Here we go again: More rumours about Apple shutting down iTunes. And now we have a date.

Digital Music News, a site that I visit every day, has been hammering away on the impending death on paid iTunes downloads for some time. It maintains that Apple has a plan in action to stop selling music files as a way of pushing people to access music only through streaming.

This is not good. For guys like me who need/want possession of music files (not least of which for construction of my radio shows), I do NOT want to go back to the pre-2001 era when I had to scour stores for CDs and vinyl to find songs I needed for my Ongoing History of New Music show. If you like to load up your phone with music to go for a jog or walk the dog or a trip to the gym, you won’t be able to buy new music for that purpose. Want the latest music? Subscribe to Apple Music. Pay for more data.

Talk about a stupid step backwards.

Yet DMN insists that there is a slow-moving plan for Apple to rid itself of iTunes music. I quote:

Now, sources inside the company are pointing to a firm date for a planned shutdown of the iTunes music download store. Earlier, these same sources pointed to an ‘early 2019’ shutdown, though internal roadmaps now include a March 31st, 2019 phase-out of the service.

The sources clarified that this would only be the announcement date. Effectively, that will set in motion the shutdown, with users given ample warning of the upcoming phase-out.

Additionally, the sources stressed that music downloads will always work on all Apple devices and the iTunes platform, across all versions. That includes music purchased on iTunes, or uploaded from any other source. So you’ll always be able to play MP3s, iTunes-purchased AACs, and even older, DRM-protected iTunes songs (many years ago, song downloads were ‘DRM protected,’ creating limitations on file-sharing and other uses).

Great. So the thousands of tracks I’ve already purchased with continue to work. But anything I need in the future will be unavailable for purchase and download.

If this is true, this will reduce our access to music and our ability to use it as we see fit. Possession of music will become a thing of a past. It’ll all be about access–at least in the Apple digital realm.

Please don’t let this be true.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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