Apple’s iTunes program got an overhaul Thursday as the company made the 11th major version available for download.
The company had originally slated the program for release in October, but told CNET last month that it would “take a little extra time to get it right.”
Apple has completely overhauled the look of iTunes, pulling design cues from its mobile operating system, iOS. Replacing the “Cover Flow” system that simulated flipping through one’s record collection, the new iTunes layout lets users choose to expand or shrink information panels. There’s no side library bar — a format similar to the iPad — which makes some navigation more difficult. Users can choose to get their bars back from the View menu, Gizmodo noted.
On the other hand, the program is meant to be much, much faster. That addresses a main complaint iTunes users have had in recent years as the program expanded to include more and more mediums.
There is also more iCloud integration. Music, podcasts, movies, etc., will sync in the same place across all of your devices, meaning that your jogging jam sessions don’t have to end when you get home.
Apple also introduced a new mini player, which shows the album cover for the song currently playing. The company ditched the play and track navigation buttons on the menu, leaving those functions to Mac keyboards. You can, however, click on the players to see what songs are coming up, search for music or manage your sound outputs.
CNET highlighted one more surprise feature in the program. According to their report, iTunes 11 will work with Mac cameras to scan gift cards. Not all gift cards will work — the program will only scan codes framed by boxes.