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As for artwork, I prefer hi-quality artwork, as it looks amazing when playing back via an Apple TV on a 1080p HD television. This requires sourcing at least 1000x1000-pixel artwork, which is not easy. Fortunately, I have found a way to grab hi-res artwork from Apple's iTunes online library, which I can't post here, as I don't want Apple to shut that route down.
Funnily enough, after having just stated this on MacInTouch, Apple, today, added a user enabled download artwork link to their official "Link Maker" web site:
https://linkmaker.itunes.apple.com/gb/?at=11l7jb

Select Media Type > Music and then enter your search terms. Click on the song/album artwork you want and the "Download Artwork" link is at the bottom :-)

Full disclosure: the "11l7jb" part of the link above is my iTunes affiliate ID - it doesn't affect your ability to use the Link Maker/download artwork, and it is always appreciated if you use before purchasing on iTunes, as it all helps fund MacStrategy.
 


Funnily enough, after having just stated this on MacInTouch, Apple, today, added a user enabled download artwork link to their official "Link Maker" web site:
https://linkmaker.itunes.apple.com/gb/?at=11l7jb
Select Media Type > Music and then enter your search terms. Click on the song/album artwork you want and the "Download Artwork" link is at the bottom :-)
There isn't a "Music" option, only "Apple Music" or "iTines Music". In either case, I don't see the download link in Safari or Firefox.
 


It’s been a long time since I did this, but I experienced that if all the metadata for the CD matches that of the lossy tracks you previously ripped, iTunes offers to replace the files with new, freshly ripped files using the import settings currently in place.
I confirm that this is how iTunes has worked and currently works - it transfers tags and art. When you put in the CD, it asks you if you’d like to replace existing tracks.

I’m not 100% clear on how it handles files; it sometimes trashes existing files for music being replaced and sometimes doesn’t. My observation is that it trashes files it had created but leaves ones it didn’t.
 


There isn't a "Music" option, only "Apple Music" or "iTines Music". In either case, I don't see the download link in Safari or Firefox.
The "Music" option is there for me - it did used to be listed as "iTunes Music", but that changed a few months ago. Perhaps when you access the Link Maker you're getting directed to a different server. Anyway, you're right, the artwork download link has disappeared - it was definitely there yesterday, because I was using it!
 



Mojave 10.14.4 seems to have, again, killed iTunes 12.6.5.3. It would not launch with some message about the version being incompatible.

Presuming that a new iTunes was installed I again tried the trick of moving the iPodUpdater.framework from the macOS 12.6.5 version to the new iTunes contents. But it looked like the framework file was still there, so maybe iTunes was not updated. I then tried this suggestion on a Macrumors forum, which involved replacing the info.plist file in iTunes 12.6.5 with the one from the new iTunes. I was then able to launch iTunes 12.6.5 and update apps in my Library.

However, backing up my iPhone failed every time, and iTunes showed no previous backups (they were still there in the Finder). So I replaced the info.plist file with the one iTunes 12.6.5 was using before the update, and then I was able to backup my iPhone as normal (and previous updates where showing in Preferences).

Strangely, iTunes 12.6.5 has a generic app icon in the Finder and has the "no symbol" (circle with diagonal line) in the Dock and in the app switcher. Maybe the iTunes 12.6.5 line is not quite dead, but it is looking grim.
 


I get annoyed every time I'm in iTunes and accidentally click on "Browse," "For You," or "Radio," all of which take me to Apple Music, a product I have zero intention of ever using. I assume that Apple's eventual Marzipan-flavored iTunes replacement will make this sort of pushy behavior even worse.
iTunes > Preferences > General Preferences > deselect "Show Apple Music Features"
 



iTunes > Preferences > General Preferences > deselect "Show Apple Music Features"
Thanks a lot for that tip. It ended up leading me to a more complete solution.

Your tip removed the "Browse" and "For You" buttons, but I was surprised that the Apple "Radio" button remained, and I wanted to get rid of that, too.

I started to ruminate about why Apple "Radio" somehow might not count as an "Apple Music Feature," especially given the fact that clicking on the Apple Radio button displays an "Apple Music" splash screen.

I decided to poke around the iTunes Preferences a little more, and I came across a separate checkbox on the "Restrictions" panel to disable "Apple Music." After checking that box, "Radio" finally disappeared from the iTunes navigation bar. Interestingly, in another example of hide-and-seek interface fashions, this also caused the "Show Apple Music Features" option to disappear from the "General" preferences panel.

Another potential source of confusion: the "Restrictions" panel also includes an option to disable "Internet Radio," which is a completely independent function from "Apple Radio." What a mess.

(At the risk of starting another rant, "Internet Radio" is a function I like very much and use quite a lot. When Apple launched Apple "Radio," it moved "Internet Radio" to a much less prominent place in iTunes, and it took me a little while to find it. At first, I thought Apple simply got rid of it entirely. I suppose I should count my blessings that Apple didn't kill it yet, though I fully expect that it won't survive the move to Marzipan apps.)
 


(At the risk of starting another rant, "Internet Radio" is a function I like very much and use quite a lot. When Apple launched Apple "Radio," it moved "Internet Radio" to a much less prominent place in iTunes, and it took me a little while to find it. At first, I thought Apple simply got rid of it entirely. I suppose I should count my blessings that Apple didn't kill it yet, though I fully expect that it won't survive the move to Marzipan apps.)
Internet Radio is the only reason I ever had to use iTunes. For numerous reasons, I gave up on iTunes about 3-4 years ago. I don't now nor have I ever needed an application to organize my files and media for me. I greatly prefer to do it my own way.

I now use the cross platform app VLC for Internet Radio and it works fine. I had to jump through a few hoops initially, but it's been great ever since.
 



I'm still using iTunes 12.6.5.3 (on Sierra), the last version that allows one to manage apps on their iDevices. Does anyone know if the iTunes Device Support Update interferes with that version of iTunes?
I'll second this question. I, too, am using 12.6.5.3 and don't want the Update to "inadvertently" replace iTunes with a newer/newest version. Does anyone know? Thanks!
 


I'm still using iTunes 12.6.5.3 (on Sierra), the last version that allows one to manage apps on their iDevices. Does anyone know if the iTunes Device Support Update interferes with that version of iTunes?
I have experienced no apparent interference with iTunes 12.6.5.3. That said, my use so far has been limited.

I've only done one iPhone sync/backup (and that just a moment ago). The update description says, "ensures proper updating and restoring for iOS devices…." I have neither updated nor attempted a restore.

The Apps section for my attached phone looks normal, but I haven't tried to install or remove an app. I was able to move an app icon on one screen.

I have been able to move songs to a phone. I was able to move two files to an app's File Sharing space (Apps > File Sharing > Apps > some app).
 


The iOS 12.3 upgrade did not go smoothly on my iPad Air (3rd Generation). I'm using iTunes 12.6.5.3 on macOS 10.13.6 High Sierra, and there is no iTunes Device Support Update offered. I attempted to update while connected via USB to iTunes.

First it said there was an error updating, and the dialog button led to
The iPad was in recovery mode, displaying the Connect to iTunes screen with a URL to

Restarting the iPad did not help. The next step, according to the linked website, was to do a factory reset, but I tried just telling iTunes to re-download and install the update.

That led to a screen I've never seen before: Press Home to Recover, and then an undocumented "Attempting Data Recovery" screen that took a very long time. While I waited, I read all the web articles that either a) said that they were stuck in an attempting data recovery loop with no escape, or b) tried to sell 3rd-party software to fix it.

Eventually the Data Recovery ended, and it restarted in iOS 12.3 with no data loss.

I wonder if the local (wireless) updates are more reliable than doing the full iTunes connected update? I would have thought not.

One last thought: All of Apple's support pages first say that you should upgrade to the latest version of iTunes. If it really is an issue using iTunes 12.6 to update, that presents a dilemma, since only iTunes 12.6 can completely restore an iDevice if something drastic goes wrong with the update.
 



As a follow-up to my earlier query, I installed the iTunes Device Support Update and had no problems syncing apps on an iPad Air 2 and iPhone SE using iTunes 12.6.5.3. I then successfully updated both devices from iOS 12.2 to 12.3 using iTunes.

I have no reason to perform a Restore at the moment, but so far, so good.

Just for fun, I updated an identical iPhone SE to 12.3 over WiFi. It completed about two minutes faster than doing it through iTunes. :) your milage may vary.
 


I haven't bought any new music for some time, having an extensive personal collection. The last couple days I have been poking around in the Apple store trying to buy a classical album for my collection, but all I find are pitches to try Apple Music free for 3 months. I see some selections with prices listed, but when I search for specific albums, they display without any price and the implication all I can do is stream them via Apple Music.

I suppose I could accumulate a set of albums I want, subscribe free to Apple Music long enough to download them, and then cancel Apple Music, but I would prefer the old purchase model. Does it still exist and how do I get to it?
 


I suppose I could accumulate a set of albums I want, subscribe free to Apple Music long enough to download them, and then cancel Apple Music
If you download music using an Apple Music subscription, when you cancel the subscription the music you downloaded will disappear - you don't get to "keep" music with the Apple Music subscription.
…but I would prefer the old purchase model. Does it still exist and how do I get to it?
I know, Apple Music is really frustrating when you don't want it, as Apple always put it in your face, all the time! The old model does still exist - you could use the iTunes Link Maker to find and buy music:
  1. Go to the iTunes Link Maker
  2. Select your Store country
  3. Select "Music" for Media Type (not "Apple Music")
  4. Search for the music you want (if it does not show up, then it is either not available in your country or it is only available for streaming via an Apple Music subscription - you can change the Store Country and/or Media Type to "Apple Music" to check this theory)
  5. When you find the music you want with Media Type set to "Music", click on the "Album" you want
  6. Click on the "Direct Link" at the bottom (this will open a new window/tab in your browser of choice to that album page) and may open the iTunes application automatically
  7. Click the blue "View in iTunes" button at the top if the iTunes application doesn't open automatically
  8. The iTunes application should show the iTunes Store with the "Buy" button (with price) below the album artwork on the left
 


The last couple days I have been poking around in the Apple store trying to buy a classical album for my collection, but all I find are pitches to try Apple Music free for 3 months. I see some selections with prices listed, but when I search for specific albums, they display without any price and the implication all I can do is stream them via Apple Music.
Poking around the iTunes Store, I see a plethora of classical albums for sale. Would you name a specific album that had no purchase price, so we can take a look?
 


I have bought only one classical track through iTunes, and will never buy another. The sound quality was terrible. Maybe some are better than others?
 


I have bought only one classical track through iTunes, and will never buy another. The sound quality was terrible. Maybe some are better than others?
Classical tracks, like all others, are provided by the publisher, who is responsible for digitizing the content. Unfortunately, some publishers don't seem to take much care.
For older recordings that may have not been digitally remastered, you might be getting a file digitized from the vinyl or cassette master or (if the master is no longer available) a pressing. These will definitely not sound as good as something where the publisher has pristine quality multi-track recordings and can perform a proper remaster/remix.
 


I'm still using iTunes 12.6.5.3 on Sierra. I installed the iTunes Device Support Update when it first appeared, and I regret it. Before I installed it, iTunes behaved just fine. After installing it, iTunes (still 12.6.5.3) has behaved weirdly, with stalling, blank windows that need to be refreshed to show anything, non-playing movie previews in the Movies store, incorrect returns — it just seems buggy and glitchy now. Sometimes the glitches go away for a while ... and then return. That said, I don't see any difference in managing devices; that worked before, and still works now.

I repeat: iTunes 12.6.5.3 on Sierra worked perfectly fine before I installed the iTunes Device Support Update. After installing it, iTunes (still 12.6.5.3) is very buggy for me.
 



I'm still using iTunes 12.6.5.3 on Sierra. I installed the iTunes Device Support Update when it first appeared, and I regret it. Before I installed it, iTunes behaved just fine. After installing it, iTunes (still 12.6.5.3) has behaved weirdly, with stalling, blank windows that need to be refreshed to show anything, non-playing movie previews in the Movies store, incorrect returns — it just seems buggy and glitchy now. Sometimes the glitches go away for a while ... and then return. That said, I don't see any difference in managing devices; that worked before, and still works now.
I'm also running iTunes 12.6.5.3 under macOS Sierra (on a circa-2017 iMac) and have installed the recent iTunes Device Support Update a few days ago.

So far, I haven't seen any of the symptoms you mention above; it seems to be operating the same as it always has.

However, I'll keep an eye out, and see if anything crops up. Thank you for reporting this!
 


I have bought only one classical track through iTunes, and will never buy another. The sound quality was terrible. Maybe some are better than others?
I've had mixed success with classical tracks through iTunes. I suspect that relatively new recordings fare much better when added to the iTunes Store than older recordings. That said, while I've spent thousands of dollars in the iTunes Store in the years since it opened, the vast majority of my recent music purchases have been in CD format through Amazon. The CD price at Amazon often is the same or even less than the iTunes price, and Amazon bundles downloadable MP3 versions with many CD purchases at no extra charge. Further, the Amazon Music downloader can automatically download and import the MP3s into an iTunes library. While MP3s obviously are lower quality than CDs, I've found that many Amazon MP3s sound just fine for iPod or car listening, and you can always listen to the CD or import it manually at high resolution when you want a higher quality experience.

Also, there are other services which specialize in "CD quality" or even master quality digital versions of classical recordings, such as eclassical.com and prestomusic.com. These services provide files in lossless FLAC format, which are easily converted into iTunes-compatible lossless ALAC format using tools like XLD.

I just wish that vendors did a better job annotating classical music for digital music apps and players.
 


I absolutely agree with JoseHill that vendors could annotate or tag their digital files better.

A quality of sound which lets me believe that real musicians are playing (or, speaking more practically, once played) the music seems most important with acoustic music, such as classical. For the last few years I have been buying it in the highest resolution I can find. Often enough, a CD is the highest-resolution source available. Fortunately, a cheaper used CD is as good as a new one, most times.

I rip the CD with XLD software, which lets me reformat the files, as well. I retag them using 2ManyRobots' Yate. And if I need to resample a higher-resolution file, for example to have it play on an iPod, I use Aurchitect Audio Software's Myriad. However, Aurchitect's site appears to be offline at this time.
 


I absolutely agree with JoseHill that vendors could annotate or tag their digital files better.
A quality of sound which lets me believe that real musicians are playing (or, speaking more practically, once played) the music seems most important with acoustic music, such as classical. For the last few years I have been buying it in the highest resolution I can find. Often enough, a CD is the highest-resolution source available. Fortunately, a cheaper used CD is as good as a new one, most times.
I rip the CD with XLD software, which lets me reformat the files, as well. I retag them using 2ManyRobots' Yate. And if I need to resample a higher-resolution file, for example to have it play on an iPod, I use Aurchitect Audio Software's Myriad. However, Aurchitect's site appears to be offline at this time.
I rip my purchased CD's with iTunes (I buy CDs for the reason you say), which helpfully deposits them in the correct (mostly) folder in the iTunes Media folder. The rip is always (if the CD is readable) bit for bit accurate. And then I use Roon to play the music - I simply tell Roon that the library is the iTunes Media folder.

Can't add DSD (SACD) rips via iTunes, but I don't have very many, and so that is done manually.

(Roon is a wonderful way to play back your music - it does, however, cost a bit.)
 


I've had mixed success with classical tracks through iTunes. I suspect that relatively new recordings fare much better when added to the iTunes Store than older recordings. That said, while I've spent thousands of dollars in the iTunes Store in the years since it opened, the vast majority of my recent music purchases have been in CD format through Amazon. The CD price at Amazon often is the same or even less than the iTunes price, and Amazon bundles downloadable MP3 versions with many CD purchases at no extra charge. Further, the Amazon Music downloader can automatically download and import the MP3s into an iTunes library. While MP3s obviously are lower quality than CDs, I've found that many Amazon MP3s sound just fine for iPod or car listening, and you can always listen to the CD or import it manually at high resolution when you want a higher quality experience.
Also, there are other services which specialize in "CD quality" or even master quality digital versions of classical recordings, such as eclassical.com and prestomusic.com. These services provide files in lossless FLAC format, which are easily converted into iTunes-compatible lossless ALAC format using tools like XLD.
I just wish that vendors did a better job annotating classical music for digital music apps and players.
I have a large collection of classical music (the equivalent of a couple of hundred CDs at this point), purchased both via iTunes and by more old-fashioned methods. I can't comment on the audio quality - iTunes purchases generally sound fine to my middle-aged ears - but there are frequently metadata problems, especially with longer recordings which would normally span 2 CDs.

There are more egregious issues also; the download of the 1999 Claudio Abbado/Berlin Philharmonic recording of Mahler 3 breaks off suddenly, mid-track, in the transition from the 1st to 2nd CD (which are present as two separate downloads, naturally), and there are duplicated sections on the 2nd CD. The 'applause' track is a 3rd, separate download (why?).

There are also audible skips in the Deutsche Grammophon (DG) recording of Beethoven's Late String Quartets. This may be a DG problem, rather than an Apple problem, but it is still not acceptable on a modern recording.
 


I have a large collection of classical music (the equivalent of a couple of hundred CDs at this point), purchased both via iTunes and by more old-fashioned methods. I can't comment on the audio quality - iTunes purchases generally sound fine to my middle-aged ears - but there are frequently metadata problems, especially with longer recordings which would normally span 2 CDs.
There are more egregious issues also; the download of the 1999 Claudio Abbado/Berlin Philharmonic recording of Mahler 3 breaks off suddenly, mid-track, in the transition from the 1st to 2nd CD (which are present as two separate downloads, naturally), and there are duplicated sections on the 2nd CD. The 'applause' track is a 3rd, separate download (why?).
There are also audible skips in the Deutsche Grammophon (DG) recording of Beethoven's Late String Quartets. This may be a DG problem, rather than an Apple problem, but it is still not acceptable on a modern recording.
I know this may be way past, but any time you have a problem of dropouts and duplications, you should contact iTunes immediately and inquire what they can do. Usually they will allow you to redownload the item or receive credit. If we don't speak up, the only one that loses is us.
 


I know this may be way past, but any time you have a problem of dropouts and duplications, you should contact iTunes immediately and inquire what they can do. Usually they will allow you to redownload the item or receive credit. If we don't speak up, the only one that loses is us.
That's good advice, which unfortunately I neglected to do at the time. I did, however, leave (polite) reviews noting these issues on the relevant iTunes music store pages, which I note have now disappeared....

Anyway. I'll try contacting Apple to resolve these issues.
 


I have iTunes 12.8... For the first time in yonks, I ripped in a CD and found that it was not displayed as a contiguous list of tracks in one window, making it very awkward to add to my playlist. This is not what I used to experience years ago. What’s gone wrong, and is there a solution?
 


One more minor issue: iTunes no longer has Songs as a default. It defaults to Playlist with the album cover and song title and the time. When it is in Song view, you add in the Artist, genre, play number. It is easy to read, but that is no longer there. It took a longer time to reset it, then it went back to the Playlist mode in 24 hours. I just hid it. I did not quit. Could it have something to do with when the computer goes to sleep?
 


It would be more accurate to say that, rather than ending, iTunes will be reverting to what it originally was before being overloaded with other functions — an app for loading, purchasing, storing, organizing and playing digital music. Over time iTunes has come to incorporate TV, movies, podcasts, audiobooks and even backup and admin of iPhones and iPads. As those other things have been bolted on, the iTunes app has become bloated and unwieldy, losing much of its sense of coherency. For years now there's been a call for it to be broken up into manageable portions.

So iTunes is getting back to basics, and changing its name to Music in recognition. Its more recent other functions are being outboarded to dedicated apps.
... As for audiobooks, under iOS these live in the Books app, which seems logical to me. Perhaps that'll be the case in macOS too?
Everyone's opinion will differ, but my own "peak iTunes" was when it allowed playlists that included both music and Podcast episodes - perfect for long road trips (or what passed for long road trips when I lived ~10 minutes from work and had to take the occasional 30-40 minute drive).
 


One more minor issue: iTunes no longer has Songs as a default. It defaults to Playlist with the album cover and song title and the time. When it is in Song view, you add in the Artist, genre, play number. It is easy to read, but that is no longer there. It took a longer time to reset it, then it went back to the Playlist mode in 24 hours. I just hid it. I did not quit. Could it have something to do with when the computer goes to sleep?
The irony here is if you want full iTunes version support and operational stability, you'll need to switch to Windows.
 


So I don't see "Sharing" in the Music App preferences in 10.15. I guess either my Mac Mini media server stays at Mojave, or I go to a third-party app like Plex.
 


So I don't see "Sharing" in the Music App preferences in 10.15. I guess either my Mac Mini media server stays at Mojave, or I go to a third-party app like Plex.
It's moved to System Preferences > Sharing > Media Sharing - see my MacStrategy article:
macOS Catalina Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Q. If iTunes is discontinued/gone can I still share my media over the network?
A. Yes. This feature has now moved to the "Sharing" System Preference where there is a new "Media Sharing" option.
 


The irony here is if you want full iTunes version support and operational stability, you'll need to switch to Windows.
Has Apple made any statements about the future of iTunes on Windows? I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually break it up into multiple apps there, too.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Has Apple made any statements about the future of iTunes on Windows? I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually break it up into multiple apps there, too.
That raises an interesting question: How, exactly, does Apple create its apps for Windows and Android, when Xcode is Mac-based and uses Apple libraries for all-Apple platforms?
 


Has Apple made any statements about the future of iTunes on Windows? I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually break it up into multiple apps there, too.
Apple told Ars Technica that "users of iTunes under Microsoft Windows will not see any changes. It won't be broken up into several apps; it will work just like it does now".

Of course, what Apple say now and actually do in the future are two completely different things.
 


That raises an interesting question: How, exactly, does Apple create its apps for Windows and Android, when Xcode is Mac-based and using Apple libraries for all-Apple platforms?
Apparently, Microsoft themselves helped Apple build the Windows Store version:
The Verge said:
Apple is bringing iTunes to the Windows Store
Apple is planning to bring its iTunes desktop app to the Windows Store. In a surprise announcement at the Build developer event today, Microsoft revealed it has been working with Apple to get iTunes listed in the Windows Store. It might not sound like an important addition, but iTunes is one of the most searched for apps that’s currently missing in the Windows Store.
 


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