'iTunes Producer 2.6' shows up in OS X Lion Software Update

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Some users of OS X 10.7 Lion began receiving notifications on Tuesday that a mysterious new application named "iTunes Producer 2.6" is available for download.

The appearance of the software has come as a surprise for many who have never previously installed any "iTunes Producer" software. Its inclusion in Software Update is likely an error on Apple's part.

The application is Apple's proprietary encoding software that allows content owners to create and sell content on Apple's iTunes Store. It is a 69.8-megabyte download through Software Update.

Prior to Tuesday's error, iTunes Producer was only available to download for content providers and those who have access through the iTunes Connect portal.

Apple does offer the free iBooks Author tool to those who want to create iBooks titles and submit them to the iBookstore for free. But titles sold on the iBookstore do require a separate ISBN number, which can cost more than $100 to obtain for a single title.

The full release notes for the application follow:

Now you can look up metadata using multiple Vendor IDs simultaneously

For delivery issues, Send to Apple now supports entering notes

For music, the following are now supported:

  • Alert tones
  • Customizable territory groupings for rights and pricing
  • Improved user interface for adding and editing translations For books, the following are now supported:
  • Target Audience, Pre-Order Start Date, and Series Display Number using the "New from file" feature
  • Expanded language list