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iTunes 4.5

iTunes 4.5 has been released, and the world rejoiced. "Hey, it's not even a Tuesday!" the throngs were heard to shout. The throngs can shove it, and the rumor sites can shove it too, given their near-complete lack of foresight on this one!

Let's take a jaunt through the new features, shall we?

Zeroth off, grab your free song (by the Foo Fighters). It's called My Hero and it's 4:20 long. Heh heh heh.

First off, party shuffle. Pretty awesome really, and it doesn't "get in the way" of anything. It just shows you what's coming up and actually puts those rankings to some use by offering to play highly-ranked songs more frequently. I wish it were "part" of the main library: I do most of my playing from there.

I guess I'll have to get used to clicking the second item in the list now. I also wish that, when I hit the delete key, the selection would choose the next song. This would enable me to move through my list (I have it set to the next 100 upcoming songs) once every few hours and really pare down the list.

I guess I'll also have to get used to the fact that, when I go to the Music Store or otherwise stop the Shuffle mode, that the song I was playing will start from the beginning. Grrrr.

More in the extended entry…

Printing looks great. People will inevitably complain of two things: first, that this ruins the market for third-party (usually shareware) applications that do this (heck, FSS considered doing this at one point) and second, that there aren't enough choices and that people want an editor. What's funny is that these arguments will often be made by the same people and, well, if you don't see the irony there then you need to finish waking up. The printing features are nice indeed. No more clutzing around with crap just to get a jewel case or a playlist printed.

Join Tracks isn't listed anywhere on the main page, but it's listed here (I was looking up information on Apple Lossless) and it looks very handy. Was this available in 4.0? I don't recall. At any rate, for live shows, this is a great thing. I just bought the entire Widespread Panic live concert series, and this would be great for that.

iMix is something I'm not sure I'll care about, but something to drive others gaga. I'll have to investigate this. The shopping cart still doesn't have a wish list, and this feature is something I'd really love to see. If you had a choice between iMix and iWish(list), which would you choose? I'd love to see what my friends had on their wishlist and buy songs for them (and vice versa).

Radio Charts seem like a waste of bandwidth. Isn't every radio station playing the same ClearChannel-approved stuff these days? I guess my mom, who listens to Star 104 (103.7) in Erie, PA will appreciate that she can find that song she heard on the way to work one morning that she kinda liked. Me? Hell, I never listen to the radio. I've got an iPod, dammit. 🙂

Movie and Music Trailers still download to the same location (/tmp/501/TemporaryItems/QT…), which is nice. It makes it very easy to grab music videos and now trailers. I don't know that I care too much, but it will save me a trip to Sherlock and/or Safari I suppose.

The inability to convert WMA audio was the biggest stumbling block by far for Windows users picking up their first iPod (or downloading iTunes). If you had 2000 songs in WMA format - legal or not - you were very hesitant to switch to iTunes. I understood their pain. Now, they've got a solution and it's freakin' great. Wonder if this works on Macs too… no reason it shouldn't, right?

Apple Lossless isn't for me. I'm happy with my 192 kbit AAC. With about 10,000 songs, I don't think I need a bunch of 24 MB files floating around anyway. This will come in handy for certain things, and lots of people will use it. Also, this will once again cause OggHeads to rise up and proclaim iTunes as utter shite simply because it doesn't support ogg.

iTunes 4.5 on Windows now has a COM interface so that you can script it to perform common tasks automatically. I haven't got the Windows version, so perhaps Jesper will leave a comment.

iTunes 4.5 seems quieter. I used to listen to my music at about 2 blocks out of Synergy's 16 (the same as the system volume, which I leave at 8 blocks). iTunes 4.5 is barely audible at 2 blocks and is now set to between 6 and 8 for a comfortable level of background music.

Those are my thoughts for now. I may update this as the day goes on or I may post comments. I don't know just yet.

P.S. Now that 4.5 is out, we can ship Rock Star 1.1 soon.

18 Responses to "iTunes 4.5"

  1. WMA conversion doesn't work on Macs. 🙁

    "Windows only" -- what a crock.

  2. The Party Mix is cool, but while it lets you pick which playlist it chooses music from, it doesn't include any shared playlists you may have listed.

  3. Only compaints: I already own the free Foo Fighters song 🙁 And, in the Windows version, you can right-click any song in Party Mix and convert it to AAC, even when the song is already AAC! (All my songs are AAC). I tried it, and basically ended up with two copies of the same song.

  4. Overall a good upgrarde, but the one thing I was most looking forwrard too was the free download, which isn't available to people not in the states, because they need my US addressed credit card info.... for the.... free.... download.

    Stupid steve.

    Party mix is cool too, but I expected it to do more of a 'party' crossfade or something. Oh, and you can't publish your playlist without US cc information either.... again... huh??

    Getting access to ITMS from your own library is nice as well, but again, it's pretty useless if you can't actually buy the songs.

    My other wish was that the lossless import used an existing format like FLAC, but the chances of that were about 0%, but still, it'd be nice to not have ANOTHER format out there. That said I don't have any CDs here to play with so I am only assuming that it's a new format.

    I give it a 7/10.

  5. Oh yea.... printing is nifty as well, handy for people like me who never really thought about that sort of thing before. I also wish the 'join tracks' was available for already imported music. I have some bootleg albums of u2 concerts and the like and when I saw this I thought that I'd be able to just select them and automagically join them together somehow 🙁

    Oh, and according to the webpage, the wma conversion only works on unprotected tunes, so windows users who have downloaded songs from other music stores are out of luck (assuming they haven't un-wma'd with the wma equivelant of fairplay of course 🙂

  6. iToune 4.5

    Apple a updaté iTunes. Entre autres, on peut maintenant "autoriser" sa musique sur 5 ordinateurs/iPods (plutôt que 3) et on...

  7. I'll be using the Party Shuffle feature daily. I like to pick and choose my random songs. Deleting them before they can start is much better then hitting the right arrow key 5 seconds in.

    Also the grouping feature is nice. I get around the gap or 3 seconds of crossfading currently just by enabling the crossfade feature with 0 seconds. Unfortunatly this gets rid of the nice crossfade between tracks that need it, but lets my live and techno albums play without any gaps/strange overlay.

    Now if the Music store will only come to Canada I'll be all set. C'mon Apple!

  8. I am also gutted about the free download not being available outside of the US (I am a Briton).

    It was only to be expected though: the delays concerning the European iTunes Music Store are purportedly due to complications with European Copyright Laws and the like and this applies not just to music for sale but, I'd imagine, music for free too.

    However, as soon as it becomes available over here, I can well imagine myself spending far too much in very little time.

    I am rather loving the ability to view Music Videos through the Store though.

  9. I think the grey arrows in the library is a good idea, but they executed it wrong. They take you to the Music Store search results for whatever field you clicked on. What I want them to do is limit my "field of view" in the Library to active playlist to that particular Artist/Album. It's rather pointless to have it on individual songs, especially the way Apple did it. If I already have the song in my Library, why would I want to go back to the Music Store and see it there? it would be perfect if clicking the arrows in your Library put the text of the field you clicked on in the live Search field and instantly brought you to anything containing that text. My ideal isn't 100% perfect, but it's better then going back to the Music Store, that's for darn sure. It could work with a little Apple UI tweaking, though.

    Perfect for picking out a particular artist or album when you're normally on shuffle!

  10. Opening a file from the Finder (i.e. via LaunchBar) should add the file to the Party Shuffle as the next song (or it should add it as the next song and immediately begin playing it).

  11. Erik, you missed a new feature that you're bitching about. Wish lists are in. Make a playlist, then drag any song from the store to it. The song is then listed for future purchase. Only thing that seems to be missing is a "buy all" option. I only got to play with it for about 5 min. though, so I might have missed it.

  12. That's not a wish list. That's a sorry excuse for a wannabe wishlist.

  13. Damn it, I should read all of the blog entries before posting. Reading wish list I was thinking of the type they put in and that we've talked about in the past.

  14. iTunes 4.5がリリース

    iTunes 4.5がリリース

  15. I'm overall pleased. Things haven't changed for the worse. As for iTMS arrows on individual songs, I think that should happen only on shared playlists (which is more likely to mean you don't own that music than all the other options).

    As for the mention of me in the article, it's because I was chatting with Erik at the time about that. I'm developing a song announcer bezel for Windows using the COM interface and Visual Basic, similar to those you can get via other accessory programs on the Mac, although not quite as configurable (yet anyway).

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