iTunes 11 was first announced in September, and while it would seem it would be released alongside the iPhone 5, it wasn't. Nor was it ready for release alongside the iPad Mini, and new iMac and MacBook Pro in October. Finally yesterday, a week after Thanksgiving, it was ready for release, and the initial reaction is that it was worth the wait.
In what seems like a concentrated effort to make OS X look as much as possible like iOS, iTunes is more pictures and less text. Though the app has made many fabulous changes throughout the years, it always held the same structure of the menu in the column on the left and the meat of everything else next to that.
That left side menu is gone. Everything is bigger and bolder and completely meant for those visual learners out there, the people that it seems retina display is meant for. Additionally, you don't have to display any of it in worded lists. It can all be in pictures from your song lists, to artists, to albums. And all of it is available in tabs going across the top, rather than taking up valuable real estate in that boring left side menu.
Additionally, the iTunes Store no longer operates in just the space left over next to the left side menu. It's now full screen and appears very much the same as it does in iOS 6. Every thing is big and bold, and you choose movies and music by movie poster and album art. It looks great on the big screen compared to the iPad and iPhone screens.
There is also a small mini player. If you're working elsewhere on your computer and are playing music, you can switch to the mini player, and it keeps the play/pause, forward, etc., controls in a small window that can be moved and pushed aside anywhere. This way you can concentrate on your work while still keeping control of the music playing.
But the feature that it seems all of this is built around is iCloud. Now it all works completely together. It kind of did before, but it didn't all transfer. Some things worked here, but not there, some worked there, but not here. Now it all works together. The playlists that I have set up on my iPad, now appear on all my devices, as well as my MacBook.
Want to know more about the new iTunes 11? We'll be featuring it in a full article in next week's digital magazine. While you're waiting check out this week's magazine with the feature article on Walking Dead
Photo Credit: Apple.com