After watching the Apple keynote last night I checked their website for the iTunes 10.3 download – unfortunately it took them a while until everything was sorted out (you could click on iTunes 10.3 download and ended up on the 10.2.2 files).
Anyway – I have just installed iTunes 10.3 to check which of the new features announced with the Apple cloud Service (iCloud) are available now.
And by the way – the iTunes Installation was as intrusive as always, including shutting down Outlook (why?) and restarting my PC. These are things I never have to do on my Mac and I cant believe this is a technical limitation of the PC platform – this is Apple trying to convince me that their own OS is better than Microsoft’s.
So back to iTunes 10.3 – no obvious UI changes. Only when I open the iTunes store there is a new Link on the right side in the Quick Link section:
After you click on it you see your complete purchase history of Music, Apps and Books.
You can search these and download to your device, this is pretty cool as this was always one of the main issues with stuff bought on iTunes, that there was no way of getting it back, in case you have lost it.
This is your Backup on iCloud and it works very well – I have downloaded a couple of Albums to my PC that I had already forgotten about – download was fast and because of the “Not in my library” option I can ensure that I do not download songs that I had already in my Library.
The only issue for me at this point is that this is not available for other media – to be able to download my Movies or TV-Shows in the same manner would be great – I assume this will happen at some point in the future.
The only other obvious change that is available now in the store is the integration of the iBook Store into iTunes (to be honest I always thought this was already integrated). As I usually by my books for the Kindle this has no immediate impact on me personally but it is nice to see a consolidation of all iStores.
It will be interesting to see the further rollout of the iCloud features – so far, very nice!
A quick add-on to my post - I realized today that the full features of the purchase history is obviously only available for US itunes accounts. I tested with a german account and in this case only Apps and Books are available - no music. I guess this is just a rollout issue - but hopefully fixed soon.