At WWDC 2011, Apple finally revealed its plans for taking the pain out of using its bloated iTunes desktop software. Apple's solution: let it rot.
Maybe that's an indelicate way to phrase it, but in essence, Apple is carving out multiple ways users can sync their precious iTunes content (photos, music, apps) across all their iOS devices without physically connecting hardware to a computer and dealing with any of the old headaches of the iTunes desktop software.
To make this happen, Apple is adding wireless Wi-Fi syncing to all iOS devices with iOS 5, along with a new suite of features under the umbrella of iCloud that will push your music purchases, photos, calendars, contacts, and other content across all your iOS devices. Best of all, these new cable-emancipating capabilities come free of charge.
You'll need to wait for the fall release of iOS 5 to enjoy Wi-Fi syncing and the instant push of iCloud media, but there is one new feature you can start enjoying right now. In the current version of iOS (4.3.3), users can now activate a Store setting that enables automatic downloading of purchased music to registered iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch). Switching this on makes it so any iTunes music purchases made on your computer or any other iOS device will be automatically downloaded and saved on your device over Wi-Fi or 3G. Song downloads are still high-quality 256kbps AAC files, and there is a limit of up to 10 registered devices.
If you don't feel like downloading all of your previous music purchases, a new tab within the iTunes Store app will allow you to selectively download any previously purchased songs or albums. … Read more