Apple iTunes 8
Apple iTunes 8 brings some interesting new features to the table, but it's far from a groundbreaking update.
- Improved browsing through collection, Genius makes creating playlists easy
- Light on new features
In its eighth iteration, ITunes remains solid, although it still has both its benefits and its quirks as a media organiser, player, and jukebox. None of the new features are what I would characterise as a must-have update, however. Genius is a useful — and generally well-done — addition, and Grid view may make finding music easier. Aside from that, though, nothing about iTunes 8 is particularly groundbreaking.
Alongside new iPods, Apple earlier today unleashed iTunes 8, the newest version of its media player application. iTunes 8 gives you a fresh way to browse your music, improved accessibility for the vision-impaired, and a new automatic playlist-generation feature dubbed Genius. Judging from my test-drive of iTunes 8, the new features are useful, but none are particularly groundbreaking, must-have additions.
Techworld: How to get free iTunes music
One of the big enhancements is the Grid view, which displays your collection's album covers visually in a grid. Within Grid view, you can sort your music by album, artist, genre, or composer. As you mouse over an album's cover-art tile, a Play button appears. Skim your mouse over tiles when sorting by Artist, Genre, or Composer, and the tile will quickly flash the album art for items sorted under each category. Click on the tile to play all songs or videos in the tile. Double-click the tile to view everything categorised under that tile.
In my experience, this arrangement made locating music quickly somewhat easier--if you want to listen to a certain album, you can use the tile-based view to find it visually, instead of doing a search for it. But this feature won't drastically change the way you organize and find your music.
In addition to the new Grid view, iTunes continues to let you browse your music by List view, in which you can see details about your music and videos, and by Cover Flow view, in which you can flip through album covers as if you were using a jukebox.
ITunes 8's marquee new feature is Genius, which automatically suggests songs based on your selection of a baseline. Genius has two parts: the Genius sidebar and the Genius Playlist tool. If you're familiar with iTunes, you may notice some similarities between Genius and both the iTunes Mini Store and Just For You features from iTunes 7 and earlier. You will need to turn on Genius before using it; iTunes will collect information on your iTunes library, submit it to Apple, and then start feeding you Genius sidebar results. When you activate Genius, iTunes compares your songs, playlists, and iTunes purchase history against what Apple offers on iTunes and library information from other users to give you the most relevant recommendations.
Some users may be a little concerned about the fact that you are sending information about your library to Apple--and for good reason. For its part, Apple says that it collects information "such as track names, play counts, and ratings," but notes that your iTunes library data "will be stored with an anonymous Genius ID and not linked to your iTunes account."
To use the Genius sidebar, select a song. iTunes will give you Genius sidebar results tailored to your selection. The Genius sidebar consists of four parts: the top albums from the selected song's artist, the top songs you don't yet have in your library from that artist, relevant iTunes Essentials collections, and other recommendations based on your selection. This is a welcome feature to me, since I already enjoy using iTunes to find music from artists I'm not familiar with; the Genius sidebar will make that even easier for me to do.
The other half of Genius is the Genius playlists function. To create one, select a song and click the Genius button in the lower-right corner of the iTunes window (indicated by an atom icon). iTunes will then generate a playlist containing songs in your library similar to the song you selected. By default iTunes limits these playlists to 25 songs, though you can create Genius playlists up to 100 songs. I found that Genius generates some pretty accurate playlists. And as Apple notes, Genius should become more accurate as additional playlist information becomes available, though as my colleague Tim Moynahan discovered, it is possible to confuse the iTunes Genius.
Incidentally, Microsoft announced a similar feature today for its Zune line, known as Mixview. The two companies seem to be thinking along the same lines. Perhaps both used Pandora as inspiration?
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- 2 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 3 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 4 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- Sonos say Aussie Alexa support for One smart speaker won't arrive until Autumn 2018
- Transport for NSW boosts digital experience with Amazon Alexa
- Irdeto Acquires Denuvo
- Amazon Alexa and Echo set for Febuary launch
- Officeworks hops on voice interface bandwagon with Google Assistant integration
PCW Evaluation Team
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
- Everything You Can Do, I Can Do Better: Comparing The Google Home’s Assistant To Amazon Echo’s Alexa
- Hands On: Pitting the Apple HomePod against the Sonos One
- MWC 2018: Everything You Need To Know
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTProject Admin / Co-ordinatorOther
- CCLinux DevOps Engineer - Cloud platformVIC
- CCSAP ArchiectNSW
- CCSenior Software Engineer, Full Stack, Sydney CBD, Java, .NET, Angular, Web APINSW
- FTHelp desk Support AnalystOther
- TPProject ManagerVIC
- CCKnowledge Analyst (Digital Content)NSW
- FTSystems EngineerVIC
- FTOracle SOA DeveloperOther
- FTDesktop Support Engineer - OnsiteOther
- FTSenior Test Analyst - Multiple rolesOther
- CCDynamics CRM Functional Consultant - BrisbaneNSW
- FTSystems Engineer (Office 365 )Other
- FTProgram Manager, Fleet TransformationOther
- FTEntry Level IT help deskOther
- FTSenior Change ManagerACT
- FTTechnical Quality Analyst (Payments, data, application integration)VIC
- FTSenior Support AnalystOther
- CCData Migration lead - Energy and GasVIC
- CCApplication Support Developer - .Net & SQLWA
- TPWeb Content Publisher (VPS4/5) - Government sectorVIC
- CCProject Manager - Power BI, Mobility & IntegrationQLD
- CCUnix Systems EngineerNSW
- FTSAP IS-U and SAP EWM Greenfield implemenationVIC
- FTServiceNow- Platform DesignerOther