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 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft delves deeper into AI with new kit bag of tools
- Samsung unifies smart-home products with Bixby 2.0
- Dropbox go pro with Dropbox Profesional
- Intel launches AI-driven anti-money laundering solution
- Nvidia unveils Pegasus, an AI computer that can power fully autonomous vehicles
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- Dell Inspiron 5675 Gaming Desktop review
- Legion Y520 Gaming Laptop review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTDevOps Engineer - Financial ServicesOther
- CCLinux System AdministrationVIC
- CCSenior Technical Business AnalystNSW
- FTDevops Engineer X 2 positionsOther
- CCDevelopers ? Multiple opportunitiesQLD
- TPOrganisational Change ManagerQLD
- CCCyber Security Analyst - TelcoVIC
- CCSCCM EngineerNSW
- CCMobile Applications DeveloperQLD
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Pega DeveloperOther
- CCJunior to mid-level - Business Analyst ? AgileNSW
- CCSenior Project Manager x 2 (Infrastructure)NSW
- FTNetwork Lead AcrhitectVIC
- FTSenior Technical ConsultantACT
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- TPSAP ABAP DeveloperQLD
- CCInfrastructure Solution Designer - Financial Services - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTInformation Security ConsultantQLD
- FTSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCSAS DeveloperNSW
- TPProject Manager - IaaSQLD
- FTAgile Project ManagerOther
- FTProject ManagerOther