iTunes 10

iTunes 10 was shown off today during Apple's special music event and the big news is -- the CD is dead and a new icon is born. Okay, the real big news is a better, more streamlined user interface and the introducing of Ping, which Steve Jobs said is a social music network that blends aspects of Facebook and Twitter.

“iTunes is the number one music community in the world, with over 160 million iTunes users in 23 countries, and now we’re adding social networking with Ping,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “With Ping you can follow your favorite artists and friends and join a worldwide conversation with music’s most passionate fans.”

The interface is odd -- it realigns the red, yellow, and green OS X close, dock, optimize icons vertically instead of horizontally... why? but does seem to present data in a much more usable way.

Ping lets artists and fans alike either raise your their and let anyone follow, choose to approve followers, or create a social circle just for friends. Artists can share status updates that allow for photos, video, and comments, fans can see what their friends like, find out about concerts and buy concert tickets, and find others to follow.

You can rent TV shows, just like you'll soon be able to on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. It's that usual 30 days to start deal, but you have 2 days to finish.

Support for AirPlay, the new version of AirTunes, is built in so you can stream music, video, and pictures around the house.

And for iOS users, they claim sync is simpler:

iTunes gives you even better ways to sync your media from your computer to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod. There’s a new capacity bar that tells you exactly how much space you have left on your device in real time. And it’s even easier to organize all your apps on all your devices because you do it right in iTunes. Shop the App Store on your computer, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Then connect to your Mac or PC and go to your iTunes library to arrange (and rearrange) your apps and add or delete Home screens that sync back to your devices automatically.

iTunes 10 is available now. (Update: or not, is fickle)