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iTunes 11 Released – New & Improved?

Recently, Apple released a new version of their highly popular media management program, iTunes. This is the software used for downloading songs and videos from the Apple iTunes Store, along with syncing Apple iPhone/iPod and iPad products.

iTunes 11 welcomes the first change to its basic interface in many years, with the popular sidebar being removed as the default option (You can still re-enable it by going to the view menu and selecting show sidebar). The new interface has a drop-down selection box on the upper left to choose a category (Music, Movies, TV Shows & Home Sharing), and on the upper right is a button that switches between iTunes Store & Library.

iTunes now features what Apple is calling the expanded view for music. When you click on an album or artist, a list will pop up showing you the songs, as well as controls to play them, a star-based rating, and links to buy more songs in the iTunes store.

iTunes mini player has also been revamped with a sleeker interface. This default view shows the album cover, track and artist name, and when you hover the mouse over, it will show you playback controls. One of the new options is an Up Next menu, which you can open by clicking the bullet list icon that will show you the next songs queued to play and let you remove/rearrange the play order.  This feature is also selectable from the bullet list icon in the top middle of the regular iTunes interface.

What’s gone from iTunes 11? The iTunes DJ feature, along with the ability to open areas of iTunes as separate windows, has been removed.  The cover flow view of albums, which let you virtually flip through album covers, has also been removed.

Is iTunes 11 worth the upgrade? Definitely. All the great music organization and playback features are still there, with a streamlined interface and improved store look. If you have an Apple device, the upgrade is a no-brainer, but if you’re also looking for a quality music and video player with an easy method of converting CD’s to MP3’s (or Apple’s AAC), download iTunes 11.

You can find iTunes 11 on the Apple website by clicking here. [1]