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Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced a new, more “elegant” version of iTunes which features a new Hybrid view, Ping social networking features and an updated icon.
On the eve of blowing past retail CD sales with iTunes, Apple has introduced iTunes 10, complete with a swanky new icon that does away with the image of the media which helped make it famous.
At the top of the new feature list is Ping, a social music discovery which combines the best of Twitter and Facebook from within iTunes itself. You can follow and be followed and share your music tastes with friends, post your thoughts and opinions, custom song and album charts and even get access to over 17,000 concert and event listings near you.
Available in 23 countries, Ping will immediately be available to 160 million iTunes users right away. Steve Jobs calls it “a social network for music,” and Ping will also be part of the iPhone and iPod touch experience as well, presumably with next week’s iOS 4.1 update.
TV show rentals are also new to iTunes 10, boasting commercial-free HD episodes for only 99 cents per episode (take that, Hulu Plus!). AirPlay allows wireless music and other media throughout your entire house with compatible iPod accessories (including the iPhone and iPod touch, with next week’s iOS 4.1 update).
iTunes 10 also promises improved syncing, allowing you to “feed your devices, faster.” A new capacity bar tells you exactly how much space you have left on your device, and in real time. And finally, iTunes 10 is ready-made for the new Apple TV, coming in four weeks.
iTunes 10 will be available as a free download today -- as of this writing, the previous 9.2.1 is still showing on Apple’s website, so you may have to keep obsessively clicking the “Download Now” button if you want it first.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter