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Apple releases iTunes 10.3 with iCloud beta

iTunes 10.3, which supports automatic downloads and previously purchased downloads from the iTunes store, is now available. The iCloud service will be available in its entirety later this year.

Apple has released iTunes 10.3 (Download for Mac or Windows), which includes initial support for Apple's new iCloud features.

Officially unveiled at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference yesterday, iCloud is the company's upcoming replacement for MobileMe. While iCloud in its entirety will be available later this year, parts of it are being enabled sooner, including managing currently purchased items on multiple machines as well as previous purchases from the iTunes store.

iTunes 10.3 in Software Update
iTunes 10.3 is available via Apple's Software Update utility.

The new release of iTunes comes with Automatic Download, a feature that ensures that all devices you have running iTunes are updated with music, apps, and books that you purchase, so an item purchased on one Mac will be downloaded on your other Macs running iTunes 10.3.

Ultimately users will have to wait for iTunes 10.5 and OS X 10.7 Lion to fully implement all iCloud features, but for now this will be a convenient introduction. iTunes 10.3 is available for download either at Apple's iTunes, through Software Update, or from the Apple Support Downloads pages (see below), and will be about 75MB in size depending on the version.

• iTunes 10.3

• iTunes 10.3 for Windows (64-bit)

In addition to automatic downloads, the update includes options to download previously purchased items at no cost (though Apple warns that if previous purchases are no longer in the store then they will not be available).

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