By Khurram Aziz | Nov 30, 2012 12:51 PM EST
After a short delay, Apple has released the 11th version of its iTunes music download service with a new look and a host of new features.
Available for both the Mac and PC's running Windows, the software can be downloaded from Apple's website.
At first blush, the latest update has a focus on album covers that expand to show your own songs combined with other tracks from Apple's iTunes Music Store.
There's also closer integration with Apple's iCloud syncing service as well as Facebook and better search functionality and the ability to preview songs while browsing.
Apple has taken out the left-hand navigation panel that used to permeate iTune and instead allows you to toggle between the iTunes Store and your Library through a button in the upper right of the iTunes window.
The Library can be accessed via a drop down menu in the upper left which grants you access to your music, movies, books and other content. Once inside the Library, you can swap between different views focusing on songs, albums, and playlists which are listed across the top of the window.
If you click on the iTunes Store icon, the software opens up a home screen highlighting side-scrolling album and poster art for music, movies, TV shows and apps for you to download. You can chose between all of these by a simple click of a button.
The iTunes mini player can now be accessed through its own icon in the upper right rather than by clicking the upper-left green bubble-button on iTunes 10.
The mini player also has a pop-up menu called 'Up Next' that displays a list of the next tunes you have cued up in a playlist or album. The feature allows you to reorder the list on the fly without changing the order in the original playlist itself as well as allowing you to add or remove songs from the currently playing 'Up Next' list.
iTunes 11 is much more closely integrated with the iCloud and its playback syncing functionality. That means, whenever you play the same movie or episode from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV, it will continue right where you left off across all devices.
The software is compatible with Macs running OS X 10.6.8 or later and PCs with Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later, 32-bit Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8. Systems running 64-bit editions of Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 are also supported.
You can download iTunes 11 here.
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