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Apple Releases Faster, More Responsive iTunes

Gordon Kelly


Apple Releases Faster, More Responsive iTunes

In response to the arrival of the new (minimalism taken too far) iPod shuffle Apple has kicked out a new version of iTunes and it's actually not half bad...

"iTunes 8.1 is now faster and more responsive," admitted the company, which at least showed it has got one priority right this week. "You will enjoy noticeable improvements when working with large libraries, browsing the iTunes Store, preparing to sync with iPod or iPhone, and optimizing photos for syncing."

On top of this speed boost and the usual bunch of bug fixes, iTunes 8.1 also includes:

  • Supports syncing with iPod shuffle (3rd generation) - naturally

  • Friends to request songs for iTunes DJ

  • Adds Genius sidebar for your Movies and TV Shows

  • Improves performance when downloading iTunes Plus songs

  • Provides AutoFill for manually managed iPods

  • Includes many accessibility improvements

  • Allows iTunes U and the iTunes Store to be disabled separately using Parental Controls
Apple also claims it "allows CDs to be imported at the same sound quality as iTunes Plus" which means it has switched the default ripping bitrate from 128kbps to 256kbps - about as cheap an 'additional feature' as you can boast. I suggest you crank it up to 320Kbps anyway.

Still, in my limited time with iTunes 8.1 it does feel noticeably faster and sync times have certainly dropped from horrendous to reasonable. That said, it does still feel like driving an oil tanker compared to Spotify...




March 12, 2009, 8:45 pm

A dumb Yank has a question for y'all: How does one read the remainder of this interesting looking article, or does it simply end "oil tanker compared to"...thanks in advance


March 12, 2009, 8:46 pm

How about for us old school, out of time, Windows users, are we in for some performance benefits as well? Or is iTunes for Windows still unbearable to use?

Barry Ward

March 12, 2009, 8:57 pm

The Genius Bar integration to the TV Shows and Movies menus looks to be removed at the last minute- it's still only available to Music.


March 12, 2009, 9:06 pm

@djacobow - um, it has the word 'Spotify' written there and hyperlinked to an article explaining Spotify.

@Jesper - I don't own a Mac, that was based on my experience using a PC.


March 12, 2009, 10:02 pm

Still no ability to create iPhone ringtones from DRM'd tracks for UK users :(


March 12, 2009, 11:39 pm

@Gordon-um, we don't have 'Spotify' here in the colonies, or it isn't widespread, so it wasn't immediately obvious to me that 'Spotify' is a program comparable to Itunes. It seemed non-sequitorial to me. Now it all makes sense, cheers :).


March 12, 2009, 11:41 pm

@djacobow - fair enough, though I'd always advise clicking the links ;)


March 12, 2009, 11:45 pm

I just discovered this site and it is excellent. My plan is to now click on links here with wild abandon. I may even poke around this Spotify thing! :))


March 14, 2009, 4:42 pm

@djacobow - you've been missing out! On both TR and Spotify...


March 14, 2009, 8:46 pm

Not a bad update. But will we ever see speeds we had before iTunes 7? (when the app would load under 5 seconds on Windows)


March 14, 2009, 9:42 pm

@chancykid - yep, iTunes 14 by which time 1GBps SSDs will have become commodity items ;)

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