It’s official. Apple has announced that it’s ending iTunes (and it’s actually a great move on the company’s part). Despite receiving frequent updates, iTunes has become a clunky, crowded, and confusing app that isn’t very friendly to long-term users or newcomers.
Apple’s solution is simple and probably overdue. The company is ending the old iTunes service on Mac, and instead, creating several streamlined apps dedicated to specific types of content. In other words, Apple will have a Music app, a TV app, and probably an Arcade app, rather than having all kinds of content floating around iTunes. While this may involve a few more downloads in upcoming updates, it should improve usability.
However, if you’ve had iTunes for a while, you may also have a few iTunes gift cards floating around – they’re an especially popular gift when people aren’t sure exactly what to give you. And now the big question, what should you do with those gift cards? Can you still redeem them?
What about your iTunes balance – what will happen to it? Don’t worry, everything is fine, but let’s go over a few important steps you should take.
Redeem Your Card
First, redeem any older iTunes cards that you have. There’s no new expiration date for iTunes gift cards, and Apple will honor them for the foreseeable future.
iTunes gifts don’t normally have expiration dates, so you should be able to use even particularly old cards. There’s really nothing to worry about.
In fact (and we’ll get to this in a bit) most Apple gift cards sold these days aren’t even iTunes cards anymore. However, you may still have an old iTunes card rattling around. If so, your first move should be to redeem it!
You can redeem from any computer and the process is really easy – especially if you use a mobile device, which can usually just scan your redemption code and automatically enter it. So convert that card into some digital currency before you forget about it.
Check Your Apple ID Balance
There is no super special iTunes account where iTunes gift card money goes and can only be spent on iTunes things. Instead, the money from an iTunes card goes to your general Apple ID balance.
- Once you have redeemed your card, sign into your Apple ID to check your balance.
- See how much is in your account, and make sure that the amount from your card is successfully deposited.
- If it looks like something isn’t working, double check that you’re in the right account and contact Apple support if necessary.
Make Payments for iCloud, Apple Music and More
You can still buy music from iTunes, and all your iTunes music should easily carry over to the new app Apple Music app. Apple won’t let your songs float away into the ether.
In the meantime (and even if you don’t choose to use Apple’s Music app) there are still plenty of things that you can spend your balance on.
Use your iTunes/Apple ID balance to pay for various subscriptions including everything from HBO to Apple’s own TV streaming service, as well as payments for your extra iCloud storage.
You can also buy other apps you are interested in, or even eBooks. With all of these choices, you can choose to put your balance toward whatever is important to you!
Don’t Buy iTunes Cards – Buy General Apple Cards
You may also be worried about buying or receiving iTunes gift cards in the future. The good news is that Apple has primarily replaced iTunes cards with a new version of Apple Store cards, often without any particular label, which function the same way. And the name makes a lot more sense, as they apply to your general Apple ID balance.
iTunes gift cards do still exist for the time being – usually called “App Store and iTunes” cards – but are mostly for people who are unfamiliar with the process looking for an “iTunes card.” To avoid confusion, make sure that you are buying the the new generalized Apple Store cards.