iTunes 9: the drilldown

10 Sep 2009

With the latest installment of iTunes, it seems as though Apple CEO Steve Jobs and the creative folk at the company never want us to leave our laptops again, such are the additions to the music and movie experience, not to mention much-improved layout and apps organisation.

Apple’s iTunes 9 has several noticeable updates. These include:

• iTunes LP
• Home Sharing
• Genius Mixes
• iTunes Extras
• Categorized music syncing
• Apps organisation

iTunes LP

ITunes LP has one single purpose: to lure the dedicated vinyl fans to the joys of digital music in all its glory. LP is basically a digital version of vinyl record, or as close as it can come.

You have artwork, liner notes, lyrics, photos and album credits, but with the benefit of added interviews and exclusive live-performance videos.

So, you see, there is so much more than vinyl can deliver but also so much less. Where is the touch, feel and smell of the physical album cover and the experience of placing it on the turntable and listening to that beautiful crackling sound?

ITunes LP is for music fans all right, but not for vinyl fans.

Home Sharing

I like this new feature very much: you can transfer all of your music, movies and TV shows among up to five authorised computers in your home, as long as you sign in with the same iTunes account.

Granted, it’s not a life changer, but it certainly does make life a little easier as you can see up to five libraries on your home network while sharing yours with five others.

Also, you don’t have to sift through stuff you already own; you will only see the content that you do not already have, and you can automatically add new purchases from one computer into your library.

Genius Mixes

An addition to Genius, Mixes theoretically creates the ideal playlist for you based on analysis of more than 27 million music libraries with more than 54 billion songs that have been submitted to Genius.

Perhaps good for a lazy party planner, or when you’re in the mood for, say, grunge, but don’t want to have to compile a proper list.

iTunes Extras

iTunes Extras is a bit like the DVD extras or Blu-ray BD plus content that comes with feature films these days. I say having this is a good thing, you’ll never need to buy the special edition or limited-edition box set again.

The only problem is that here in Ireland we are still waiting for any sort of TV or film content in the iTunes Store. Please Apple, sort out the regional licensing restrictions and give us downloadable movies!

Categorised Music Synching

I don’t like having to lump all my music in when syncing, like all iTunes users, having more control over how I move, arrange and label my music is near the top of my wish list.

You can now sync music by artist and genre, and sync photos by Events and Faces. Great!

Apps Organisation

Like Steve Jobs does, I’d like to say,”‘And one last thing …,” because the relationship between my iPhone 3GS and my iTunes libraries is a sacred thing, especially as far as apps are concerned.

There is improved syncing between iTunes 9 and iPhone OS 3.1, so now you can organise your iPhone apps inside iTunes and they’ll automatically appear on your iPhone with the same layout. Yay!

Also, syncing music, photos, movies and TV shows has been made easier with sync by artist and genre, as well as photo syncing by Events and Faces added to iPhone sync.

Photo: An iTunes webpage.

By Marie Boran, via