Friday, November 30, 2012 - 1:00pm
The latest version of Apple's industry-leading media software iTunes became available yesterday -- about a month later than expected. It may be late, but don't say it's slow.
Computer World calls the new app "a speed demon." After the laboring and trudging of iTunes 10, Gizmodo says: "So fast. We can't believe it's iTunes. When scrolling through the iTunes' new graphics heavy album view, the tiles fly by. Apple must have completely rewritten the app to get these results." Gizmodo really liked the new MiniPlayer too. See the video tour of the new app here.
Information Week has a walk-thru too, here. They seem to be particularly impressed by iTunes 11's looks: the iTunes store, navigation menus, the synching interface, and more.
Maybe the real game-changer here is the app's integration with iCloud (Apple's online storage system that allows users to keep media "in the cloud," as opposed to their own machine, and access files via streaming). TechCrunch (here) calls this its most important improvement, enabling users to much more easily browse and stream content. A user can stream and download songs when purchased, or buy more, without leaving his/her music library.
Apple "is a company pouring billions into this infrastructure with aims to ultimately supplant and marginalize services like Spotify," says Digital Music News (here). With the new iTunes, "Apple is offering enhancements to make localized access (sort of the equivalent to Spotify's cacheing) across devices like the iPad and iPhone."
Another new "Spotify-like" feature TechCrunch points out is called "Up Next," which mimics Spotify's "queue" feature. Very simply, it allows building "on the fly" playlists (just put the track(s) you want to play next into the queue).
"As Spotify users will tell you, it was one of the key features that made the service popular. It is a perfect party tool as well," writes TechCrunch.
Apple's introduction to the software is here.