iTunes gets major overhaul
At its iPhone 5 launch, Apple admitted that people don't buy music from their computers anymore, they do it from their device. And why not, after all, everything you do on your iPhone is automatically synced to your computer anyway. So to that end, the firm has redesigned both the on-device iTunes store and the desktop client.
On the device, everything is supposed to be simpler too, and designed to make purchasing and previewing music a lot easier. According to Apple, you can listen to 90-second previews now, and do so while navigating around the store looking for other things to buy.
In its desktop version, the new look is impressive. There's less wasted space on screen for UI clutter - at least on the Mac version, Apple didn't demo the Windows version on stage! When you select an album, there's a dropdown, and very graphical, track list that appears, along with album art. Search is apparently completely re-worked too, allowing you to find TV shows, movies and music much faster than before.
Cloud integration is much improved too. Now, via cloud sync, your devices always remember where you were in a movie or TV show, and you can resume playback on one of your other devices.
There's a re-vamped mini-player, and you can even search your collection from there - which is a pretty epic improvement for such a tiny little widget.
Our only hope with the desktop version is that Apple manages to sort out the performance of the app on computers. Even Mac owners admit it's not the best, and PC users have been known spew hatred and bile about it at a level normally reserved for fascist dictators. Fingers crossed anyway.
New iTunes, or iTunes 11 will be out in late October for your desktop computer. The improvements to devices will obviously arrive with the iOS 6 update, landing this week.