iTunes 10: What's new detailed and explained

Apple has updated its iTunes software to version 10, and with it added a load of new features into the mix for you to enjoy and of course entice you to download. But before you bother, what's new with the new software package? We take a look at the new features so you can see whether you want to still bother downloading it or not.

iTunes Ping

iTunes has gone social. Now you can follow artists and friends as if you really are their number one fan/groupie. The concept is a simple one. Using the new feature, which is just a feature rather than a completely separate service, you can discover new music by seeing what your friends are listening to and then pressing the buy button to make Apple happy and at the same time your life complete.

"Ping automatically tells anyone that follows you whenever you purchase new music or write a review for an album. You'll also see which of your friends have purchased a song or written a review right from the album page on the iTunes Store", says Apple; so when signing up to the service be careful what you buy.

In a move to ape Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and every other social network you've heard of, you'll also be able to find out when and where artists and bands are on tour. No word on whether you'll be able to then order tickets direct from iTunes, but expect something like that once the service takes off.

TV show rentals

If you don't fancy paying $99/£99 for the new Apple TV, Apple will still let you rent TV shows and movies via iTunes as long as you are in the US (UK has yet to be announced). That means the ability to "watch what you want, when you want, without commercial interruptions, and in HD", so says Apple.

You can then watch the 99 cents downloads on your iPhone or iPod touch, iPad, the Apple TV, and of course your Mac or PC. 

You have 30 days from the moment you rent an episode to start watching, and 48 hours to finish it.

AirPlay

According to Apple, AirPlay lets you stream music throughout your entire house wirelessly, with the new tech being fully integrated into the speaker docks, AV receivers, and stereo systems of tomorrow from companies such as Bowers & Wilkins and Denon. It's Apple's attempt at expanding on its AirTunes system launched a number of years ago. No partner has announced any new devices as yet, but the list of those signed up are: Denon, Marantz, B&W, JBL and iHome.

Apple TV support

If you've slapped your name down for the new Apple TV (no, it's not called iTV) then you'll need to get iTunes 10 for the whole thing to work. Because the Apple TV doesn't have any storage it will need to stream from iTunes 10.

Improved Syncing

Nope, wireless syncing hasn't suddenly been enabled, but there is a new capacity bar that gives you storage details in real time (we know you are excited really).



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