Ditching Apple Music in macOS 10.15 Catalina’s Music App

Apple has released macOS 10.15 Catalina for Macintosh computers stretching all the way back to 2012. That’s great that Apple is still supporting those hardware platforms and newer!

But, right from the get go, there is one thing that is driving me nuts, and that’s the end of my dear friend, iTunes. Under Catalina, iTunes 12 for macOS no longer works.

This is the error message that appears when attempting to run iTunes 12.9.5 on macOS 10.15 Catalina.

I knew this day was coming. Apple announced it back at WWDC in June that iTunes, after an almost 20-year run, would be replaced by Apple Music, TV, Podcasts, and Books. The iPod and iOS sync features would be transplanted from iTunes directly into the Catalina Finder. But I was still hoping that iTunes would still work. I have been using iTunes daily at least since the introduction of Mac OS X.

With this in mind, I decided to embrace change, and I installed Catalina last night on my main 5k iMac, a 27-inch model from late 2015. On the plus side, Apple Music seems to have much better support for my two HomePods that are in a stereo pair. iTunes would often lose the connection or one HomePod would go AWOL and drop out. Music, for all it’s weird iOS influences, works well in this regard with my limited testing.

Apple Music subscription service is in-your-face in the new Apple Music macOS 10.15 Catalina app.

However, there is one thing that does drive me nuts. It’s the default, in-your-face promotion of Apple Music – Apple’s monthly music streaming subscription service. Call me old fashioned, but I like the idea of buying my music, “owning” it, and being able to play it off my iMac’s disk drive without having to worry about ISP bandwidth.

To push the Apple Music subscription section out of the Apple Music sidebar, I went into Music > Preferences > Restrictions. From there, I turned on the option to Disable: Apple Music, the subscription side of things; not the iTunes-like jukebox functionality.

Hide the Apple Music subscription service in the navigation bar for macOS 10.15 Catalina’s Music app.

After disabling the Apple Music subscription service via preference restrictions, Apple Music gets out of the way, and show you a list that is more like the old iTunes navigation tree.

After putting in a restriction for Apple Music, the Apple Music subscription section disappears.

Sure, it is going to take a while getting used to the iOS-ification of the new iTunes component apps: Music, TV, Podcasts, Books, and sync. The improved HomePod streaming support and being able to get rid of the Apple Music section in the Music nav bar is a plus.

Apple Posts Redesigned iTunes 11

Last week, Apple released iTunes 11, the next major upgrade to the company’s media management and iOS device sync software for Mac and Windows PCs.

It has been widely reported about the new features of iTunes 11 with it’s iCloud integration, cleaner design layout and improved iTunes Store layout.

Love it or hate it, iTunes 11 has a new design layout that is a big departure from all previous versions of  iTunes.  New users may find the changes welcome, but for long time users like myself, who have been using iTunes since version 1.0, the changes can be a little bit disorienting and a little confusing.

No problems.  To get a more familiar view of iTunes back, turn on the iTunes Sidebar.

Just use the View > Show Sidebar menu command or press Option + Command + S on your keyboard.

Oh, and there is also a small side benefit; in the iTunes 11 Sidebar, the colored icons are back!

Apple’s Ping Service Closes Down Today

The iTunes Ping service has closed.  More commonly referred simply as Ping, was Apple’s attempt at a social media service integrated with the iTunes Store.  Ping was available in iTunes for Mac and Windows PCs.
Users were greeted with a simple message in iTunes stating that the service has closed.  Ping was a service that allowed iTunes users share and discover new music and old favorites.  It was also intended as a way for artists to connect with their fans and offer updates on what they were doing and when they would be touring.
Ping turned out to be one of Apple’s rare disasters with low adoption and usage rates.  It was also widely held that Apple had originally intended to have iTunes integrate with social media giant Facebook, but a deal could not be reached between Apple and Facebook.  The cost of the licensing agreement for the interface to Facebook was rumored to be the cause of the disagreement.
iTunes Ping was launched on September 1, 2010.