With the release of Snow Leopard, Apple has launched iTunes 9, sporting new features and an updated look. This week, Apple released an update for iTunes 9 that shored up some of the bugs found shortly after its release. With the fresh edition, there are new features like iTunes LP and Extras on top of a redesigned iTunes Store. It’s not to say that the new iTunes is universally loved, as there are some users complaining about problematic glitches. Nevertheless, iTunes 9 is a significant upgrade from Version 8 and it’s time to explore what’s new and exciting about it.
The first major new feature in iTunes 9 is something called iTunes LP. This brings a visual experience of a record album to the digital age. Users can download select albums and check out interactive worlds from within iTunes. While you listen to your favorite song, you can dive into animated lyrics and liner notes and even watch performance videos. On top of that are artist and band photographs and other bonus materials to take the audio experience to a new dimension.
A new and improved Home Sharing feature makes it easier to share music, videos, television shows, and games. You can browse the iTunes libraries on up to five authorized computers in your house, import anything you’d like, and automatically add new purchases to computers on your home network.
The iTunes Store has received a nice makeover with a brand new design. There’s also a refined navigation system in place to make it easier to buy new music, movies, and more. There are reports that the new iTunes Store even performs a little faster, specifically in PC environments.
Something brand new from iTunes 9 is a feature called iTunes Extras. When you buy select movies from the iTunes Store, you don’t just get the movie anymore. Now, you get iTunes Extras, which brings you the special features normally associated with the Blu-Ray or DVD. From interviews to trailers, this Extras feature brings a new level of depth to the iTunes movie experience.
The Genius feature has been revamped to take the form of Genius Mixes. This feature searches through your iTunes library and finds songs that go together. From there, it will create multiple mixes automatically.
iPhone users will definitely enjoy the updated version of iTunes with the improved synching ability of iTunes 9. This update brings a more flexible way to sync media from your computer to your iPhone. You’ll even be able to organize the apps on your iPhone through iTunes.
iTunes 9 also has introduced the social networking phenomenon right into the software. It’s very easy to hype your favorite music, movies, and television shows on Facebook and Twitter straight from the iTunes Store.
Two weeks after the launch of iTunes 9, Apple released iTunes 9.0.1, which addressed eight specific problems with the program. These issues included problems while browsing in the iTunes Store and bugs that made the program unresponsive or even quit unexpectedly. There was also a fix to address a bug that made synching podcasts in playlists to your iPhone or iPod a real headache and another for app synching with the iPhone.
The new 9.0.1 edition also makes it easier to sort through albums with multiple discs, addressed an issue with the zoom button not switching over to the Mini Player, and fixing the Genius so that it automatically shows Genius Mixes.
Although this patch might have fixed a lot of problems, the Apple forums are flooded with issues surrounding iTunes 9 and the iPod Classic, which appear to be incompatible for the time being. There are also users complaining that iTunes 9 fails as soon as their 160 GB model was installed on a Snow Leopard system.
For most users, iTunes 9 provides a great upgrade over the previous edition with many new features that users will enjoy. Fortunately, with the recent patch, it looks like most of the bugs have been taken care of.