January 27, 2023

Apple is previewing three apps that will finally replace iTunes for Windows

Zoom in / Apple’s view of what a PC running iTunes looks like.

an Apple

Apple discontinued its iTunes music player for macOS in 2019 when it split the app’s functionality between four apps in macOS Catalina. But for Windows users with large local media libraries or who want to back up their iDevices or subscribe to Apple Music, iTunes has made it happen, receiving minor updates in maintenance mode to maintain compatibility with Apple devices and services.

Today, as part of A new preview of Windows 11 for Windows Insider Program subscribersMicrosoft announced that previews of Apple MusicAnd CamelAnd Apple devices The apps are available in the Microsoft Store for download.

The Apple Music and Apple TV apps handle the music and video functions in iTunes, just as they do in macOS, and provide access to Apple Music and Apple TV+ subscription services. The Apple Devices app is what you’ll use to make local device backups, perform emergency software updates, sync local media, and other things you can do with your iDevice connected to your computer (in macOS, similar functionality was Added to Finderrather than splitting it into its own application).

Right now, if you install any or all of these three apps, you will no longer be able to use iTunes, so don’t upgrade if you still rely on iTunes for anything specific the apps don’t handle. You can use iTunes again if you uninstall the new apps.

iTunes handles two things on Windows that new apps won’t: podcasts and audiobooks. We don’t know if Apple plans versions of Apple Podcasts or Books for play on Windows, if that functionality will be added back to the Apple Music app for Windows, or if Apple will rely on cloud versions of both apps.

Apple Music’s release notes say that podcasts and audiobooks on Windows PC “will not be available until a compatible version of iTunes is released.” This indicates that Apple is working on a version of iTunes that can run alongside the new apps, and that iTunes may continue to handle some features in the absence of official Windows versions of Apple Podcasts and Books.

Microsoft has announced that versions of Apple Music and Apple TV will be coming to Windows last October, along with other new Windows 11 features and updated Surface devices. For now, applications require Windows 11 with the 2022 update installed To boot, although it is possible that the final versions will be compatible with Windows 10 or earlier Windows 11 versions as well.