As rumors point to major iTunes renovations, Apple goes on hiring spree

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Amidst a flurry of reports and speculation regarding Apple’s iTunes Music Store and Radio strategy in the past few weeks, Apple has begun posting job listings indicating they are gearing up for major improvements to iTunes.

Four listings on Apple’s Jobs page show they are interested in hiring iTunes Software Engineers, a Senior Software Engineer for iTunes Radio, and an iTunes Recommendations Platform Software Engineer. From the descriptions:

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The iTunes Store Discovery team is looking for a top-notch engineer to build and enhance features driving the iTunes Store, App Store, and the iBookstore. The Discovery team is responsible for features such as iTunes Genius, iTunes Match, Recommendations, and many other personalized and cloud features of the iTunes Store.

-Build new features, resolve issues, and optimize performance for iTunes Radio on iOS -Participate in cross-functional teams on upcoming features

Last month, we reported that Apple is considering moving iTunes Radio to a standalone application in iOS 8 to boost visibility. In following weeks, Billboard reported that Apple is considering both an iTunes client for Android, as well as an on demand streaming service.

Following up that report yesterday, Billboard details that Apple is also working on a dramatic overhaul of the entire iTunes Store experience, due to both declining sales and a lack of traction from iTunes Radio.

Last but not least, in an article resurfacing today by Robert Hutton, he claims Apple is set to introduce hi-res, 24 bit audio in iTunes by the beginning of June, coinciding with both WWDC 2014 as well as the release of the first 3 of many Led Zeppelin remasters.

Assuming all of these reports pan out, Apple obviously has an almost insurmountable amount of work ahead of itself in order to introduce these changes within a timely manner. It’s likely that these job postings reflect Apple’s need for more software talent on the iTunes side of the business.

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  1. ashtraywasp - 9 years ago

    If Apple are going into high-quality audio.. sweet baby jesus I am so happy.

    • Did you even know iTunes didn’t have “high-quality” audio?

    • Mr. Grey (@mister_grey) - 9 years ago

      It actually already has “high quality audio” that cannot be distinguished from CD quality by anyone except a few. They are now moving to “Neil Young” quality.

      They had just better upgrade the stuff we already bought for free or there will be hell to pay.

      • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

        >>or there will be hell to pay.

        No, there will be 39¢ per song to pay, and no one will whine.

  2. CJ Sheets - 9 years ago

    I hope we see improvements to the iTunes player itself. It used to be great, now creating playlists and finding songs is a chore. 24bit audio is extremely welcome! May we finally get FLAC support? Doubtful as long as Apple can sell their HQ audio in the store.

    My iPod doesn’t even play high bit rate audio MP3s.

    • Mr. Grey (@mister_grey) - 9 years ago

      The thing about FLAC support, is that no one actually wants it. It doubles the size of your files, essentially halving the storage of all your devices, and gives back a slight increase in quality that 999 people out of a thousand can’t hear.

      • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

        Except no, plenty of people want lossless audio. My library is solid ALAC, for example.

    • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

      Why on Earth would anyone want FLAC when it already supports ALAC?

      • mostling (@mostling) - 9 years ago

        It wouldn’t hurt to have FLAC support and it wouldn’t cost anything to implement it, i have a FLAC library of ~800GB, i’m for damn sure not going to reencode all that to alac, so i use Audirvana + for all my music playback.

      • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

        >> i’m for damn sure not going to reencode all that to alac

        You being lazy doesn’t really give Apple much incentive to change.

        Drag and drop your library into XLD and just let it sit. It retains folder structure (which won’t matter). Then just throw them into iTunes. Done.

      • CJ Sheets - 9 years ago

        I guess a better question is, why not include FLAC support. It’s an open format, free to use, and a huge amount of HQ songs have this codec. Apple should add it for the simple reason to have more choices. Yes I could convert my FLAC library, but again if iTunes supported it, I wouldn’t have to.

      • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

        Because XLD converts in seconds, I guess.

      • CJ Sheets - 9 years ago

        I like XLD, it’s a great app. But to suggest Apple shouldn’t include FLAC support because they can reply on a third-party app that “converts is seconds” is silly. Again, this wouldn’t be hard for Apple to do. FLAC support isn’t even at the top of my wish list for improvements. But there are a ton of people out there with FLAC audio files. Not everyone relies solely on Apple for their music purchases, so why exclude them?

        I guess I’ll answer my own question. Cause Apple wants people to buy HQ audio from their iTunes store. It still doesn’t make it right.

      • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

        Of course that’s not the reason. The reason is they have their own, better, lossless format and couldn’t care less about FLAC.

  3. fredhstein - 9 years ago

    Great news and long overdue. Glad that Ives now has this group.

  4. I Am Kadri (@Kadri246) - 9 years ago

    Apple still doesn’t realize that until they restore the functionality where users can browse the stores’ content by date added as it used to before, they’re losing sales. Apple need to understand that not every top 200 ‘whatever,’ every consumer will buy, and not every consumer knows the names of every publication on the stores. It’s been months since I bought an iTunes gift card, I got tired seeing the same top stuff over and over, when at the same time new stuff are published daily yet we cant browse them. Stupid mistake apple made.

  5. chasinvictoria - 9 years ago

    Utterly zero chance of FLAC support, but every chance of ALAC files for sale, which would be a welcome feature.

  6. zBrain (@joeregular) - 9 years ago

    am i the only one who hates features being branched out as separate apps? e.g. facebook and messenger by facebook?

    how about adding widgets (for iTunes radio) in control center and then open the music app?

  7. bloggerjameslantern - 9 years ago

    Good to hear apple’s booming,i didn’t know they owned i tunes,mad respect!

  8. rogifan - 9 years ago

    So will we see base storage on iPhone starting at 32GB now? It really should be 32/64/128 for the same price as 16/32/64. Make it happen Apple!

  9. Josh Mobley - 9 years ago

    If high quality means lossless 24 bit audio, my cd buying days are over. Lossless is important because it removes generational loss. Other then that, you really can’t tell the difference between a 256 AAC and a lossless encoding unless you are listening in a studio grade environment. Even then, 99 times out of a hundred you will not be able to tell the difference. Anyone who says they can with any kind of regularity is lying. Even 24 bit will not improve audio quality, only headroom.

    • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

      Great to know that you’re the authority on what every person on Earth can and cannot hear.

      I’m sure you’re flown in for consulting the world over when designing new sound environments.

      • Mr. Grey (@mister_grey) - 9 years ago

        Re: “Great to know you are the authority …”

        This is pretty rich coming from one of techs biggest forum bullies that phrases every single post they make as if it were words from God coming down from above. Check in the mirror the next time you are looking for an overbearing blowhard.

      • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

        Well, when you have an actual argument that explains how you can speak for every human on Earth instead of one that does nothing but spew lies, let us know.

      • robertvarga79 - 9 years ago

        It is not about who is authority, you troll, but what biologically/physically possible for most people!

      • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

        So many people don’t have a clue what a troll is.

        A troll is someone who claims to know what every person on Earth can do and then refuses to prove how he knows it. Because he’s lying.

  10. qj201 - 9 years ago

    “tabbed browsing” the iTunes store would be a nice addition

  11. annazzanna - 9 years ago

    itunes radio is complete bullshit
    if frequently repeat the same song.
    it worse than pandora and other competitors, I am surprised that Apple did not put any efforts to develop serious recommendation engine


Avatar for Michael Steeber Michael Steeber

I’m a Creative Editor passionate about Apple Retail and design. My stories highlight the work of talented artists, designers, and customers through a unique lens of architecture, creativity, and community.

Twitter: @MichaelSteeber