iTunes redesign has built-in iCloud, new MiniPlayer and more

Apple has given iTunes a makeover. Here's what's new.

Apple has given its cumbersome iTunes software a redesign, introducing a new look and a host of new features.

A slick edge-to-edge design has been introduced to the desktop version of iTunes for Mac and PC, meaning it'll look a little fancier. If you click on an album, the songs will expand outwards, rather than jumping you into a new page.

Other time-saving measures are drop-down options from the playback bar, and a split-screen mode makes it possible to add songs to playlists while browsing your library.

iCloud integration means that any music, movies or TV that you bought on another iOS device that's tied to your account will be accessible. Downloaded and iCloud media will be displayed side-by-side in your library.

If you can't bear having iTunes hogging your whole screen like a great big billboard, a freshly designed 'MiniPlayer' contains many playback options, which jump out as drop-down options. A feature called Up Next shows you the tunes coming up in your play queue.

The iOS version of iTunes is also getting re-jigged, with an emphasis on big icons and album art. You'll get a chance to examine all the changes for yourself when iOS 6 becomes available on 19 September.

As for the desktop version, that's going to be available in late October, available as a free download.

Although Apple boasts 20 billion songs have been downloaded via its music service, using the existing iTunes desktop software is a real chore. Here's hoping the new version is faster, slicker and generally less frustrating to use.

What would you like to see in the next version of iTunes? And what do you think of the iPhone 5? Tell me in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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