Apple reworks, simplifies iTunes

Apple has reworked iTunes to feature a simplified user interface, iCloud integration and a new mini player.

Eddy Cue detailing the new features of iTunes.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Company executives said that the design overhaul would make iTunes easier to navigate, and improve performance.

"Music is deeply embedded into our DNA," Apple CEO Tim Cook said as Apple made the announcement in conjunction with the debut of the iPhone 5 today. "This is the reason we created iPod and iTunes, and these products have gone on to revolutionise the music industry."

The new iTunes store design on the iPad emphasises big icons and album/poster art — almost like a media-browsing interface. Just like on iOS, you can also hear a preview when you're browsing other parts of the store. A new mini player will let users move the app out of their face but still have it floating on part of their desktop screen.

The changes will get rolled out to iTunes on iOS devices as well as to iTunes for OS X and Windows. Apple said that the changes will start to appear initially with iOS 6 on 19 September.

The news of an iTunes update slipped out earlier today, when Apple scooped itself by accidentally including a reference in its website's search engine to a press release with the title "Apple unveils new iTunes".

Eddy Cue, Apple's iCloud and music chief, said that the performance has been improved, and that users can preview songs while browsing, which is something that works with 90-second previews. Among other stats he shared:

  • iTunes now has 26 million songs

  • More than 20 billion songs have been purchased over the last 9 years

  • The iTunes store is now available in 63 countries

  • iTunes in the cloud is now being used by 200 million customers.


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