updated 02:30 pm EDT, Wed September 12, 2012
Redesigned store features Facebook integration
Today at its press event for the new iPhone, Apple showed off the latest version of its iTunes software. The new version includes redesigns for both the iOS and Mac OS X versions of iTunes, with a greater focus on music discovery, as well as social networking built into the software. The new version of iTunes for iOS will launch alongside iOS 6 next week on September 19.
Apple has changed the iOS version of iTunes to give users a larger view of products. iOS users scanning books, movies, and music will now see the same design, which has less of a focus on borders and tabs and more of a focus on book, album, and app cover art. The new version also features the ability to preview music and have that preview continue to play while a user goes on to browse the rest of the store. Throughout the software, Apple has built in Facebook and Twitter compatibility, allowing users to Like or share iTunes content directly from the app.
The OS X version of iTunes now features an edge-to-edge design, eliminating the navigation sidebar that has been a standard of the software for some time. Users are now presented with an array of album covers. Clicking on any one of those covers splits the main window, bringing up the album's contents much in the way that tapping a folder icon in iOS 6 brings splits the screen to display its contents. iTunes on OS X also allows users to browse their music collection by artist, and it has a new feature whereby artists can share photos with owners of their music. In the on-stage demonstration, the presenter browsed through a few photos Coldplay was sharing through the feature.
The OS X version also features a revamped search feature, which shows album art for items containing the entered search terms. The mini-player design has also been redone, allowing users to manage playlists without bringing up the full iTunes player.
Apple also notes that it has built iCloud directly into its new iTunes software, allowing users to start or continue viewing movies and content purchased on one device across other devices. The new desktop version of iTunes will be out in October, though Apple has not given a date specific.