As with every new hardware release, Apple updates iTunes in order to support new devices. But the media software will receive a major update, as was announced today during Apple’s live event. The interface is now totally new with an edge-to-edge design. Browsing your music feels completely different with a great emphasis on album art. The left-side column is gone in the default configuration. But the most important improvement is that iCloud is now built-in.
You can switch back to a more traditional interface with listings of your music and browse by artist. The interface is much clearer with pop-up elements that look like iOS. Search was also improved.
A new feature called “Up next” will be available. The name suggests that it should work like the queue feature in Spotify. It allows you to put some tracks in a queue to play automatically after the current track.
The mini-player was redesigned. You can now search directly from the mini-player and even manage playlists. The iTunes Store was redesigned as well and looks a lot like the different stores in iOS 6. iTunes’ “In The Store” highlights is surely “inspired” by top tracks from Spotify, a fan-favorite feature.
Artists can share photos directly into people’s iTunes library. By doing this, Apple is probably quietly killing Ping.
It remains to be confirmed whether the software was redeveloped from the ground-up to get rid of the sluggishness of the current version. The updated software will be available in late October.