Windows/Mac OS X: The biggest software announcement at today's Apple event comes in the form of iTunes 9, the newest release of the popular desktop media player.
It's a solid update containing a few features that we'd be really excited about if only they were just a little bit better (see Home Sharing, for example).
Notable features in the new release include:
- Home Sharing: You can now copy songs across authorised computers on your home network with the new Home Sharing feature. (You can even select a view to show only items that aren't already in your library.) It's nice to see iTunes add this feature, but it's still a far cry from the full-on library sharing that we've been dying to see for years on home networks. You know, one library you can play, add to, and edit from any computer on your home network.
- Improved Syncing: When you're syncing to your devices, iTunes 9 offers more fine-grained control for syncing music by genre or artist, straight from the Music tab of the sync dialog. It also boasts better syncing of Photos (using iPhoto's Events and People identification) and Movies.
Better App Management: If you're syncing apps to your device through iTunes, iTunes 9 adds the ability to organize your synced apps on your iPhone pages from your desktop. Photo via Gizmodo.
iTunes LP: Apple has introduced their new music format called iTunes LP. The new format intends to take digital music to a new world of multimedia integration, including videos, liner notes, credits, and more. Think of it sort of like the music version of DVDs with special features.
iTunes Extras: Well, if iTunes LP is sort of like a DVD with special features, iTunes Extras is exactly like it. Now when you buy a movie from the iTunes store, you also get some special features, including cast interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, photo galleries, etc.
- Genius Mixes: Using the Genius feature introduced in iTunes 8.1, Genius mixes plays songs from your library that it thinks go well together. This doesn't seem like much of a tweak on what's already there, though I will say that Genius recommendations have improved a lot since the feature was first launched.
- Ringtones: iTunes 9 now sells 30,000 ringtones for $US2.19—though we'd suggest saving yourself the cash and just making your own (in Windows; in OS X).
iTunes 9 is a free download for Windows and Mac. It's not available just yet from Apple's servers, but it should be sometime today.
iTunes 9 [Apple]