Apple may soon be shutting down iTunes, sources claim

What will this mean for Bitperfect, Roon, ETC.???

What sources?

CNN reported

“[T]he company will announce the end of its signature iTunes media platform. Apple will replace iTunes with three separate apps: Music, TV, and Podcasts.”

See, e.g., Slate.

I wonder tho if the replacement will cause issues with Roon and bridge and related items. Maybe they will finally offer streaming?

Okay, here’s a prediction based on 100% uninformed speculation.

Apple’s new desktop music app won’t offer disc transcoding (ripping).

Think about it - Apple makes no money from people ripping CDs and it seems they just want 100% of customers to use their streaming service which Apple execs claim is “revolutionary” (when it’s no different from other services).

You may very well be correct.

But Apple’s new application may also include ripping and cataloging of rips as this encourages users to remain tied to Apple and the application. Apple’s success is due in large part to its control of an exclusive eco-system and providing a safe place for its users.

I suspect the biggest difference is the new application will not sell media, providing streaming instead.

Apple will also need to offer something which enables its users to back up their iPhones once iTunes is gone.

@Elk – Good point about Apple wanting to keep people in their ecosystem and ripping does that.

I too am curious if they will end selling music. Does Apple make money selling .99 lossy tracks or does most of that go to the label?

Streaming is not a very profitable venture but Apple, like Google, can offer streaming at a loss to keep people in the fold because they have other channels that are ridiculously profitable.

Why would it affect Roon?

I was about to ask the same question.

1 Like

…which may force the use of iCloud. More iCloud users, more purchased storage, more $$$.


Roon imports people’s iTunes libraries and playlists. To that extent, the loss of iTunes could negatively effect Roon users. But I don’t think it’s going to come to that. It seems the “end” of iTunes is simply the dividing up of music, video and podcasts into separates. User libraries will retain the same needs, will likely have the same databases, so the demise of iTunes, on the surface, seems much ado about nothing.

1 Like

Right. I think the music app will just replace it and to be honest I’m sure the ability to migrate playlists and the like from Itunes won’t disappear. You just won’t be getting updates for Itunes. Also I think Itunes library management is just so poor now. It is better to migrate to something better, doesn’t have to be expensive like Roon, even JRiver does a much better job for a fraction of the price. Obviously Itunes was free but it was never a very good app and only continued to get more and more bloated over time.

Ah I never knew Roon imported iTubes libraries and playlist. Maybe because I don’t use iTubes, but good to know.


I was a dedicated iTunes user for years but, when I migrated to Roon, I started fresh and recreated the playlists in Roon that I considered valuable. I didn’t have Roon deal with the iTunes library but moved a few ALAC albums over to a NAS. Just seemed cleaner this way. I re-ripped, over time, my entire library as well.

I’ve been using Mac OS since it launches but, after using Roon for a few years, I think iTunes is lacking on so many levels. I just wish Roon would put some effort into better sound quality.

I just wish Roon would put some effort into better sound quality.

I think if you use something like a Nucleus + or other dedicated streamer that will give you excellent sound quality. One common issue I’ve noticed with people who don’t like the sound quality of Roon is that they are using a regular PC/Mac/NUC that isn’t optimised for low noise sound reproduction. It may be that the stuff that Roon does in a normal system produces more noise than some more basic software.

The thing is that presumably a dedicated streamer will always sound better vs apples to apples on a pc or Mac. The talent of the Roon programmers do not lay with sound quality, it’s just not their lane. If Roon could deliver everything, there’d be little impetus for Octave.

I’ve been a Mac user for over 30 years, and have been serious about computer-based Hifi for roughly 10. I was very, very unhappy to experience that different bit-perfect software produced different sound quality from my old DACs back in the day! But I’ve reached a different conclusion to many of you…

As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to audio quality the software’s only responsibility is to get the bits right. Making identical data sound identical, and sound excellent, is the responsibility of components and system design downstream. Which is a big reason why I utterly love the DS DAC (effectively immune to jitter) and optical connections (completely immune to electrical noise). I cannot hear a difference between software now and the audio quality is great.

That said, I gave up on iTunes (with BitPerfect or Audirvana) a few years back and switched to Roon. The two biggest reasons were for Tidal lossless streaming (I love Apple Music in every other way but AAC isn’t Hifi) and reliable support for infra-red remote control of play/pause/skip.

It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for iTunes on Mac. But I’d be way more interested in a lossless streaming capability for Apple Music. Any CDs I want to rip in the meantime are easily handled by XLD – but mostly I just buy digital downloads and add them to my NAS’s music folder for Roon to discover.

The talent of the Roon programmers do not lay with sound quality, it’s just not their lane.

I disagree. As far as I know they worked for Meridian before starting Roon and as I have said it may be more of an issue of making certain trade offs on a regular PC. You can either have simpler software that makes less noise or something that does more things to make it simpler to use but with worse sound quality. I should also state that when I was using JRiver (one of the pieces of software people say sounds better) with my Mac as source I found the sound quality to be no better than with Roon. I’ve never used HQplayer though.

The big improvement I found was when I went to using a Nucleus + (w. LPS) into the Bridge II via a SOtM sNH-10G Network Switch.

I’ve also added a Matrix w. Uptone LPS and that seems to be inching further than the connection from the Nucleus via the Bridge II as it runs in.

Shortly I’m going to be trying an SOTM SMS Ultra Neo w. TX-USB-Ultra and SPS 1000 Power Supplies so it will be interesting to see how that affects the whole setup w/wo the Matrix in the system.

If Roon could deliver everything, there’d be little impetus for Octave.

Octave is a hardware product though just like the Nucleus and I doubt it will be any cheaper.

Further there are other high end streamers that sound fantastic so I’m not sure there is an impetus for the Octave anyway. - It remains to be seen if it is better than the alternatives from Innuous, Lumin or even the Nucleus.

Even if it has better audio quality I doubt it would do the software and library management part better than Roon. That’s why I think it would be better if they would at least incorporate the ability to act as a Roon core like Innuos do.

Sound quality is important but if the experience of using a device is terrible it is rarely enough to make up for it.

Edit - Just remembered that initially I wasn’t using my Mac with the Roon/Jriver setup. I was using a streaming PC I had made with a less powerful CPU - I think it was one of the lower performance Pentium named CPUS (rather than the I7s in my Mac). I wonder if this could be a factor too as a lower performance chip may actually be quieter from a sonic perspective. I later switched to using the Mac but didn’t use JRiver on the same computer because I never thought to compare them.

For your requirements, as I understand them, this makes Roon a very expensive route. Audirvana plays Tidal and it’s iOS remote works very well, for a fraction of Roon’s price. If price matters.

And for all those who think Roon sounds good, please give HQPlayer a try as Roon’s back end. You’re in for a treat :sunglasses: