Apple's iTunes 10 comes with added Ping

Apple's iTunes media playing software has been given a major facelift.

Steve Jobs told the gathered masses at last night's keynote announcement that Apple has decided that music is all about "discovery".

As such, the latest version of the love-it-or-hate-it media meddling software seems a little like a mash-up of the previous version of iTunes and Facebook.

The free Mac and Windows application now includes a new featured called Ping which allows users to stalk the stars, share playlists and generally annoy everyone around them with their individual musical tastes.

Available for download now, iTunes 10 plans to build on Apple's envious track record of changing the way the music industry turns a buck by leaving all of that expensive marketing nonsense to real people.

In fact, the first thing some users will notice about the revamped package is that the logo no longer includes a CD graphic. Not least because CD sales are dropping so quickly that Apple expects iTunes album downloads to outstrip sales of physical discs some time this spring.

Apple also announced new pricing on TV rentals through iTunes, with single TV episodes weighing in at an almost negligible 99 cents. You'll get 30 days to start watching the video, and 24 hours to finish watching it once you've hit the play button.

Apple has promised to roll out the service to the UK and a number of other territories in the near future, but there's no news on pricing or availability just yet. We fully expect to be treated like mug punters as usual, and predict an exchange-rate-busting 99p translation in the cost once the service reaches Blighty's shores.

iTunes' new Airplay feature will eventually let you stream music and video around your home using a revamped Apple TV box. Rumour has it that a number of major hifi brands, including Denon, will also be getting in on the act.

All of the new iPhone models as well as Apple TV require iTunes 10 to work, as will current iOS4 devices once they get the upgrade to 4.1.