iTunes 11 launches after delay from Apple
APPLIE today released iTunes 11, the latest version of its popular music software, following a month's delay.
A visual redesign is the main feature of the latest update, with a focus on album covers that expand to show your own songs combined with other tracks from Apple's iTunes Music Store.
Improved integration with Apple's iCloud syncing service and better search funtions are also key components of the new software.
A revamped mini player allows you to search for songs, albums, and artists without needing to switch back to the full version.
The iTunes 11 update was slated for release a month ago, with Apple claiming it needed a "little extra time to get it right."
iTunes has been criticised in the past for being slow and growing increasingly unwieldy as more and more media types have been added to what used to be simply a music player.
Improving iTunes is seen as crucial for Apple, with new devices such as the iPad Mini seen as key new ways for users to consume iTunes content. "We expect to see Apple take sales away from the Kindle family of devices and the Kindle app itself, as Apple will be marketing the tablet as an iBook, iTunes consumption device," said mobile computing analyst Salman Chaudhry.
In a statement, Apple told technology site AllThingsD: "The new iTunes is taking longer than expected and we wanted to take a little extra time to get it right.
A more streamlined approach was also in evidence, including removing 'Ping', an Apple social recommendation tool criticised for failing to integrate with other social networks that was plagued by spam.
As of September, Apple said it had more than 435 million iTunes accounts set up with 1-Click purchasing, meaning accounts with credit cards or other payment options attached.
iTunes has a catalogue of 26 million songs, of which there have been 20 billion purchased by consumers during the past nine years.
Jennifer O'Mahony, Telegraph.co.uk