worse. The mac scroll speed used to be worse, but now I think it's better than Windows.Where did all my iTunes music go? ›
Restore Your Music to the Device
Open the iTunes Store app on your device. From the iPhone version, go to More > Purchased > Music. On the iPad version, tap the Purchased icon at the bottom and select Music. You should be able to find your missing music from here.
Don't delete or move files within System and Library folders appearing when you first double click your hard disk. Don't delete or move . App files in your Applications folder, these are Mac OS X native applications.Does deleting Apple ID delete iTunes? ›
The results of deletion
Apple removes the account details associated with the Apple ID, permanently deleting them and making them unusable for all Apple services, such as the App Store, iTunes, Apple Pay, iMessage, and any purchased or downloadable content on those services.
Honestly, the truth is that all your iTunes music and playlists are stored in the "My Music' folder of your computer. When you modify, uninstall, or reinstall iTunes, this folder remains unaffected. Thus, if your uninstall iTunes from your computer, you won't lose your music library or your iPhone backup.How to uninstall iTunes on Mac? ›
- From the Utilities folder, launch Activity Monitor. ...
- Enter your Mac administrator password. ...
- Select any file from the autocomplete list and press the Return key. ...
- Click Applications and find iTunes in the list. ...
- In the window that opens, click Remove to confirm the action.
- Voila! ...
- That's it.
To clear your browser cache on Mac, open Finder and launch Go to Folder using the Shift + Command + G shortcut. Type ~/Library/Caches and hit Enter. Finally, open the browser cache folders, select the files you want to clear, and hit Delete.
Apple advises that macOS Catalina will run on the following Macs: MacBook models from early 2015 or later. MacBook Air models from mid-2012 or later. MacBook Pro models from mid-2012 or later.