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What’s new in iTunes 10.3.1

8 June 2011 9,869 views 2 Comments

Monday’s Steve Jobs WWDC Keynote marked the beginning of a extended multi-product rollout, including Mac OS X Lion (July) and iCloud, that extends for several months and will culminate with the release of iOS 5 in the Fall. Whereas the biggest, baddest products are coming later, you can start enjoying some of the new features now.

With an iPhone, iPad, two iPod touches and two iMacs all running on the same iTunes account, my family had a problem with download fragmentation — music, movies, games and apps were sprinkled here and there on our idevices. With the release of iTunes 10.3.1 (74.02MB, for Windows), Apple has made managing the mess a relative no-brainer.

You can get there from here

Apple released iTunes 10.3.1 not long after 10.3 and the release notes are the same. However, MacUpdate speculates that it’s possible the release fixes an Unknown Error -50 syncing issue with iOS devices.

Automatic downloads (image above) makes taming download fragmentation really easy: 1.) iTunes > Preferences > Store and tick the content types you want to sync; 2.) On your idevice(s), go to Settings > Store and turn on the corresponding Automatic Downloads items; and 3.) done.

Is some crap going to get through? Well, you can turn the faucet on 24/7 or drink when you’ve thirsty.

For example, a finer tuned way to sync music, apps and books to your Mac’s iTunes library, is the new Download Previous Purchases feature. Just open iTunes, navigate to the iTunes Store, click on Purchased and view a complete list of items purchased using your iTunes account.

Therein, you can “re-download” any and all music, apps and books purchased on your account regardless of which Mac, iPhone, iPod touch or iPad initially downloaded it — cool. Further, it won’t cost you one (additional) red cent.

It just works

I haven’t done anything close to exhaustive testing, but it took me about 15 minutes to apply the above settings and prefs changes to all (six) of our devices, and as far I can tell download fragmentation has been tamed and will (knock on laminate) stay that way.

In fact, it took me a lot longer to get my wife and kids to surrender their idevices than the actual setup time — c’est une vie père.

What are you loving (or hating) in OS X Lion, iCloud and iOS 5? Rant or rave in the comments below…

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