Apple's newly redesigned iTunes has finally been released after a one-month delay, for both Mac and PC. iTunes 11 sports a bevy of new music features, including a streamlined look and feel that focuses on album art when listening to music, a new bite-sized MiniPlayer, a new feature called "Up Next" that lets you manage a play queue. Outside of music, iTunes 11 brings tighter integration with iCloud, allowing you to stream your content library on your Mac or PC from iTunes in the Cloud. The iTunes Store has also been completely revamped, bringing the same look and feel that you'll find in iOS 6.
You can grab iTunes 11 now by running Software Update on your Mac or PC, or by checking the Mac App Store.
We're music fans here at Gear Live (seriously, check out the Gear Live Rdio channel!) so we wanna make sure to include great music gadgets in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. This year, we're kicking it off with the Sonos PLAY:3. If you're unfamiliar with Sonos, it's basically the best way to get music from just about any location (your computer, your iPhone, the web, the cloud, etc.) to play in any room in your house. It's super intuitive, and even years after using Sonos, the technology still blows us away. The Sonos PLAY:3 is a wireless all-in-one music system that lets you jump right into the Sonos experience. If you have an iOS or Android device, you can download the Sonos remote control app, and you can also control the system with a computer using the Sonos Desktop Controller. Here are some other Sonos products that go nicely with the Sonos PLAY:3, which itself you can get for $299 from Sonos, or order from Amazon and get a free Sonos Bridge included with purchase!
You can use a pair of Play:3 or Play:5 units to create wide stereo sound as well!
Iconic electric guitar maker, Fender, has announced the new Squier Strat. It includes USB and iOS integration and is now available in the Apple Online Store for $199.95. The Squier Strat goes perfectly with music apps like GarageBand for iOS and also works with OS X. Check out some of the features, and a video, after the break.
Read More | Apple Online Store
For those who wanted a faster, redesigned and polished iTunes, you're going to have to wait a bit longer. iTunes 11, which was slated for an October release, has been delayed, and will instead appear by the end of November. AllThingsD has received confirmation from an Apple representative.
“The new iTunes is taking longer than expected and we wanted to take a little extra time to get it right. We look forward to releasing this new version of iTunes with its dramatically simpler and cleaner interface, and seamless integration with iCloud before the end of November." - Tom Neumayer, Apple Spokesperson
iTunes 11 is said to have a cleaner revamped UI, deeper iCloud integration, a refined mini player, and faster search functionality. The inspiration is similar to the iPad music app, which reduces the amount of chrome visuals, for a better jukebox experience.
Read More | AllThingsD
Microsoft is touting a bunch of the new apps that will be coming to Windows Phone 8, and one it's really excited about is Pandora. You're in for a little bit of a wait for the app, as it won't appear for Windows Phone 8 users until early 2013, but when it does, it will offer ad-free listening for the first year. That's basically free 12-month subscription to Pandora One from Microsoft for users of its new smartphones. Pretty nice.
Remember Lisa Loeb, the singer with the glasses who had a big, big hit song with "Stay" that popped up in the movie Reality Bites?
She's carved out quite an interesting career for herself with more music, a couple of children's CD's, voiceover work, some TV work and even her own brand of glasses.
But now she has a new CD coming out and for giddy comic book fans, the cover art is by Tess Fowler.
Tess posted it on her Facebook page for all to see. The album is called No Fairy Tale and you can see why she (who's worked on the indy comics Charmed, Grimm Fairy Tale and Wonderland) is the perfect artist for it.
Read More | Tess Fowler
It's not just the Beats Executive on-ear headphones that are new from Beats Audio, as the company has also released it's own portable Bluetooth speaker: the Beats Pill. Yes, it's a pill-shaped speaker, likely a play on the fact that it's part of the Beats by Dr. Dre line, and doctors prescribe pills. Anyhow, cheesy concept aside, the Pill brings 12 watts of power across four 1-inch drivers into it's contoured frame, made up of metal grilles and soft-touch plastic. The rechargeable battery can pump out up to 7.5 hours of tunes, and offers NFC support for easy pairing with Bluetooth devices that support the standard (including the upcoming Lumia 920, HTC devices, and all Android Jelly Bean NFC smartphones--the iPhone doesn't have NFC support at this time.) A microphone is also built-in, allowing the Pill to also work as a speakerphone, and a physical audio input lets you connect devices that don't support Bluetooth as well. You can pick up the Pill Bluetooth speaker for $200.
Read More | Beats Pill
Beats Audio has introduced a new model in the head-bumping Beats by Dr. Dre lineup: Beats Executive. These headphones have noise canceling technology built-in and are available today for the tune of $299.95. In addition, the materials used are far superior compared to the popular Beats Studio and Beats Solo models, which are mostly comprised of plastic. Instead, these are made from brushed aluminum and stainless steel, and the ear cups are said to be hand stitched during manufacturing. The Beats Executive feature noise cancellation that's powered by two AAA batteries, which should last for about 25 hours of usage before you need to swap in a fresh pair. You can pick these up now for $300.
Read More | Beats Audio
When a major Apple product hits stores, you can count on iFixIt to take it apart, and that's just what it did with the new fifth-generation iPod touch. The new iPod touch features the same 4-inch display found in the iPhone 5, and began shipping to customers earlier this week. Here's what's inside:
Xbox Music has hit the Xbox 360 consoles of beta users, and now we are hearing that the fill service rollout is set for October 26th, just three weeks from now, and the same day that Windows 8 is released. Reportedly, the rollout will begin with the Xbox 360, Windows 8, and Windows Phone, with iOS and Android Xbox Music apps coming soon after. Smart. The service will have a paid subscription, as well as a free, ad-supported option as well.
Read More | The Verge