Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, speaks during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose where the company announced changes to iTunes

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, speaks during Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose where the company announced changes to iTunes

In the world of dodgy music sharing sites and viruses, iTunes seemed like a breath of fresh air. Now, however, after nearly two decades, Apple is changing one of its most famous creations.

The tech giant announced yesterday at a developers’ conference in San Jose, California that iTunes would be broken up into three new apps, Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV. The apps will work on desktop computers as well as iPhones and iPads.

Apple said that the changes will simplify the experience of listening and watching content as more people stream music, TV and podcasts.

Steve Jobs, the former chief executive of Apple, introduced iTunes 18 years ago after he convinced leading record labels to offer their music on the platform. It was one of the most important steps in the music industry’s move into digital and helped to combat the piracy that was rife on applications such as Napster and LimeWire at the time.

iTunes became unwieldy and complicated as Apple added features such as movies, TV shows, books, podcasts and audiobooks. The company also introduced its own streaming service, Apple Music in 2015, which now has 50 million subscribers.

Apple has begun to invest heavily in its streaming service for TV shows and movies, creating original content to compete with Netflix and Amazon.