What's new in iTunes 12.2?

The latest update for iTunes brings it in line with iOS 8.4, adding Apple Music and Beats radio to Apple's media app.

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Michelle Starr
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Beats 1 in iTunes 12.2. Apple

Hard on the heels of the launch of iOS 8.4 this morning, Apple has also released an update to its media player iTunes for users of OS X Yosemite and Microsoft Windows. iTunes 12.2 allows users to access the new Apple Music service and the Beats 1 radio service on their desktop computers.

Coming ahead of the release of iOS 9 later this year, the update will be offering iTunes users a free taste of the subscription service: For three months, users have access to a free trial of the music streaming, collation and discovery services, as well as the Beats 1 global live radio service with multiple stations that comes with an Apple Music membership.

Apple will also be introducing its second attempt at an iTunes-based social network. Unlike 2010's failed Ping, which only offered integration with Twitter and Facebook, Connect is centred around connecting users with their favourite artists.

"Apple Music includes a revolutionary music service, the all-new Beats 1 live radio station, and an exciting new way for fans to connect with their favourite artists," the update notes read. "Become a member to play from millions of songs in the Apple Music catalog, or keep them offline for playback later."

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The features listed in the update are as follows:

  • For You: Get playlist and album recommendations you'll love, selected just for you based on your musical tastes. The more you listen, the better For You gets.
  • New: Discover the best new music, handpicked by our music editors. Explore mixes created just for activities like exercising, or find great handcrafted playlists in a wide variety of genres. With Apple Music, you'll always have the perfect soundtrack for any occasion.
  • Connect: A single place to connect with your favourite artists. See thoughts, photos, music, and videos shared from your favourite artists. You can comment on or love anything an artist has posted, and the artist can respond to you directly.
  • Beats 1: Tune in to Beats 1, broadcast live from cities around the globe. Enjoy music, interviews, exclusive radio shows, and the best of what's going on in the world of music. Beats 1 -- worldwide and always on.
  • Apple Music Radio: Radio has been completely redesigned. Play from Featured Stations, where our music experts hand select every song you hear. Or, start a new station from any artist or song. In addition, it's now easy to quickly return to your favourite stations with Recently Played.
  • My Music: Find all your music in one place, including iTunes purchases, music you've imported from CD, and now songs from Apple Music.
  • iTunes Store: The iTunes Store is still the best place to buy your favourite music -- one song or album at a time.

An Apple Music subscription will cost $9.99 (£9.99, AU$11.99) monthly, with a $14.99 (£14.99, AU$17.99) family plan option for up to six people.

Apple has also released the new iTunes for Windows. iTunes 12.2 can be downloaded for OS X and Windows via the Apple website.

Updated at 10:26 a.m. AEST: Windows release info added.