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Apple's iTunes Rewind 2011 highlights year's top apps, movies & music

Apple on Thursday revealed its iTunes Rewind selections for 2011, revealing the best music, applications, TV shows, movies, books and podcasts of the year.

The annual iTunes Rewind distinctions reveal not only the content and applications selected by Apple's editorial staff, but also the best-selling purchases of the year. They can be viewed now in the iTunes Store.

Unsurprisingly, the smash-hit "Angry Birds" was the best-selling paid iPhone application of 2011, while "Tap Zoo" was the top-grossing. Apple's team selected "Instagram" as the iPhone application of the year, while "Tiny Tower" earned iPhone game of the year.

On the iPad, "Snapseed" earned iPad application of the year, while Dead Space HD was the iPad game of the year. The top-selling iPad application was Angry Birds HD, which was also the top-grossing paid software on Apple's touchscreen tablet.

In the music category, Adele took artist of the year, while "Wasting Light" by the Foo Fighters was named album of the year. The top-selling song of 2011 was "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele, and her album, "21," also outsold everyone else.

Apple awarded "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" the best block buster, while "Bridesmaids" was named best comedy. Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" was best indie, and "Beginners" took best romance. The top-selling movie of 2011 was Oscar winner "The Social Network."

ABC's "Modern Family" was named the best half-hour show on TV by Apple, while season 4 of AMC's "Breaking Bad" was declared the best drama. The episode "What Lies Ahead" of "The Walking Dead" was the top-selling single episode in 2011, while the latest season of "Doctor Who" was the most popular show bought in bulk.

On the iBookstore for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, "The Tiger's Wife" by Tea Obreht was named best novel, while "Boomerang" by Michael Lewis was awarded best nonfiction. The authorized biography "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson was the best-selling nonfiction title of 2011, while "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett was the years' best-selling fiction novel.

Among podcasts, Apple recognized "The Jillian Michaels Show" as the best new audio podcast, while NPR's "Fresh Air" was named the best audio podcast. Revision3's "Epic Meal Time" was the best new video podcast, and TedTalks Video took best video podcast.

Not included in this year's iTunes Rewind is the Mac App Store, which debuted earlier this year. Instead, the Mac App Store has its own "Best of Mac App Store 2011" selection available in the digital storefront. Apple chose "Pixelmator" as the Mac application of the year, while "Civilization V: Campaign Edition" was the game of the year.