Apple have just launched the brand new version of iTunes: iTunes 10. From the looks of things, not a lot of things have changed, but there’s a new icon, and one big addition: Ping.
What is Ping? Ping, as described by Mr. Jobs himself, is a social music discovery service. It works in a way like Twitter, where you setup your Ping account and allow people to follow you. There are various different options here, as you can agree to let anyone follow you, or say that you want to choose who can follow you, or can stop people from following you at all.
You will receive the most listened to music from all the friends that you are following in the service in a custom “Top 10” list, and see what the most popular songs are out of your friends at the moment.
If people have posted a song, you can preview any song from the people you’re following, buy it, or view the whole album just like you would be able to do from the iTunes store. It’s not just available on your computer, but also the iPhone and iPod Touch, so you can stay connected with your friends and favourite artists wherever you are.
In a way, iTunes 10 is a little disappointing for me, because I was expecting some major changes to the program. If you have spent the past year using iTunes 9, you could be forgiven for asking “so what have they changed here?”. The answer is not a lot. Aside from the implementation of Ping, the user interface has remained mainly the same, except for the introduction of album artwork in list view when viewing albums with more than five tracks, and we haven’t seen any slimming down at all.
Maybe we will see some more in depth changes besides the icon in the current years, but for now it appears as though Apple are quite happy to let iTunes stay as it is, and may be for some time to come yet.
This new version of iTunes arrives alongside the new iPod line-up that Apple has just announced at their September event, and is available to download from Apple’s website now. If you aren’t in any particular hurry to grab the update from Apple’s website, you’ll be prompted when you next launch your iTunes anyway, so you could save yourself all the anguish of waiting on Apple’s struggling servers to deliver you the latest and greatest.