Last month, Apple released two new versions of its desktop music app, iTunes. First, iTunes 11.0.5, which is available on general release, makes a number of under-the-hood changes to iTunes in the Cloud, Apple’s iCloud-powered music service.
In addition, and for registered developers only, Apple also released iTunes 11.1 beta 2, which was expected to make similar alternations to the prerelease software.
iTunes 11.1 beta was the first version of iTunes to launch with support for iTunes Radio and Google Music-competing online service.
The release of beta 2 came just over two weeks after beta 1 dropped, which included Apple’s highly anticipated iTunes Radio service, which is expected to be a Pandora competitor.
When the radio service rolls out September 18th as part of the iOS 7 update, users will be able to can create their own stations, and, as with Pandora, tweak the direction of their listening.
The service is a sleek take on Internet radio, and Apple’s ability to place the app on millions of its devices gives it an enormous potential audience.
The service is free, and iTunes Match subscribers don’t have to see any ads. The radio feature will also simplify the buying process: listeners can click a nearby buy button as a song plays or purchase it later from their listening history.
Much has been made about the future of music belonging to Pandora, Spotify, and other streaming services, but downloads still generate much fatter profit margins for music companies. Developers can download iTunes 11.1 at Apple’s Developer website.