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  • iTunes 8 Walkthrough and Review

    iTunes 8, released Tuesday, brings a host of new features.

    I'll go over the new features here. iTunes 8 is available now via Software Update on your Mac - I first had to update QuickTime and restart the Mac (twice), then update FrontRow - then I had iTunes available as an update.

    Grid View - browse through your music collection in a Cover Flow-like grid view.

    Grid View provides a sexy looking image for each artist, genre, composer, or album, depending on how you choose to have it displayed. It seems iTunes has improved their "Get Album Artwork" (right click on a song or selection of songs to see the menu item and press it) functionality - I was able to get considerably more albums' artwork doing that then I have in the past. Looks like Apple realized if folks were going to use the grid view they'd want to actually have some images. There were still a decent amount it couldn't find artwork for, but Amazon (just search the album name and Amazon usually has an image for it - then right click the albumin iTunes, and in the bottom left of the Get Info window you can drag an album image) or Google fixed the rest after an hour of me going through and finding them all.

    Hovering over an album/artist in grid view brings up a Play Artist / Play Album button which automatically plays only that artist or album. iTunes plays in order, not random. You can easily go to Controls > Shuffle > Turn on Shuffle if you prefer a random playlist.

    Double-clicking an item in grid view opens up a list view for just that artist or album.

    I never used Cover Flow purely because it took too long to get to my music. I know, I know, the difference between Cover Flow and list view is minimal - but enough that I preferred list view. After a few hours of using grid view, though, I definitely prefer it to Cover Flow, and may prefer to list view - its just prettier. I'm not sure how functional it will be as I continue using it. I'm often looking for a song which I don't know the album of. We'll see how it goes. It also adds a step if I'm looking for a particular song, although generally when I use iTunes I'm playing either a playlist, album, or artist.

    Genius - this intelligent service lets you create an entire playlist based off a single song you select.

    The Genius Sidebar is a Pandora-esque smart playlist and social updating function. Genius allows you to select a single song, and then press Start Genius from the bottom right of the iTunes window - iTunes will then create an entire playlist based off simply that song.

    When you first install iTunes 8, you're greeted with the new Genius Sidebar. Press Turn On Genius and iTunes will look through your whole iTunes library and submit the info to the cloud to be ran through Genius' service and see how other users are using the same music (very BigBrother, eh?).

    The Genius service is constantly pulling information based off of how other Genius users have created playlists with specific songs, and then creates a playlist similar to the ones they have. Checking the Genius playlist shows an option to Refresh the playlist, assumably from refined statistics as more users enable and use the Genius service in iTunes.

    The service is also Genius Marketing on Apple's part - when the Genius Sidebar is on, every time a song is playing the sidebar brings up iTunes Store links to complete the album if you haven't purchased it all, show you new albums or hits by the same artist, and offer you a whole bunch of other songs that you'd like if you enjoy that song. I'm sure they'll be pleased (and so will you stock-holders) at the jump in sales from that feature.

    HD Shows - rumored for a good while now, HD shows are now available in iTunes for $2.99 each.

    The shows are coming down in 720p, and can be streamed to your Apple TV already. Currently they offer shows form ABC, NBC, and Showtime. Expect the offerings to only increase if sales go well for these studios.

    Worth noting - HD shows also include the standard version, and will automatically sync only the standard version to your iPod or iPhone, since the HD version would be rather pointless on those devices. However, make sure you have some room on that HD - on a typical one hour show (about 42 minutes without commercials) the filesize is ~ 1.5 GB for the HD version, and 500 MB for the standard version, an HD-squeezing 2GB per show.

    Syncing my pwned 2.0 iPhone 3G went without issue.

    I'd say its worth the upgrade purely for the Genius feature, although there's been a few rumblings that 8.0 will not let you restore from a custom .ipsw - can anyone confirm? EDIT: So far everyone on IRC and on the boards here are reporting custom .ipsw restoring works fine, as expected. Upgrade away - but don't update to 2.1 when it comes out Friday until the Pwnage guys have got a new version of Pwnage.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iTunes 8 Walkthrough and Review started by Kyle Matthews View original post
    Comments 56 Comments
    1. pcuserforever's Avatar
      pcuserforever -
      i got itunes 8 and it doesn't seem to include MobileMe support. i checked apple.com and it offers a seperate download for MobileMe on the pc.

    1. Revenger92's Avatar
      Revenger92 -
      WEll done apple Im going to try restoring wit custom ipsw now! Ill report back.
    1. Cherrysoda_zx's Avatar
      Cherrysoda_zx -
      Quote Originally Posted by Iman07 View Post
      cuz PC's suck. BUY A MAC!
      lol, he's right you need a MAC...
    1. Jwharmsby's Avatar
      Jwharmsby -
      Yeah I got a bluescreen twice using the Vista x64 iTunes 8 Installer.
      Third time lucky though

      Try closing iTunes, and all other running programs before running and it seemed to be okay.

      Custom firmwares and .ipa's seem to work fine from what Ive seen.
    1. e3m's Avatar
      e3m -
      2.1 is npw out for the iPhod touch. DOWNLOAD
      Don't now the iPhone yet.
    1. rudi's Avatar
      rudi -
      Quote Originally Posted by Remwe11 View Post
      everytime since i installed iTunes 8 my computer goes to the blue screen i dont get why though?
      iTunes 8 kills AirTunes, iPod touch causing BSOD - Engadget


      Quote Originally Posted by 461am View Post
      Haha, pf, I'm glad someone else feels a bit uneasy with the 'your library information is now being sent to apple'. Very big brother-ish indeed.
      It's apparently anonymous, also if you want the Genius stuff to work better for you then you won't mind sending the info.

    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Iman07 View Post
      cuz PC's suck. BUY A MAC!
      Hmm. Mac created the software that causes the BSOD lol.

      I am sure they will create a fix which will cause other problems BUT! they will create a fix for that too which will create other problems...round and round she goes. Where she stops no one knows.

      Whatever happened to "It just works" ?
    1. thixtythix's Avatar
      thixtythix -
      i cant restore at all with custom firmware!!!!
    1. JazJon's Avatar
      JazJon -
      Quote Originally Posted by rudi View Post
      I'm glad I waited, I use AirTunes all the time at home.

      I dont plan on using 8 until everything else catches up.

      It breaks iphone browser too.

      iphonebrowser - Google Code
      Issue 53 - iphonebrowser - Google Code
      Issue 54 - iphonebrowser - Google Code
    1. makesmoves's Avatar
      makesmoves -
      What about restoring via restore mode for the iphone without a web connection? Anyone answer that one? I'm still on On THIS version I can restore without a web connection. Its important to me for the obvious travel reasons. Not everywhere has a connection. Is there a work around? I'm still on 1.1.2 also. How archaic of me I know. On 1.1.2 I can use my vWallpaper and with customize to get ALL the icons off the top screen and leave the bottom 4. Above that firmware I have to leave atleast one icon. Thats my reason. I want vWallpaper with no icons just the bottom 4 and dock from the corner. Back to iTunes 8. Can you restore without wifi?
    1. dominic56's Avatar
      dominic56 -
      I had to download this from apple's website. My itunes searched for an update and said I had the latest version.

      It works well, get it!
    1. thebug3000's Avatar
      thebug3000 -
      itunes 8 is so slow its retarded, i actually downgraded to 7.8 [ two thumps down from me ]
    1. skiez's Avatar
      skiez -
      bet they made it soo u get ******* aggravated and buy a mac cus of the bsod
      lol comon itunes is too ******* laggy on windows xp bet they did it on purpose
    1. deadicatedartist's Avatar
      deadicatedartist -
      So can you restore with custom firmware.. or not? It seems like nobody is actually answering this.
    1. popmanbx's Avatar
      popmanbx -
      Quote Originally Posted by pcuserforever View Post
      i got itunes 8 and it doesn't seem to include MobileMe support. i checked apple.com and it offers a seperate download for MobileMe on the pc.

      what mobile me support?
    1. elr0y7's Avatar
      elr0y7 -
      Cool, itunes is stepping up to pandora and last.fm, downloading it now!
    1. thebug3000's Avatar
      thebug3000 -
      Quote Originally Posted by skiez View Post
      bet they made it soo u get ******* aggravated and buy a mac cus of the bsod
      lol comon itunes is too ******* laggy on windows xp bet they did it on purpose
      You bet, it took me almost 5 minutes to drag ten songs to my ipod, good lord
    1. bobbygllh's Avatar
      bobbygllh -
      You can also group select movie files and change them to TV shows etc. That just saved me so much work in the future.
      P.S: and for anyone that panics and thinks that they have removed the feature it is under options, media types
    1. ixbilalxi's Avatar
      ixbilalxi -
      Fing bsod. WTF apple.

      Anyways install without your iphone connected and then sync once its installed.
    1. r1994augusto's Avatar
      r1994augusto -
      wanna know something?
      this is just great the best iTunes
      Update yours now!!