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New Mini Player features in Apple's latest iTunes enhancement

Apple has this week released a new version of iTunes - 11.0.3 - bringing a revamped Mini Player and songs view, among other enhancements.

The MiniPlayer, which lets you play music without taking up too much screen space, now features a "beautiful new view that showcases your album artwork," according to Apple's release notes. It also now has a built-in progress bar, letting you see how much time is left of the song you're playing.

The latest version of iTunes also now lets you view album artwork while in Songs view. In addition, albums with multiple discs will now appear as a single album.

The update also includes performance improvements when searching and sorting large libraries, which should be good news for those who have spent a lot of money on iTunes.

iTunes 11.0.3 is available for download now through Software Update.

Also on the music front this week, Google launched a new subscription-based music service called Google Play All Access at its Google I/O developer conference. Users of All Access will be able to listen to "millions of tracks" in the Google Play Store in addition to their own personal music libraries.

Apple has long been rumored to be working on an iTunes-based subscription music service, though the Cupertino giant has not yet made any announcements.

Word spread last month that Apple might finally be on the verge of signing the deals it needs to make iTunes streaming a reality, but whether or not Apple goes through with it is something we'll have to wait and see - perhaps at next month's Worldwide Developer Conference.