iTunes 11 is now available for download

First officially unveiled during Apple’s iPhone 5 event back in September, the completely redesigned and much improved iTunes software is here. The most obvious change is the new UI, which is much cleaner and browsing through all your media is a more enjoyable experience. By default, the Sidebar is gone, giving it a slick edge-to-edge design (which can be enabled via View –> Show Sidebar if so desired). Other new features include iCloud integration, a new Mini Player, improved search, ‘Up Next’ (easily see and edit which songs are playing next) and a redesigned iTunes store aimed at improving app and content discovery. By and large, I’ve been pretty impressed with iTunes 11 so far. It looks better than ever and it even feels faster. Whether it’s a memory hog remains to be seen…

You can download the latest iTunes here or by going to iTunes –> Check for updates on your Mac/PC. Check out the video demoing iTunes 11 after the break.

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Apple said to be planning major overhaul for iTunes later this year

Bloomberg reported earlier today that Apple will be making significant changes to iTunes for its next major release (iTunes 11?), this according to those with “direct knowledge of the matter”. As part of the overhaul, iTunes will include deeper iCloud Integration, which will help make it easier for users to access all their media files from various iDevices. Perhaps even more significant, will be an improved experience for discovering content, primarily through a new song sharing feature that would allow friends to listen for free. Currently through the (doomed) Ping service found on iTunes, users can only listen to 30 second previews of songs that have been recommended by friends.

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iTunes Link Maker back from the past

Apple's iTunes Link Maker enters the new millenium

Apple’s iTunes Link Maker, which links to the App Store, has been pretty lackluster for a long time. Today or yesterday, though, it underwent a nice upgrade. As always, users can go directly to Apps, Music, Movies, Audiobooks, Music Videos, Podcasts, and Short Films, but now the experience is much more Apple, with direct links to Apple’s store, support and the entire ecosystem. It’s nice to see you enter 2010, Apple.

iTunes/eBay voucher criminals collared

And thank God too. Lord only knows what chilling bills can be racked up via stolen credit cards. UK criminal, Suhail Tufail, put more than 7 000 debit and credit cards in the red thanks to purchases worth 750 000£ and the help of 4 other dodgy geezers. The group of five who used stolen credit cards to buy iTunes vouchers, make Gizmodo’s Jason Chen look like Little Riding hood. Fortunately, the UK’s big bad police have put these badboys behind bars. Apple’s products and services have been the target of criminals before and thanks to their cute industrial designs, will be again.

Morale of the story: don’t always jump at good-looking deals on eBay – you could be stealing someone else’s money. If it was yours, you’d probably hope for a little courtesy. Batten down the hatches ladies and germs, it’s criminality time!

Thanks to The Register

Finally set iTunes wireless with Wi-Fi Sync

April 2010 – Apple has just begun shipping the iPad and announced iPhone OS 4.0. But among the 100+ new features in the next-gen OS, one is still missing – wireless syncing. While the reasons for Apple still refusing to embrace the space age and enabling our “Jesus” iDevices to finally go completely wireless are a mystery, it can be done! One Greg Hughes has just submitted a miracle app to Apple for review – Wi-Fi Sync! I have no idea how he managed it, but the app seems to work and what’s even more – it is completely done under the terms of the iPhone SDK without any use of private APIs whatsoever!

What can I say? Thank you, Mr. Greg Hughes – you’re my hero! And let’s hope the app doesn’t suffer the ill fate of Google Voice and the hundreds of apps, never approved by Apple.

This just in: iPad to suck rocks; April’s big news is iTunes 9.1

The iPad sucks. I’ll admit to having my suspicions about the device; it’s clumsy and half-arsedly pitched between devices: a formula which never, ever works. And, it’s made by the same Newton-designing Apple, a company who just cannot pin interloping gadgets. And TMA isn’t alone in thinking the worst of Apple’s soon-to-be-released device (to read on, follow the gap):

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‘Gift this App’ feature finally makes its way to iTunes

If you’ve previously used iTunes’ “Gift This…” feature for movies, tv shows and music, you then know how easy and convenient it is to purchase a variety of media for your friends and family. For some strange reason though, gifting apps was never an option – until now that is. iTunes has just implemented the ‘Gift this App‘ functionality and now you’re able to send and share your favorite apps and games without resorting to paypal or iTunes Gift Cards. To gift an app, it’s as easy as clicking on the drop down (next to Buy App button – see screenshot). You’ll then be taken to a familiar screen where the recipient’s info, along with a personal message are entered. Of course, a valid credit card is still required on your profile to gift an app (iTunes Store credit can’t be used).

Now go forth app lovers – go nuts and buy your loved ones all ‘em Top 100 apps!

Dissecting iTunes links – the ins and outs of them lil’ bitty www’s

If you’ve ever wanted to know how or why, or where to use iTunes links, then just take a look at bjango’s run-down of iTunes links. Inside are descriptions for movies, apps, genres, and bjango have even sussed user review links!

Dissecting iTunes links
For the latest release of Consume, we wanted to include two buttons: one that linked to all our apps on the App Store, and another that let users easily write a review on iTunes.
These both seem like common things iPhone developers would want to do, so we decided to share the results of our research. Some of the information contained below is obvious for experienced iTunes users, while other links are rarer.

The day the music died – Apple pressure labels to drop Amazon’s Daily Deals

When the iPod arrived on the scene in 2001, it lacked the iTunes store. Of course, users could rip their own CD’s or download from various file-sharing sites. Other options existed, but none ubiquitously had parity with online piracy. Then in 2003, the iTunes music store opened offering tracks in Apple’s locked-down FairPlay version of AAC. Ascribe what you will to the quality of the tracks and selection; snub your nose at those days all you want – in 2007, Apple dropped DRM from its music, raised compression quality, and garnered a fuzzy Samaratin aura from its fans: good news. But while iTunes in many ways forged a new, prosperous path for online music sales, it devolved into a hedged-in business which is first and foremost, looking out for its own. Amazon’s music store is Apple’s primary competition and the two have been playing cats’n mice in each other’s back yards for many years, taking advantage of proprietary market advantages. One such is Amazon’s Daily Deals MP3 sales which allow the online retail giant exclusivity on all Daily Deal sales for 24 hours. Apple won’t have it, however.

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