After a delay, Apple has finally released the highly anticipated iTunes 11, an update to Apple’s music solution that brings a new design, more iCloud support, and a host of other improvements that Apple hopes will make the iTunes experience a much improved one from iTunes 10.
Earlier today, it became clear that Apple might be gearing up to release iTunes 11 today and sure enough, the update has arrived a few months after Apple gave the public a sneak peak of the software at the September iPhone 5 event. The software was supposed to arrive sooner but engineering issues led to Apple delaying the software’s arrival until the end of November.
The revamped iTunes 11 features a lot of new and Apple’s change log includes a number of massive changes. The first and maybe most noticeable right off the bat is the simplified controls for music. It takes up far less space while keeping the same functionality that iTunes users are used to. It also includes useful features that users likely will appreciate.
One is a new feature called Next Up which allows users to click a button to see what song is coming up next. This is fantastic for events where keeping the good music going is essential. It also allows users to swift up the order, skip a song or add another song to the list.
The player also features album art and an easier way to search for music. Speaking of search, Apple has improved search in iTunes 11 which will make it easier to find a certain song in vast music collections.
The iTunes Store has seen a big redesign. Aside from the visual changes, which are striking, users can now click on an album cover and be taken to a list that brings up a track listing for that album.
Another big change is the addition of deep iCloud integration. In a page out of iTunes Match’s book, the new iCloud features allow users to view music, videos, songs and more, even if they haven’t been uploaded to the computer itself. Users can also start a video on one device, stop it, and pick it up with another device.
iPhone and iPad owners looking to sync up their devices will notice that the menu is a bit different in iTunes 11 as well and is accessed from the top right corner. The menu keeps a similar look to the old menu and those who are used to the old version will have no problem navigating it.
It’s a big change for iTunes but one that seems to have made it more simplified and even more connected with Apple’s other services. It’s available now on the Mac App Store or through iTunes itself.