New iTunes Finally Released

After years of being increasingly sluggish, Apple's flagship music app has received a long overdue update. But is it still king of the music crop?

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Apple has finally released a major update to its flagship media app iTunes last week, to positive reviews from the technology press.

It was originally scheduled for an October release, but was delayed when Apple claimed it needed "a little extra time to get it right" and almost missed its second deadline of releasing it inside November.

While the development rush has left it with some obvious bugs, tech reviewers has generally welcomed the improvements in design and speed. Notable features include a powerful new mini-player, instant search results and artwork analysis to customise the design to each album (see the image below).

"The first thing you notice when you fire up iTunes 11 is that it's so much faster than its predecessor. So fast. We can't believe it's iTunes," said Gizmodo. Others made similar praise, but highlighted several bugs which will presumably be ironed out in a future update.

Apple has been in discussions with major labels to prepare some sort of streaming on digital radio service, but details are scarce and some reports suggest Apple has found it hard to negotiate a deal that it is happy with.

Have you tried the new iTunes update? Do you like the improvements, or have you already moved on to streaming services like Spotify or Rdio? Let us know how you listen to music on your computer in the comments.

67 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, Marijuana, Ecstasy and Alcohol C-c-c-c-c-cocaine!
    Faster?! We tried differents iTunes 11. When I open the album view it slows down as hell...
    The first time I ran it, it was much slower. After a reboot and giving it some time to load all the album art up, it runs really smoothly. It looks great too, but that might just be because I'm a product design student and therefore spend most of my waking hours sucking Jonathan Ive's dick.
    ...Spotify all the way.
    Hell yeah. Unlimited music (limited catalog) from 4.99 a month.
    Yeah...that's way worse than $0.99 a song. Who likes finding new artists and using the free version anyways?
    Mediamonkey Foobar2000 Winamp Don't know why people still choose to struggle with iTunes. All it can do is freeze the shit out of your computer everytime you open it.
    If you're a windows user check Music Bee ( Hands down best music manager going around...imho
    Okay I'll prepare for down votes here but I actually like it... haven't had any 'speed' or crashing issues, think its laid out much better than before... but that's just me
    iTunes has always been the Interent Explorer of the mac work, absolutely brutal. Winamp FTW.
    I like it! It works flipping great. Much nicer to look at. Just one thing, one small thing they removed. One small thing that changes everything. They took away the Spectrum Analyser!!!!! No more can you change the play bar into nice dancing lines!!!
    Typical Apple, add features most media players have always had, put some stupid marketing name on it and the Apple lemmings think it's the greatest thing ever. iTunes is an abomination of a program, reading the posts above listing so many of the better media players gives me a good feeling majority of people on here have a clue.
    I just drag and drop from folder to folder on my Galaxy S3...about 1000x easier. Former iphone user. I'll never go back!
    Friend of mine upgraded, said it completely sucked and wants to downgrade immediately!
    All I care about is if it plays my music or not. I'm not interested in some 200mb+ download just so I can listen to a CD. Go eat yourself, Apple.
    If you're gonna pirate music at least have the decency to properly organize it.
    This version won't work with my iPod touch 5th gen and it keeps crashing. I am takin the iPod back and getting a galaxy player. I've had enough of your crap apple...
    It works faster on my computer, and mine has 11 years or something ( yeah, I need a new pc ); but I miss the layout with the album covers on top. I find it kind of stupid when it opens a new window just with the cover of the song playing. Still, it's not like I care a lot, since I only use iTunes because I have an iPod.
    I liked it like it was before that update... It was so much easier to browse into your library...
    but there's no cover flow anymore -_- now it's a pretty WMP. pisses me off too that if you doubleclick a song now, it plays the album if you're in that view so you have to right click every time. FFFFFUUUUU
    I love the new album pop-out look, and the optional sidebar The only reason I still use iTunes, is because Spotify's local music player isn't very good. I just wish there was some spotify integration in iTunes, and vice versa.
    I like it. It does seem a little faster on my slow computer. The "artist" side bar is a good design choice in my opinion.
    the up next feature is awesome, so glad they finally let you queue a friggen song, its about time.
    I have 2 gripes, you can't change the background colour to black which in my opinion has much better contrast with the album artwork and you can't re size the artwork either. Other than that i'm really impressed with it
    I actually really like it. The feature that makes customized colors for text and background for each album is pretty innovative.
    Yeah the only improvement I've noticed so far is the "add to up next" option. Other than that they've way over done it on the minimalist approach. I hate that they took away the slider bar for resizing the album thumbnails.
    It's terrible, it's no faster, especially not the layout, and I can't manage my music manually on my iPod properly anymore.
    Yes you can, select the music you want and drag to the right, a sidebar will appear where you can drop it on your iPod.
    iTunes is the only Apple product i will ever use. Havent tried the new version, but I don't really care to. The version I have now does what I want it to do: play music, and allow me to organize it.
    It's not much different. I dig the "Add to up next" thing they added, because it makes a bit more simple to make playlists, but other than that, it's really the same thing with a new UI. Still hangs occasionally, still has a weak EQ, and still works for the most part.
    I like it but i think itunes store is really slow and a little harder to navigate through
    Yeah, the iTunes store is still horrendous. I let my subscription to the service I used to put my own stuff up there expire the other day. Bandcamp is so much better for pretty much everyone, particularly since they take a much smaller cut than Apple's flat 30% fee.
    definitely an improvement. took some getting used to, but nothing I could figure out in a few minutes of clicking around. you guys are a bunch of babies.
    People hate things until they get used to it and then it gets accepted. Same thing happens on YouTube/Facebook/whatever every time they have a major update... people whine at first and then they all shut up after they get used to it. Bottom line is, people don't like change, but yet want to see improvements. Can't have one without the other, adjust and adapt, not that hard.
    The Spoon
    The artwork analysis is nice. I like that you can still arrange it like all the old iTunes but the new additions are cool too. I wish Apple would offer fixes for when iTunes splits up one album into 5 different ones for no apparent goddamn reason. Tried everything to fix it but it's still divided into two albums. Whatever, I still like iTunes.
    That means they're not named exactly the same so it groups them separately. Just highlight the entire album, edit the information so it's exactly the same for each song, and it should be good. Sometimes, it still places a song separate from the rest, if that happens, just delete that song and re-add it to your library and it'll automatically put it in the right album.
    The Spoon
    Thanks, i'll try that. I mean i've done that before...some songs had the Album Artist Slot filled and whatnot. I figured you highlight all the tracks of an album and change the info at once that the slots that have information in them are already the same. I'll try changing everything from the ground up.
    Yeah, if the album artist is blank and another song has something filled in there, it's going to put them as two separate albums. It's kind of annoying but as soon as you get in the habit of editing an entire album at once, it becomes a lot easier and 2nd nature really.
    The Spoon
    Problem is I always input the album at once. Some of these albums come directly from the CDs and it still does it sometimes :/