Apple releases iTunes 10.3 public beta, begins to introduce iCloud, re-download feature for purchased content

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Date: Monday, June 6th, 2011, 15:28
Category: iTunes, iTunes Music Store, News, Software

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Literally moments after announcing its new iCloud service, Apple offered a public beta iTunes 10.3, the latest version of its multimedia/jukebox application for Mac OS X. The new version, available at download, offers a new “Purchased” tab for re-downloading software and content at no cost.

Per AppleInsider, the new iTunes also includes the iBookstore for Mac and PC, allowing for “an unabridged browsing and shopping experience.”

Users can also find “Purchased” software in the iOS App Store by selecting the “Updates” tab. From there, in addition to available updates, the “Purchased” section can also be viewed.

The new feature offers a thorough list of all software that has been purchased on the authorized Apple ID signed in on the iOS device. A convenient “Not On this iPhone” tab also allows users to only view applications that are owned, but not currently installed.

Similarly, purchased songs can also be viewed in the iOS iTunes Store application. Content that has been purchased from the iTunes Store can be sorted by artist name, in a list of recent purchases, or a complete list of songs.

All content is presented with a cloud icon, connecting the new functionality with the just-announced iCloud service. While Monday’s quick updates offer a taste of iCloud, the full service (including wireless syncing of content and data on iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad) will roll out with the launch of iOS 5 this fall.

The functionality of “iTunes in the Cloud” can also be extended to music ripped from a personal CD collection with Apple’s newly announced iTunes Match, available for US$24.99 per year. The new service will match up a user’s personal library of songs with the 18 million high-quality tracks available on the iTunes Store, and that content can also be re-downloaded to multiple devices, like an iPhone or iPad.

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