Apple Releases iTunes 11, Available via Software Update

After earlier speculation that iTunes 11 would launch today, Apple has indeed released the software.

iTunes 11The iTunes 11 Entry in Software Update (click to make larger).

The company is still updating its iTunes web page, which currently shows a “November” release, but the new app is available now from Software Update on OS X.

On Macs, iTunes 11 requires OS X 10.6.8 or later. For Windows, it's XP Service Pack 2 or later, including Vista, 7, and 8.

UPDATE: Apple has also released software updates for the second- and third-generation Apple TV, bringing their firmware to version 5.1.1.

UPDATE 2: Apple has issued release notes for the OS X and Windows versions of iTunes 11.

Introducing the new iTunes.
With a dramatically simplified player, a completely redesigned Store, and iCloud features you'll love—this is the best iTunes yet.

  • Completely Redesigned. iTunes makes it more fun to explore and enjoy your music, movies, and TV shows. You'll love the beautiful edge-to-edge design, custom designs for each album, movie, or TV show in your library, and getting personal recommendations any time you click In the Store.
  • A New Store. The iTunes Store has been completely redesigned and now features a clean look that makes it simpler than ever to see what's hot and discover new favorites.
  • Play purchases from iCloud. Your music, movie, and TV show purchases in iCloud now appear inside your library. Just sign-in with your Apple ID to see them. Double-click to play them directly from iCloud or download a copy you can sync to a device or play while offline.
  • Up Next. It's now simple to see which songs are playing next, all from a single place. Just click the Up Next icon in the center display and they'll instantly appear. You can even reorder, add, or skip songs whenever you like.
  • New MiniPlayer. You can now do a whole lot more with a lot less space. In addition to showing what's playing, MiniPlayer now includes album art, adds Up Next, and makes it easy to search for something new to play—all from a smaller and more elegant design.
  • Improved search. It's never been easier to find what you're looking for in iTunes. Just type in the search field and you'll instantly see results from across your entire library. Select any result and iTunes takes you right to it.
  • Playback syncing. iCloud now remembers your place in a movie or TV show for you. Whenever you play the same movie or episode from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV, it will continue right where you left off.

Direct download links:

More to come as we dive into Apple’s significant redesign of its media management and playback software.