I had hoped that Apple would improve its matching algorithm, but apparently it didn't. The only visible change in the updated version is a cloud icon on album corners, as for iTunes in the Cloud purchases. You can download individual songs by clicking the cloud icons next to each one, or you can download an entire album by clicking the cloud icon on the corner of its artwork.
iTunes Match and iTunes in the Cloud occasionally perplexed me. In my iTunes library, iTunes showed certain songs as being in the cloud, even though they were present in my library. Others appeared out of their proper order, and sometimes only a handful of tracks from purchased albums showed as being available from the cloud.
The new iTunes Store
The other major change in iTunes 11 is a new design for the iTunes Store. One of many ways to get to the iTunes Store is by clicking the iTunes Store button at the top right of the iTunes window. The new iTunes Store has a cleaner design than before, which you may already be familiar with from the iOS version of the store. The iTunes Store, like the program itself, seems to be optimized for a smaller display -- say, a 15-inch laptop. On my large Cinema Display, the iTunes Store left a lot of empty space on either side of the store content; shrinking the window to about 60% of its width removes that space.
You can see some iTunes Store information from within your library. If youre in Albums view in your Music library, click an album to show its tracks, and then click the In The Store button to see (after a few seconds) Top Songs, Top Albums, and Recommended Songs by that artist -- all while remaining in your library.
Absent from the iTunes Store are the quick-look preview panes. In the past, you could hover your pointer over an item, and click on the i icon to obtain more information about it. Now, however, you must click through to the items page. Apple has also removed Power Search, which let you to search for items using multiple criteria, from the iTunes Store.
On the plus side, Apple added a nifty feature for redeeming iTunes gift cards. Click Redeem in the Quick Links section, and you can use your Macs built-in camera to capture and submit the gift code -- it's much easier than entering the code by hand.
But not everything is perfect&