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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.
 



I was having problems for almost two days updating/restoring an old iPod Touch 2nd-gen. with iTunes 12.6.5.3 on my Dosdude-hacked Late 2008 15-inch MacBook Pro 5,1 running HIgh Sierra.

After trying everything I could think about, I remembered the "iTunes Device Support Update" that I didn't install when it was first available. Fingers and toes crossed, I updated iTunes, and everything worked! (your milage may vary - all standard disclaimers apply.)
 




Ric Ford

MacInTouch
You blew my mind for the night.
How about this, then...

If you, like me, have found it a royal PITA trying to make your own iPhone ringtones, here's a streamlined procedure:
  1. Capture the sound with Voice Memos on your iPhone and give it a descriptive name. Email it to yourself.
  2. Save the audio file from the email and open it in Amadeus Lite on your Mac. Edit to taste. Save as iPhone Ringtone.
  3. Open iMazing, select your iPhone, and choose Quick Transfer. Drop the ringtone file onto the drop area. Choose Ringtones for the associated app.
Now you should be able to choose your own custom ringtone in Settings > Sounds on your iPhone.

#ringtones #tips
 


If you, like me, have found it a royal PITA trying to make your own iPhone ringtones, here's a streamlined procedure...
That is totally great, Ric. Very simplistic. I do have the full iMazing application. The steps of yours remind me of the true mission of the Macintosh.
 


Over the last week I've found that some apps refuse to update in iTunes: "This item is temporarily unavailable. Try again later." But they never become available.

I've experienced this with three apps to date: Expedia, Amazon Music, and the New York Times. They load fine on iOS devices but fail repeatedly on my work and home iMacs, running Sierra (10.12.6) on both machines and using iTunes 12.6.5.3.

Anyone else experiencing this? A taste of things to come in the post-iTunes world?
 


Over the last week I've found that some apps refuse to update in iTunes: "This item is temporarily unavailable. Try again later." But they never become available.

I've experienced this with three apps to date: Expedia, Amazon Music, and the New York Times. They load fine on iOS devices but fail repeatedly on my work and home iMacs, running Sierra (10.12.6) on both machines and using iTunes 12.6.5.3.

Anyone else experiencing this? A taste of things to come in the post-iTunes world?
I am also experiencing this same problem with the same apps and others also. Initially I got the "temporarily unavailable" message, but now I am getting a message saying I don't have enough memory. Strange.
 


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