iTunes 11: Sleeker, skinnier, faster

Apple has finally released iTunes 11, the latest edition of its new multimedia platform. And the new iTunes is a beauty. 

Apple
iTunes 11, the newest version of the popular Apple multimedia platform, is shown on an Apple MacBook computer.

Back in September, at the iPhone 5 launch event in San Francisco, Apple demoed a new version of its venerable iTunes platform. Today, iTunes 11 goes live, and as Apple promised, the software is significantly overhauled, from the sleek design to the glowing blue iTunes icon. 

The tagline of the new iTunes is "simplicity is a beautiful thing," a nod to the gobs of white space and clean, sharp lines that define the interface. A pull-down menu in the upper-left of the display allows users to click between movies, music, TV, apps, and books – select one of the categories, and you get an uncluttered look at your record collection or digital book shelf. 

"It’s browsing made more intuitive," Apple says. 

In addition, Apple has refreshed its iTunes Store to match the aesthetic of the iTunes player, and added something called a Mini Player for the desktop.

But our favorite addition to iTunes 11 is the enhanced iCloud functionality – as soon as we booted up the new software, iTunes presented us with a synced list of music and movies we'd collected on a range of other Apple devices, including our iPhone and iPad. You can stream that content from the cloud or download it to your hard drive. 

So how does the new iTunes handle? Well, we've only had limited time with it, but it seems pretty snappy to us. And over at Gizmodo, Kyle Wagner agrees. "iTunes is fast now," Wagner writes. "Which is crazy. iTunes hasn't been fast in years. But iTunes 11 feels legitimately lightweight and like something you wouldn't mind running all the time. That's a huge change. Search, scrolling, anything – in any view – is all lightning quick now."

If you own an Apple device, you should get a prompt to download the new iTunes the next time you check your software update queue. If not, navigate over to this page, and download it yourself.

Tried out the new iTunes? Drop us a line in the comments section. And for more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.