At their event this past September, Apple announced that a new redesigned version of iTunes would be coming in October. October came and went. Then we were promised the update in November. With November almost already gone, it did not take a genius to conclude that the new iTunes 11 would be making its debut today or tomorrow. Now it’s out. Get to downloading!
For the redesign Apple has gone for simplicity, decluttering the iTunes window and bringing it more in line with the iOS look, especially on iPad. There are numerous tweaks that you can customize to your liking. You can go with the Sidebar view as with previous editions, or reduce your space by opting to hide it. If you are looking for connected devices, there is a tab on the top right that takes you directly to them. If you have iTunes in the Cloud, you can show music in the cloud or hide tracks.
Apple has also re-thought the Mini player and integrated iTunes Store recommendations in the same viewer so you can view these without launching the store.
Apple has implemented iCloud integration for easier inter-device use. Start a track or movie on one device and continue on another, from the place you left off on the former
Overall the design feels lighter, faster and more intuitive and modern, almost like a web app. I still however wish Apple had added more functionality to the app, and fixed the many bugs that now seem firmly baked into the software architecture. Processing Album Artwork never works 100% for me, nowadays a bit frustrating since we are staring more into screens while listening to music – the generic empty album artwork icon feels meh. Also on my wishlist would be an in-app tag and title corrector.
So with all these tweaks, is upgrading to iTunes 11 worth it? In general one should exercise a dose of healthy caution before upgrading any software. Read up on the new promised features and decide whether anything missing is something you can do without. With iTunes 11, Apple has redesigned the user experience and included performance improvements. It is not a radical departure – the app still feels familiar, just more modern.
Download the new version of iTunes via the App Store or here.
To read up on all the new features click here.