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Apple iTunes 11 launches with iPhone-inspired interface

Apple has launched its latest iTunes software, iTunes 11, in the first major update to the platform since September 2010.

Originally scheduled to launch in October, the software was delayed until November in order to tweak its user interface design - a revised launch schedule that Apple has only just managed to hit.

Designed for Windows and OS X users, iTunes 11 borrows heavily from the icon-centric iOS design ethos found in the company's iPhone 5 and iPad products. An increase in whitespace makes the user interface less cluttered, while the default view is a grid of album covers reminiscent of the app icons on Apple's portable devices. Support for Apple's iCloud storage service is also included by default, allowing users to stream and download content directly from within the iTunes 11 interface.

The iTunes Mini Player has also been tweaked, allowing users to search for songs without having to maximise the main window and allowing management of the new song queueing system 'Up Next,' which is designed to provide a means of controlling playback without creating a manual playlist or using the software's shuffle feature.

Not everything is rosy with the new version, however: TUAW is reporting that numerous users are experiencing bugs with the software, from links to the new video tutorials introducing new features not working to entire content histories being lost and reverting to flagged as unwatched and unlistened. Those who do encounter such problems are encouraged to report them to Apple.

If you want to try the new software out, regardless of the possibility of bugs, it's available from Apple now free of charge.

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