Back at the turn of the new millennium, Steve Jobs proudly unveiled a new desktop client for managing digital music files. iTunes allowed users to “rip” CDs and have them organized in to albums, playlists and artist categories. The simple and clean user interface was miles apart from the cluttered attention seeking mess found on Windows machines. With the launch of the iPod a couple of years later, it transformed in to something a lot more useful. iTunes would sync with your iPod.
The program would then go on to become the central space for managing all our iDevices. So, when the iPhone launched in 2007 and the iPad in 2010, they were all managed using iTunes. In fact, you couldn’t own any of Apple’s portable multimedia devices without having the software loaded on to your PC/Mac. Without it, all of our devices were pointless. In the early days of the iPhone you couldn’t even use the phone to make a phone call unless you activated it using Apple’s iconic desktop client. It’s impossible to overstate how important it was to the fruit company.
WIth the arrival of iOS 5 last October, all that changed in one fell swoop. Our iDevices became “PC-Free”. Apple cut the chord. You could sync and manage everything on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch using iCloud; Apple’s great storage space in the sky. Now we don’t need the iTunes program at all.
Since I hate the thought of throwing my money at Apple to own the license to play digital music, I instead prefer to pay a fee to Spotify. I like being able to listen to whatever I want, whenever I want to, and without being charged hideously for it, or using up tons of storage space. Since signing up to the music streaming service, I’ve stopped using Apple’s music service entirely. So, I obviously don’t need to use iTunes for music. Even on my desktop, I use Spotify.
Gone are the days when I’d have to plug in my iDevice to sync contacts. It’s all automatic over the air. Apps are downloaded on to my iPhone or iPad, and if I want to re-install a program I’d deleted, I can just access the App Store and find it in my “purchased” list. It’s not an exaggeration to say: I’ve not used iTunes in at least 3 months for anything other than syncing my first generation’s contacts. Even then, I only needed to do that once.
I’m wondering if any of you are in the same place as me? Do you use iTunes on your computer at all anymore? I wouldn’t miss it if it wasn’t there. Would you?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or tweet me @TiP_Cam