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Apple Overhauls iTunes With v9.0

Gordon Kelly


Apple Overhauls iTunes With v9.0

So it's touchdown at ‘The Brewery', Apple's choice of location for its UK iPods with cameras secret announcement and there was no alcohol on offer. Make up your own jokes...

More to the point today is all about iPods, not the iPhone, not iTablets, not The Beatles, but first iTunes and some new firmware.

Firmware 3.1 appears today with bug fixes, some performance updates and Genius functionality is now integrated into the App Store so it will be able to recommend apps based on what you have installed. It's free for iPhone owners and as usual iPod touch owners get ever so slightly stiffed, this time to the tune of £2.99. Ringtones also launch with 30,000 available for $1.29 apiece. This hits today.

As for iTunes, Jobs tells us 8.5 billion tracks have been downloaded by over 100,000,000 customers. Feeling suitably smug then we get iTunes 9 which features a cleaned up UI and ‘Genius Mixes', an extension of the Genius feature to ‘DJ' together suitable tracks from your library. Syncing gets revamped too with more advanced sync options for iPods and iPhones that allow users to sync music by artist or album, photos by name and videos by title or genre. App management appears too so homescreens can be organised via iTunes - long overdue.

‘Home Streaming' is another biggie with iTunes now allowing copying of content between up to five computers on the same network - we've been able to do that with iTunes supporting NAS boxes, but this is welcome. Lastly is ‘iTunes LP' which aims to bring back some of the classic features of vinyl such as liner notes, internal artwork and lyrics combined with newer content like video. It works for video downloads too, making it rather like DVD extras. Another nice move, but it will be interesting to see how compatibility works across legacy iPod and iPhone models. Social networking fans will also be able to right click on iTunes content and send it to Facebook or Twitter.

Next iPods...

Update: As could probably be expected, iTunes 9 breaks the Palm Pre sync. Expect Palm to fix that quick sharp and the whole cat and mouse game to roll drearily on.

Update 2: Here is the full iPhone OS 3.1 feature list:

  • Genius recommendations for Applications

  • iTunes 9 support

  • Genius Mixes

  • Organize your apps directly in iTunes

  • Improved syncing options for music, movies, TV shows, podcasts and photos

  • iTunes U content organization

  • Redeem iTunes Gift cards, codes and certificates in the App Store

  • Display available iTunes account credits in the App Store and iTunes Store

  • Browse and download ringtones wirelessly from the iTunes Store*

  • Save video from Mail and MMS into Camera Roll

  • Option to "Save as new clip" when trimming a video on iPhone 3GS

  • Better iPhone 3G Wi-Fi performance when Bluetooth is turned on

  • Remotely lock iPhone with a passcode via MobileMe

  • Use Voice Control on iPhone 3GS with Bluetooth headsets

  • Paste phone numbers into the Keypad

  • Option to use Home button to turn on Accessibility features on iPhone 3GS

  • Warn when visiting fraudulent websites in Safari (anti-phishing)

  • Improved Exchange calendar syncing and invitation handling

  • Fixes issue that caused some app icons to display incorrectly
And my favourite? Easily pasting numbers into the phone keypad. At long last!


iTunes 9


September 10, 2009, 12:06 am

Good to see Jobs back. Shame there's no Last.fm integration with iTunes 9, and no tabbed iTunes interface (a long-time bugbear of mine) but at least the iPod Touch is now a viable upgrade option if I run out of space on my nano.


September 10, 2009, 2:00 am

@Pbryanw Has Last.fm stopped working with iTunes with this update then, or do you mean integrated like with Spotify?


September 10, 2009, 2:03 am

They've added Windows 7 jump lists to itunes 9 but failed to actually let you pin it to the task bar. It's completely borked with a second non functioning icon just sitting there. Plus it crashed when I exited a full screen video. I'm not very impressed. They've had that "DJ" functionality in there for years, it's just been renamed again.


September 10, 2009, 3:17 am

@Wedge - No, I think it still works with the Last.fm plugin (on Windows) but integrated like Spotify would be nice. Looks like the before-show rumours were just photoshop mock-ups.

Also noticed that you can't use a shopping cart any-more in iTunes. There's just a buy option - no add song. This is a big disappointment for me. Haven't tried iTunes in 7 yet, but the Window's version of iTunes has always been the Mac's poor relation, so I'm not surprised about the problems.

Stephen Nelson

September 10, 2009, 3:19 am

I downloaded the 64bit version, yet while I can see some differences, not all the updates seem to appear as described in the intro vid to itunes 9, eg genius mix and the new look store just aren't there... just wondering if this is due to being 64 bit, or being in windows, or something completely different?


September 10, 2009, 1:02 pm

I have recently received my 3GS 16GB. I am over the moon with it (apart from the interference on my car stereo and below par reception). However, I think I've read enough in the past to give firmware 3.1 and iTunes 9.0 a miss for now - when they are on 3.1.1 and 9.1, with inevitable bugs fixed, I will update.

Luan Bach

September 10, 2009, 3:15 pm

Firmware is now 3.1.1. I'm updating now so fingers crossed.


September 12, 2009, 5:34 am

seems pretty good, no complaints of iTunes 9 yet firmware 3.1 also is working fine too


September 12, 2009, 1:08 pm


Over the moon with your 3GS 16GB iPhone... except below par reception.

..You've got to laugh (although I know it's probably O2)


September 12, 2009, 1:08 pm


Over the moon with your 3GS 16GB iPhone... except below par reception.

..You've got to laugh (although I know it's probably O2)

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