Sep. 12, 2012 at 2:16 PM ET
Apple's hugely popular iTunes program gets a makeover, available in October, that includes iCloud getting built into the program for the 200 million iTunes in-the-cloud users, the company said Wednesday.
The new ITunes will "feature a dramatically simpler and cleaner interface" that will keep users' favorite content "at the forefront," Apple says.
"With iCloud integration, your music, movie and TV purchases made on any of your iOS devices or computers is conveniently displayed in your iTunes library on your Mac or PC, available anytime you want them."
Among other iTunes changes, each music album will now come with a feature Apple calls "in the store," where users can see the top songs and albums.
And, if you've ever started playing a music preview, but then wanted to check out other things in the iTunes Store at the same time, you will be able to do so. Users can play 90-second clips of songs while "continuing to browse the store," Apple says.
There'll also be a "mini-player" for iTunes within the program that includes a search box.
At the company's Wednesday event, Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet software and services, shared the new features, which include a split-screen view now so user can see their entire library while adding songs to their playlists. And the "currently playing" window will have a drop-down so you can see what songs are up next.
And if you never much used Ping, Apple's social network for music (and most people didn't), but want to share what you like or have purchased, via Facebook or Twitter, you'll be able to do that too with the new iTunes.
The iTunes Store has more than 26 million songs, 190,000 TV episodes and 45,000 films. While it's the largest music store worldwide, it faces increasing competition from Amazon.com and Walmart. Apple's offerings, of course, also include movies, TVs and books, as well as the App Store for the iPhone and iPad. Amazon and Google, with its Google Play store, are fierce competitors there, too.