Apple (s AAPL) officially unveiled the next version of iTunes at its event in San Francisco Wednesday. iTunes 11 will feature a completely revamped UI that closely mimics the look of the also-updated App Store in iOS. iTunes 11 will feature a tighter integration of Apple’s cloud music locker, which is now used by 200 million customers.
Other notable new features include:
- The traditional iTunes sidebar is hidden, making more space for covers when browsing your library or the store.
- Artists can now share photos, tour dates and other information through dedicated artist pages.
- There’s a bunch of UI magic to reveal contextual information, revealing upcoming songs in your queue and top songs and albums in the iTunes store for each title in your personal library.
- There’s a redesigned mini player with integrated search functionality.
- Cloud syncing makes it possible to start watching a movie on the iPad, then continue on your Mac desktop or laptop where you’ve left off.
Rumors about a new iTunes release popped up on tech blogs earlier today after reporters figured out that the search engine on Apple.com was surfacing results to unpublished press releases, one of which was titled “Apple Unveils New iTunes.” Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services, said on Wednesday that iTunes 11 would be available some time in October.
Notably missing from the announcement was any mention of a new streaming service, which is rumored to be under development by Apple to compete with Pandora(s P). Reports about such a service first popped up last week, when the Wall Street Journal(s NWS) and New York Times(s NYT) reported that the company was in negotiations with music publishers about a streaming service.