Apple is ending the iTunes LP album format

Erica Roy
March 10, 2018

Don't worry, this doesn't mean that Apple is shutting down the whole iTunes store or selling vinyls you never knew it had, an iTunes LP means something quite different to the traditional meaning of LP. Not only will these iTunes LPs continue to be available, but users will still be able to download any previous or new purchases of iTunes LPs at any time via iTunes.

LPs could be the first of several major changes for iTunes in a bid to keep up with subscription-based streaming platform Spotify, industry experts say. The Apple email was supposedly sent a fortnight ago from a "The iTunes Store" address, signed by "The Apple Music Team" and titled "The End of iTunes LPs".

As Venture Beat notes, the original Metro report incorrectly reads the move as the beginning of the end of the iTunes Store entirely - but back on Earth we can safely assume that Apple will leave the lights on for as long as people are still buying digital music.

Apple has announced that it will no longer accept new LP submissions to the iTunes store after March 2018, in an email to music industry workers obtained by Metro.

iTunes LPs are not what you think. This allowed vinyl to play for over 20 minutes as opposed to just five minutes available earlier. The apparent appeal of iTunes LP was supposed to be all the extra features.

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However, the uptake of this feature over the last 9 years hasn't been great.

But nine years after its launch, its end is nigh.

This seems to be the big question following the iTunes LP announcement.

Meanwhile, Apple Music is going from strength to strength, with The Wall Street Journal predicting its tally of paying subscribers will overtake Spotify in the United States this summer. It's unclear how iTunes, which has been heavily updated with Apple Music and other integrations since iTunes LP's debut, now handles the feature.

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