While the timing is mainly meant to support the new, ridiculously small iPod Shuffle, iTunes 8.1 adds a few other cool features along with some buggy bits. As always, you can head to Apple's download site if you're installing your first copy of iTunes, or open your existing copy and head to the Help menu, then "Check for Updates" to upgrade. Here's the full list of changes in iTunes 8.1, some of which aren't easy to visualise:
- Supports syncing with iPod shuffle (3rd generation).
- Allows friends to request songs for iTunes DJ.
- Adds Genius sidebar for your Movies and TV Shows.
- Improves performance when downloading iTunes Plus songs.
- Provides AutoFill for manually managed iPods.
- Allows CDs to be imported at the same sound quality as iTunes Plus.
- Includes many accessibility improvements.
- Allows iTunes U and the iTunes Store to be disabled separately using Parental Controls.
UPDATE: The new Genius features for movies and TV shows appear to be simply missing, and me and a bunch of other downloaders are seeing iTunes 8.1 crash when Genius is enabled or updated. Might want to hold off on an upgrade, unless you don't use and don't care about the Genius recommendation engine.
I hadn't noticed a "performance" issue with iTunes Plus downloading, but glad to hear it's being improved. Digging the newly democratized DJ features? Vote your voice in the comments.