Officially announced at the iPhone 5 media event on September 12, Apple today released iTunes 11, the next major version of the media player/manager for OS X. At the end of October, Apple delayed the original release of the software, saying that it would come out “before the end of November”.
The new iTunes features a new edge-to-edge design that is reminiscent of the Music app for iPad. Album art flows across the display — clicking on an album expands album info as opening a folder does on iOS. iTunes also brings popovers that present a drop down of upcoming songs, and improved search results as you filter through music in your library. One of the big new features is expanded view, which lets users see all the songs of an album in place without opening a different view. The background of an album in expanded view is automatically generated by iTunes based on the item’s artwork.
The new MiniPlayer, unlike previous designs, shows album artwork and gives the option to manage playlists and see upcoming songs as well through the new Up Next feature. From the MiniPlayer, users can now also search for a song in their library by hitting the search button; and to go back to the main screen, all they have to do is click the “expand” icon next to the close button.
The built-in iTunes Store underwent a facelift, too. Inspired by iOS 6, the Store now comes with a cleaner look, carousel-like banners for featured items, and access to a Preview History to check out all media you’ve previewed in chronological order. iCloud integration makes sure purchases are available on every device, and, with iTunes 11, iCloud also syncs position for movies, TV shows, podcasts, iTunes U lessons, and audiobooks users are playing on a device.
iTunes 11 is available for download from Software Update. Our first impressions and screenshots directly below.
Update: Apple has also released Remote 3.0. The new app supports Up Next, it’s got new view options, and the iPad’s interface highly resembles iTunes for Mac with custom album backgrounds.
iTunes 11 has a new icon:
And here’s a first screenshot of the new UI.
Changelog from Apple:
Introducing the new iTunes. With a dramatically simplified player, a completely redesigned Store, and iCloud features you’ll love—this is the best iTunes yet.
Completely Redesigned. iTunes makes it more fun to explore and enjoy your music, movies, and TV shows. You’ll love the beautiful edge-to-edge design, custom designs for each album, movie, or TV show in your library, and getting personal recommendations any time you click In the Store.
A New Store. The iTunes Store has been completely redesigned and now features a clean look that makes it simpler than ever to see what’s hot and discover new favorites.
Play purchases from iCloud. Your music, movie, and TV show purchases in iCloud now appear inside your library. Just sign-in with your Apple ID to see them. Double-click to play them directly from iCloud or download a copy you can sync to a device or play while offline.
Up Next. It’s now simple to see which songs are playing next, all from a single place. Just click the Up Next icon in the center display and they’ll instantly appear. You can even reorder, add, or skip songs whenever you like.
New MiniPlayer. You can now do a whole lot more with a lot less space. In addition to showing what’s playing, MiniPlayer now includes album art, adds Up Next, and makes it easy to search for something new to play—all from a smaller and more elegant design.
Improved search. It’s never been easier to find what you’re looking for in iTunes. Just type in the search field and you’ll instantly see results from across your entire library. Select any result and iTunes takes you right to it.
Playback syncing. iCloud now remembers your place in a movie or TV show for you. Whenever you play the same movie or episode from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV, it will continue right where you left off.
• You should follow the author on Twitter here.