After delaying the release of its redesigned music hub from October to November, Apple will finally release iTunes 11 within the next four days.
Apple's website has no specific release date listed besides "November," but unless the company posts another delay notice again -- something we don't expect -- Apple will release iTunes 11 between now and Friday.
Feiyr, a music distribution service based in Germany, indicated that iTunes 11 will become available for download within the next few days.
"Starting with iTunes 11, which is about to be released within the next days, users have the possibility to view pictures and galleries to every artist in iTunes," the company wrote in an email sent to Feiyr's artists. "You can submit the pictures and galleries of your artists directly with Feiyr. All you need is the link to your artist in iTunes and images mit [sic] 1200 pixels or more."
While a third-party email is not an official confirmation by any means, hearing a distribution service mention the release of iTunes 11 is a good sign that the service will be delivered imminently, after a two-months-long wait.
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About iTunes 11
Apple completely redesigned iTunes 11 to focus more on the media you want: For instance, the new Library has simplified each multimedia category to make it more intuitive: Click on music, and you can then see your music according to albums, artists and songs. When you click an album, it expands in place as iTunes automatically analyzes the album cover to show off the tracklist, providing a beautifully-themed experience for music lovers. For instance, if most of the album cover is yellow, the expanded tracklist appears in a yellow-tinged block that looks like the album artwork bled into the song titles.
Apple has also implemented a new edge-to-edge design in iTunes 11, which makes album artwork more beautiful and navigation substantially easier and more seamless. Apple has also added a few new features like “Up Next,” which allows users to create and alter music playlists as they go, letting users easily choose which songs they want to hear next and placing them in the new order however they want.
And with easier playlist manipulation and an all-new mini player with built-in search and playlists, the new iTunes is designed to resemble the iOS experience on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
"The iTunes Store has been redesigned for your Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, so it looks and works the same wherever you shop," Apple says on its website. "Easy-to-browse shelves serve up popular music, movies, TV shows, and more. And all the features you know and love are even easier to get to. It’s the best kind of shopping — simple."
Finally, integration with the iTunes Store is also more seamless in iTunes 11. Click on any album and now users will be able to see top tracks from that artist, related tracks from that artist and others, and other related music iTunes listeners have purchased via the store.
iTunes currently offers a catalog of more than 26 million songs, and as of September, Apple customers have purchased 20 billion songs in the last nine years. At Apple's September media event, Cue also said iTunes boasted more than 435 million accounts with credit cards or other payment options attached, which means they can purchase music, movies and TV shows with Apple's successful 1-click purchasing method.
iTunes hasn't seen a redesign since 2010, when iTunes 10 introduced the ill-fated Ping social network. Since then, iTunes has added a few key features including the successful iTunes in the Cloud (200 million users), the $25/year iTunes Match service, and the ability to purchase videos in 1080p HD from the iTunes Store.
According to Apple's last 10-K, the iTunes Store generated more than $7.5 billion in company revenue during fiscal 2012.