The Version of iTunes with the App Store Doesn’t Work with Mojave

For a while, Apple had released a version of iTunes – 12.6.5 – that still had the App Store, so businesses could manage apps on their devices. With the release of macOS Mojave, this iTunes version no longer works, so the workaround that Apple had provided to allow some users to still download and manage apps from the desktop is now dead.

So there is one other solution: iMazing can download, install, and manage apps for iOS devices. Check out the linked article for more. I’d still rather have the App Store accessible from the desktop, but this is a solution that can be useful for many people.

Full disclosure: I do writing work and screencasting for iMazing.

Playing iTunes Music through the iOS Remote App no Longer Updates Metadata

I have long used the iOS Remote app to play music on my iMac, streaming to one of my AirPlay-compatible devices. It’s convenient, and allows me to control the music and the volume with any iOS device.

But since the recent update to the Remote app, it no longer updates metadata in iTunes. Previously, it would update the play count and the last played date, useful notably because this would put music you played via that app in the Recently Played playlist. It’s a bit annoying; imagine if you play music on shuffle, and you want to go back and check out some of the songs you heard, because you don’t recall exactly what they are. Previously, the Recently Played playlist would show you this; now, there’s nothing.

However, what you can do is start playing the music in iTunes, then, later, if you wish, control if from the Remote app. You can skip tracks and change volume, but you can’t start playing something different; if you do, then the metadata won’t be updated.

I don’t know why Apple has made this change. It doesn’t make things better in any way, and only removes useful data from your iTunes library.

iTunes 12.8 Brings AirPlay 2 Support to the Mac (and Windows)

Apple has released iTunes 12.8, for Mac and Windows, adding AirPlay 2 support to the desktop. When Apple released iOS 11.4, with AirPlay 2, the Mac (and Windows) was notably absent, meaning that you could stream music to a stereo pair of HomePods from an iOS device, but not from iTunes. This his (finally) been corrected.

Download iTunes 12.8 here, or through the Mac App Store app.

Apple Has Updated the iOS iTunes Remote App

Apple yesterday released an update to the iOS iTunes Remote app, which can be used to remotely control playback from an iTunes library. This wouldn’t be a big deal except for the fact that the company finally updated the iPad version of the app, which, in spite of received minor updates over the years, still presented an iOS 6 style interface.

Here’s how it looked before the update:

Remote old

And now:

Remote new

I had long been surprised that Apple couldn’t bother updating the interface of this app. Granted, it may not be widely used, but still; compared to the current iOS look – which has been “flat” since iOS 7 – it looked archaic.

Finally.

The Next Track, Episode #104 -The Future of iTunes

The Next Track Blue Flat Button2 400pxDoug and Kirk discuss the future of iTunes. What effect will streaming and Apple’s forthcoming video service have on iTunes? Will it split into several apps? Will it still be called iTunes?

Listen to The Next Track: Episode #104 – The Future of iTunes.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at The Next Track website. You can follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast, to keep up to date with new episodes, and new articles from the website.

Side Splitter AppleScript Lets You Relive the Joy of Flipping Albums in iTunes

My podcast partner Doug Adams were chatting recently about the experience of listening to record albums – LPs – where you would flip a record after 20 or 25 minutes of music. So he made an AppleScript to reproduce this in iTunes.

Back in the day, LP record albums were experienced as pairs of “sides,” right?

A decent record side was about 22 to 27 minutes long. And so we got used to listening to chunks of music of this duration. These time constraints on a record would often affect how the album was programmed, such as the song order and perhaps other conceptual factors.

If you spent a lot of time listening to record albums this way, you may remember the convention of “flipping the record” after the first side was finished in order to hear the other side. It only took a few moments to do so, but this pause in the action is the sort of thing you don’t experience much with CDs and virtually never with hours-long playlists.

We discuss this in an episode of The Next Track podcast to be released this Friday.

Check out the Side Splitter AppleScript for iTunes.