iTunes 5 is available now.

"iTunes is widely regarded as the best jukebox, with the world's most popular online music store built right in," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO.

"We are constantly improving iTunes with new features like Podcasting and better searching because we love music ourselves and want to surprise and delight music fans around the world."

iTunes 5 offers a new streamlined design, which brings a Tiger aspect to the application.

With an eye on the community of music fans, Apple has introduced album reviews, and expanded its catalogue to offer 1.7 million songs.

The company is offering 1,000 reviews at present, covering current artists, such as Coldplay, Kanye West and Yo-Yo Ma, along with classics like Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash and Frank Sinatra.

The heavily-updated software also delivers a new Search Bar feature alongside with the ability to organise playlists into folders (illustrated).

iTunes 5 also offers a new Smart Shuffle feature, which lets the user change the "randomness" of shuffled songs; and the ability for Windows users to automatically sync contacts and calendars from Outlook to their iPods.

This feature is available through iTunes Preferences as an option under the Playback menu. Introducing the Smart Shuffle feature, Jobs quipped: "We've got a lot of people saying our shuffle is not random".

There's hidden usability features, too. For example, iTunes will automatically adjust the split screen so users can see the full album review, limiting the amount of white space shown under the song listing in the bottom pane.

Parental controls also feature in this release.