I woke up this morning and was alerted to the availability of the much discussed 4.9. Really, it’s the most feature-rich update to iTunes I can remember since version 4 debuted with the iTunes Music Store capability. Every release since has been pretty lackluster.
iTunes 4.8 added the capability to play music videos, but really, there haven’t been any really compelling new features added, in my opinion. I’ll be taking screenshots later as well as reviewing how I’ll be using it. Really, this should have been iTunes 5.0, but maybe Apple has some other really compelling feature(s) to add beyong this, but I doubt it. Here’s a breakdown of what iTunes has added starting with iTunes 4.0.
- Instantly buy and download music from the iTunes Music Store.
- Share music within the same household.
- Encode more efficiently using AAC.
- Add and view album artwork.
- Burn DVD archives of your music.
- Search using more options.
- Categorize tracks by beats per minute.
Includes a number of performance and network access enhancements, and only allows music sharing between computers using iTunes 4.0.1 or later on a local network (in the same subnet). If you have an Apple SuperDrive, you can archive your song files to a DVD disc as well as burn playlists to standard audio CDs to play in your car or home stereo.
- Share music between Macs and PCs.
- Sync voice notes and On-The-Go playlists created on your iPod.
- Burn large playlists onto multiple CDs or DVDs.
- Drag and drop links from the iTunes Music Store into emails, instant messages or web pages.
- Audiobooks now available in the Music Store
- New Power Search feature using more options.
- Set up allowance accounts so children can access music legally, without giving them a credit card.
- Give the gift of music send gift certificates to friends and family via email.
iTunes 4.2 allows you to sign in and buy music from the iTunes Music Store using either your AOL or Apple Account, view the iTunes Music Store in a separate window, and includes a number of performance improvements.
- Share Your iMix. Post and email songs in your playlists for everyone to see. Rate iMixes from other music lovers to drive them up or down the charts, and discover new music at the same time.
- Party Shuffle. Be your own DJ with a playlist that’s always full of songs. Add, delete and rearrange them on the fly to create the best mix for the moment.
- Print CD Inserts. Create stunning CD jewel case inserts for your album or mix disc using designer templates for both color and black & white printers.
- Discover Music. Find out what’s playing on more than 1,000 radio stations around the United States. Get music and audiobooks related to a movie. See a music video, get the track. Download a free song.
- Previews in Playlists and Quick Links. Save store previews to purchase later. Find more music from the artists you love via Quick Links in your library.
- Automatically convert WMA to AAC. Convert the music you saved in Windows Media Player (unprotected WMA files) to AAC format.
- Apple Lossless. Use the new lossless encoder to import music from CDs and achieve sound quality indistinguishable from the original, at about half the original file size. Plays in iTunes and on iPod.
- 5 computers can play protected songs (up from the previous limit of 3). Identical playlists containing protected songs can be burned up to 7 times (down from 10).
Includes support for playing your music wirelessly using AirPort Express with AirTunes. It also includes a number of other minor enhancements.
Support for copying photos to an iPod photo, the ability to show duplicate songs in your library, and other performance improvements.
iTunes 4.7.1 includes support for iPod shuffle and other performance improvements.
New Music Store features and support for transferring contacts and calendars from your computer to your iPod (requires Mac OS X version 10.4 on your computer).
With iTunes 4.9, you can now browse and subscribe to podcasts from within the iTunes Music Store. Podcasts are frequently updated radio-style shows downloadable over the Internet.