updated 01:49 pm EST, Thu November 29, 2012
Long-promised software finally available
After more than two months of waiting, Apple has released iTunes 11 for Mac and Windows systems. The app is currently available through Software Update, and is now feature on Apple's iTunes website. Macs must be running OS X 10.6.8 or later; Windows systems need at least Windows XP SP2, a 1GHz processor, and 512MB of RAM.
Version 11 represents the first major visual overhaul of the app in years. A new interface scheme eliminates the need for the sidebar (though it is still available), and significantly upgrades the miniplayer, enabling quick access to search and playlist controls while making artist and song information easier to read. The new iTunes should also boast features like better performance, the Up Next playlist control window, redesigned storefronts, and enhanced sync with iCloud media.
Among the new features discovered by readers: users can now redeem iTunes gift cards by showing the code to the built-in camera on most Mac models. The change eliminates users having to manually enter -- often inaccurately on first tries -- the long string of digits and letters that make up a redemption code.