Apple has released the new iTunes, iTunes 10.5, to the public, just one day before the launch of its newest mobile operating system, iOS 5.
iTunes 10.5, available for download either from your iTunes desktop client by checking for an update in the Main Menu or at the Apple website right here, will apparently be required for iPhone, iPad and iPad Touch owners who want to sync their devices using the forthcoming iOS 5. Announced back in June, iOS 5 is scheduled for an October 12 release. iTunes 10.5 has come out now (on National Coming Out Day, no less!) to allow iDevice owners to prepare themselves and their gadgets for the newest Apple mobile operating system.
The key features of iTunes 10.5 concern access to music, movies and apps from multiple devices. Here are the big changes and additions, per Apple:
-iTunes Match: The "One More Thing" at Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference in June 2011, iTunes Match is a new service that, for $25 per year, allows users to listen to songs in their iTunes library from up to 5 other devices. This includes songs acquired both through iTunes and through, um, various other avenues. As long as that song has a "match" in Apple's content library, it will be available for cloud-playing in high quality audio. For more details about iTunes Match, read our full write-up here.
-iTunes in the iCloud: Free to all users, songs that you did buy via iTunes (good for you!) will now automatically sync onto your various other iGadgets. So, when you purchase a song on your desktop, it will immediately also be downloaded onto your iPad, your iPhone, your iPod Touch, etc., if you so choose.
-WiFi syncing for iPods, iPads and iPhones. iTunes rival Spotify already allows users to sync their libraries over wireless internet, without the use of a USB cable; when introducing the Kindle Fire tablet, which will also sync wirelessly, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos mocked Apple's white USB cable and implied that they were behind the times. iTunes 10.5, however, will now allow iTunes users to sync content to their devices wirelessly.
-Access to previous purchases. Any media you've bought using your Apple account in the iTunes store will now be available to be downloaded anew on other devices, provided that the content still exists in iTunes.
In addition to these features, perhaps the most significant reason to upgrade to iTunes 10.5 is that it is required in order to sync a device running iOS 5. This new Apple mobile operating system, which lands October 12, will feature the new Android-like Notification Center, the BBM-like iMessage, the Windows Mango-like Twitter integration and the ability to edit photos within the Photos app, among other changes.
Another reason to update: According to PCMag, iTunes 10.5 will no longer force you into also downloading and upgrading QuickTime each time you update iTunes.
iTunes 10.5 is available for download now via the Apple website or the iTunes app on your desktop.