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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. fluffer's Avatar
      fluffer -
      itts crap
    1. cockyjeremy's Avatar
      cockyjeremy -
      The genious playlist thing is kinda retarded. I let it create a playlist and it added a bunch of stuff that was totally unrelated. It was extremely random.
    1. Eserel's Avatar
      Eserel -
      So how do you down grade? I have a Mac, and the new itunes 8. I've 'restored it' but it doesn't exist yet. So I guess it's in recovery mode? I'm so confused.
    1. xjuliephanx's Avatar
      xjuliephanx -
      Might be a noob question, but does the ringtones workaround (via the AAC conversion) still work? I make ringtones like I drink water so I'd like to keep the feature (via itunes not 3rd party app).
    1. scottvalentine's Avatar
      scottvalentine -
      The new album art feature works great, found an extra 3117 album covers for my library!
      The genius playlists are 100x better than the party shuffle, plays stuff i havent listened to in years as well.
    1. mjdaul's Avatar
      mjdaul -
      Quote Originally Posted by mjdaul View Post
      ive just successfully restored my iphone (1st gen) with my custom 2.0.2 ipsw using itunes 8
      sorry, forgot to put in there that i was using my mac (leopard 10.5.4)

      i havent tried in windows and probably wont... i dont usually do any iphone stuff in windows
    1. niklpl8dpokets's Avatar
      niklpl8dpokets -
      im using windows xp and itunes 8 def runs alot slower. especially when you minimize itunes to the itunes toolbar and try to maximize it again.. you are better off closing and reopening itunes than waiting for it to maximize again.. anybody else having this problem?
    1. 461am's Avatar
      461am -
      Quote Originally Posted by xjuliephanx View Post
      Might be a noob question, but does the ringtones workaround (via the AAC conversion) still work? I make ringtones like I drink water so I'd like to keep the feature (via itunes not 3rd party app).
      Still works, just tested.
    1. thebug3000's Avatar
      thebug3000 -
      Quote Originally Posted by niklpl8dpokets View Post
      im using windows xp and itunes 8 def runs alot slower. especially when you minimize itunes to the itunes toolbar and try to maximize it again.. you are better off closing and reopening itunes than waiting for it to maximize again.. anybody else having this problem?
      I have mentioned this on the third page, i was adding 10 songs to my ipod and it took me 5 mins to do so, my advice is to downgrade back to 7.8 also there are some reports that itunes 8 cannot be used for custom FW, remove iTunes 8 and go back 7.8
    1. vandy1997's Avatar
      vandy1997 -
      It's extremely slow for me on Windows Vista. I am going to try to reinstall somehow. Does anybody know if I will lose all of my music/apps if I uninstall it in Windows? When I purchase an app from the App Store, iTunes freezes up for about 10 or 20 seconds and then begins to download the app. If I am playing a song with iTunes, the song will stop for a few seconds while the app is downloaded. I am definitely having problems with iTunes 8. I am not sure if the installation did not go through correctly. I am also going to download another copy to make sure that it's not an issue with the iTunes 8 file that I downloaded.
    1. madspaniel's Avatar
      madspaniel -
      going to update now
    1. oscar25's Avatar
      oscar25 -
      Wondering how the "genius" playlist feature works with music that isn't purchased form itunes. For instance at least half of my music collection is live music that I either recorded myself or got from someone who did. I do have it all tagged and what not so wondering how it treats those songs. Or how about all my CDs that I ripped into itunes?

      One other thing I noticed when updating to itunes 8 with regard to album artwork. I had artwork for ALL of the albums in itunes before version 8 and after upgrading I lost a bunch of artwork and itunes doesn't find it when I click on get album artwork. Guess I'll need to go get it manually again.
    1. Terrill's Avatar
      Terrill -
      Very nice
    1. 808mp5's Avatar
      808mp5 -
      ok now how do i downgrade back to 7.7?
      tried uninstalling 8 and installing 7.7 with no sucess... 7.7 installs but doesn't run...
      im thinking maybe i have to uninstall the apple mobile stuff also and delete all associated directories? hmmm
      i'll give it a try... actually i wasn't quick to update but my girlfriend on the other hand doesn't know better. now i have to hear her gripe about not being able to browse her fone via iphone brower or iphone list....
    1. Grip's Avatar
      Grip -
      ok.. just a quick note..

      iTunes 8 doesnt have import options anymore..

      before iTunes 8 = preferences>advanced>import>convert to AAC
      with iTunes 8 = preferences>advanced> NOTHING

      no more custom ringtones!!..

      Quote Originally Posted by Grip View Post
      ok.. just a couple quick notes..

      1. iTunes 8 doesnt have import options anymore..

      before iTunes 8 = preferences>advanced>import>convert to AAC
      with iTunes 8 = preferences>advanced> NOTHING

      no more custom ringtones!!..
      2. the Genius playlist dont work in spanish.. i might have to d/l an english song to try it out.. although nothing else in my library would match it..
    1. akaIam's Avatar
      akaIam -
      Quote Originally Posted by Grip View Post
      ok.. just a quick note..

      iTunes 8 doesnt have import options anymore..

      before iTunes 8 = preferences>advanced>import>convert to AAC
      with iTunes 8 = preferences>advanced> NOTHING
      Not so - just moved.
      Preferences>General>Import Settings...(button)