Apple has released a new version of iTunes that ties into a beta incarnation of the company's just announced iCloud web services.
iCloud doesn't officially launch until the fall and many of its services won't be available until then, but the new iTunes – version 10.3 – provides access some of the tools announced yesterday under the iCloud name.
With iTunes 10.3, all items you purchase from the iTunes store to be automatically downloaded to your other Mac and iOS devices running the app. And you can download past iTunes store purchases to your devices at no extra charge (if your past purchase is no longer available in the iTunes store, however, you're out of luck).
ITunes 10.3 also adds book purchases to the iTunes store, letting you download titles to Apple's iBooks application on iOS devices.
iCloud is designed to automatically store all sorts of data on Apple's servers and automatically push it to multiple devices. It will offer new versions of some Apple MobileMe services, including Contacts, Calendar and Mail, and it will let you download App Store and iBookstore purchases to multiple devices.
Apple will also offers backup and photo storage services and a tool, known as iTunes Match, that will let you replace your non-iTunes with iTunes tunes that can then be shared across devices. iTunes Match will be available in the fall for a $24.99 annual fee. ®