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iTunes 8 offers collective Genius for playlists, HD TV, visual browser

post #1 of 71
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At its "Let's Rock" iPod event today, Apple announced iTunes 8.0, the first new reference release of the company's music and video player and media store in two years.

The primary new feature in iTunes 8 is its new Genius feature, which lets users automatically create playlists from their music library that "go great togetherwith just one click," according to Apple. Genius is intended to help music fans rediscover favorites in their existing music library and find related music in the iTunes Store they might want to buy.

iTunes 8 also features new icon-based views of music and video libraries, new 3D music visualizers, and adds high definition TV programing to the iTunes Store, including new HD content from NBC Universal networks. All NBC content has been missing for a year from iTunes following disputes over content merchandizing.

The new release also adds VoiceOver screen reader support in Mac OS X Leopard (and Window-Eyes for Windows XP and Windows Vista), making the purchase or download of content from the iTunes Store and iTunes U more accessible to blind users.

iTunes 8 also supports a new way to combine symphonies, concertos, operas, or oratorios to play properly together with Grouping, as well as a new feature that lets users properly categorize tracks imported from a CD as being of a specific media kind, such as an audiobook.

The simplicity of Genius

Apple says using the new Genius feature is easy: select any song, click the Genius button, and iTunes will instantly create a playlist of songs that go great together from the music library. Users can preview the playlist Genius creates, refresh the list to choose different songs, and save a Genius playlist as a permanent playlist collection.



The Genius sidebar in iTunes also recommends music from the iTunes Store, based on the songs a users selects. With the new iPod classic, iPod touch, iPod nano and iPhone, users can also now create Genius playlists on-the-go.

iTunes 8s new Genius feature anonymously sends information about users' music libraries to the iTunes Store, where it is combined with the anonymously-gathered knowledge from millions of other iTunes users and processed through Apple-developed algorithms. The Genius results, specifically tailored to each user's personal music library, are then used to enable users to automatically create Genius playlists in iTunes and on an iPod, even when not connected to the Internet.

New visual browser

Apple said a new visual browsing interface in iTunes 8 displays music and video libraries using album and video covers and "provides a great way to navigate your movies, TV shows, iPhone apps, podcasts and audiobooks."

The new display arranges music by album covers (below top), podcasts by artwork with an indication badge for new episodes (below middle), and audio books by cover (below bottom).







iTunes media store increases its lead

The iTunes Store is the worlds most popular online TV store, with a selection of more than 30,000 TV episodes from ABC, CBS, The CW, FOX, NBC and over 70 cable networks including Bravo, Comedy Central, Disney Channel, ESPN, FX, HBO, MTV, Nickelodeon, Sci Fi, Showtime and USA.

With iTunes 8, TV fans can now watch their favorite shows from ABC, NBC and Showtime in HD for $2.99 per episode, viewable on both the Mac or a PC running iTunes, or on a widescreen TV with Apple TV.

The iTunes Store is also the worlds most popular online music and movie store with a catalog of 8.5 million songs and over 2,500 films, including 600 in HD, as well as 65 million account holders. Apple calls the iTunes Store is "the best way for Mac and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music and video online."

iTunes 8 is available for download now, and requires QuickTime 7.5.5.
post #2 of 71
Okay, how do you turn off the links to the iTunes store which now show up every time you select a track in list view?

There used to be a preference where you could turn them off, but that seems to be missing...
post #3 of 71
Looks like the localisations aren't available yet... Software Update doesn't find it and neither does checking for updates in iTunes itself. QT 7.5.5 and the Front Row update did come up though.
post #4 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by yama View Post

Okay, how do you turn off the links to the iTunes store which now show up every time you select a track in list view?

There used to be a preference where you could turn them off, but that seems to be missing...

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post #5 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


He means quicklinks, not the Genius Sidebar

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post #6 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensonb View Post

He means quicklinks, not the Genius Sidebar

There is a command line toggle if you search for it.
post #7 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

There is a command line toggle if you search for it.

That's all well and good, but there used to be a setting in the GUI.

Anyone know if it's Carbon or Cocoa? Not really bothered, just wondering.

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MacBook Pro 15" | Intel Core2 Duo 2.66GHz | 320GB HDD | OS X v10.9
Black/Space Grey iPad Air with Wi-Fi & LTE | 128GB | On 4GEE
White iPhone 5 | 64GB | On 3UK

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post #8 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by infoatdfx View Post

Just downloaded and installed iTunes 8. The new views look nice, but for the rest not much changed. But I'm not going to turn the genius bar on, because the thing sends information to Apple. Just want to keep my privacy.

/Dimitri

Did you read the agreement stating what content is sent for this feature to work?
post #9 of 71
They now have a Composer option under View. Still not helping for Classical, but it's a start.

And it looks like they may have fixed the issue with an erroneous Applications update in the sidebar.
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post #10 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

There is a command line toggle if you search for it.

Great. I don't suppose you'd bother actually sharing this information with the rest of the class, huh?

For those who'd like to know, the command is: defaults write com.apple.iTunes show-store-arrow-links -bool FALSE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensonb View Post

Anyone know if it's Carbon or Cocoa? Not really bothered, just wondering.

For what it's worth, the UI seems to Cocoa. Try dragging the window below the Dock - it allows you to do it. Now try the same with a Carbon app - the window stops just above the top of the Dock. I'm sure there's still plenty of Carbon in there though..

Edit - bring up the iTunes preferences window and try dragging that below the Dock. Bingo! It stays above the top of it.
post #11 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by yama View Post

Great. I don't suppose you'd bother actually sharing this information with the rest of the class, huh?

For those who'd like to know, the command is: defaults write com.apple.iTunes show-store-arrow-links -bool FALSE



For what it's worth, the UI seems to Cocoa. Try dragging the window below the Dock - it allows you to do it. Now try the same with a Carbon app - the window stops just above the top of the Dock. I'm sure there's still plenty of Carbon in there though..

Edit - bring up the iTunes preferences window and try dragging that below the Dock. Bingo! It stays above the top of it.

So we reckon it's partly Cocoa then?

MacBook Pro 15" | Intel Core2 Duo 2.66GHz | 320GB HDD | OS X v10.9
Black/Space Grey iPad Air with Wi-Fi & LTE | 128GB | On 4GEE
White iPhone 5 | 64GB | On 3UK

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Black/Space Grey iPad Air with Wi-Fi & LTE | 128GB | On 4GEE
White iPhone 5 | 64GB | On 3UK

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post #12 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by yama View Post

Okay, how do you turn off the links to the iTunes store which now show up every time you select a track in list view?

There used to be a preference where you could turn them off, but that seems to be missing...

Looks like they have greatly simplified the Preferences window.
I don't see it available any more.
I already had it turned off and iTunes 8 carried over that pref, so I don't see them.

Also the eye is gone from the lower toolbar and replaced with the genius icon.
I think the list view now defaults to browse mode, just as we had hoped.

I like the new default visualizer.

Overall iTunes 8 feels pretty solid and "snappy".
post #13 of 71
With so much hype around I wonder if Apple has actually fixed some issues with the iTunes or they have just added some cosmetic features in it? iTunes responds terribly if you are downloading many files of podcasts simultaneously. I hope they fixed this issue with it and now it plays videos more smoothly.
post #14 of 71
Hmmm. Seems like a huge chunk of my artists are missing in the browse mode now. Looks like they are being grouped under "Compilations" instead of their own names.

My backup library on iTunes 7.7.1 shows 334 artists, but iTunes 8.0 only shows 182 artists. "Compilations" has mysteriously appeared at the top of the "Artists" column.

Time to go log a bug report
post #15 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Also the eye is gone from the lower toolbar and replaced with the genius icon.
I think the list view now defaults to browse mode, just as we had hoped.

That may make some people happy.
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post #16 of 71
I don't see the option to disable to "Genre" column anymore. Used to be in Preferences.
post #17 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by jabohn View Post

I don't see the option to disable to "Genre" column anymore. Used to be in Preferences.

They really did hide a lot of the preferences this time around. Thankfully, you can still make the change via the Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.itunes show-genre-when-browsing -bool FALSE
post #18 of 71
Also worth pointing out is that it does seem a darn sight snappier.

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Black/Space Grey iPad Air with Wi-Fi & LTE | 128GB | On 4GEE
White iPhone 5 | 64GB | On 3UK

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post #19 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by yama View Post

For those who'd like to know, the command is: defaults write com.apple.iTunes show-store-arrow-links -bool FALSE

Thank you. I did file a bug report too, for what it's worth.

/Adrian
post #20 of 71
For some esoteric reason, iTunes caused my sound to stop working system-wide while activating the Genius. Reboot brought it back. Go figure.
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post #21 of 71
Installed iTunes 8... ran the Genius feature with my 982 albums. Took about 20 minutes to do it's thing.
My observations are such on Genius:

Playlist
• It seems to pick songs from the same genre
• It seems to pick songs with the same beat per minute rate
• It seems to pick music that I listen to somewhat often, and throw in a few obscure tunes that fit the profile.
• Picks music from the same time period. If you pick a song from the 80's... almost all of them will be 80's tunes.
• Seems to work pretty damn good. Been enjoying the different playlists.

I give apple a 9.5/10 on this. It's pretty cool, especially for someone with a huge music collection like I have.

Genius Recommendations
• Absolute worst recommendations i've ever seen.
• Repetitive worst recommendations i've ever seen.
• Complete crap, couldn't be further away from anything i'd ever listen to.

I have 2 old Pet Shop Boys albums and a Madonna album, and for some reason it decided to pick these albums which i never listen to, to form the recommendations??? Recommendations like more Pet Shop Boys and Madonna and Queer as Folk, Coldplay...
Seriously... Genius Recommendations is trying to turn me homo or something

Needless to say, they won't be making much money off this with absurd recommendations like that. However the service is new and probably doesn't have a good data base built up yet.

But be warned... if you have old skeletons in your music collection, be prepared to laugh or be embarrassed by the results of the store recommendations.


******************
Update

Ok... that recommendations thing was a one hit wonder. Discovered that once you select a track, the recommendations in the iTunes Store changes to things that make sense.
Just the very first time opening it, it picked some random crap.
Service might be pretty cool yet.
post #22 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post


I have 2 old Pet Shop Boys albums and a Madonna album, and for some reason it decided to pick these albums which i never listen to, to form the recommendations??? Recommendations like more Pet Shop Boys and Madonna and Queer as Folk, Coldplay...
Seriously... Genius Recommendations is trying to turn me homo or something

Haven't you ever noticed that "Genius" is Apple's code word for "Homo"? Ever been to the "Genius Bar"? Gayest bar i've ever been to, and less women than at a gay bar too.
post #23 of 71
This Apple event was pretty needless if you ask me. It really did not have that "rock" vibe at all, and all of the updates were just minor.

First of all, only the user can create a playlist that perfect fits their tastes. I would never use this Genius feature. I can't even get a decent playlist with the SHUFFLE function on my iPod classic at times.

The new features on the iPods are also very minimal and hardly ground breaking. There used to be an iPod out there that could hold 160GB. Now they just have one iPod classic that holds 120 GB. I know they are probably looks to go for the touchscreen ones more now, but it still looks like the same iPod model.

This really was not a wise move by Apple. They could have not spent all the money on this event and just updated the website. Really a waste of time and effort.
post #24 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by yama View Post

Okay, how do you turn off the links to the iTunes store which now show up every time you select a track in list view?

There used to be a preference where you could turn them off, but that seems to be missing...

Did you have iTunes set to show those links? I had them hidden, so the only links that show up now that didn't before are when a song is playing or paused. When no music is playing, there should be no visible links (unless you had them turned on before you updated, obviously).

There are also new links that show up when a playlist (normal, smart, and Genius) is selected in the Source list on the left, which when clicked, present the option to create an iMix or Send the songs as a Gift playlist. Pretty nifty.
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post #25 of 71
I would like to see TV episodes rentals, purchasing TV shows that I'll end up watching only once is not something that I'd want to do.
I think $0.55 per episode rental is fair.
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post #26 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

I would like to see TV episodes rentals, purchasing TV shows that I'll end up watching only once is not something that I'd want to do.
I think $0.55 per episode rental is fair.

You should get a job at Fairco.
post #27 of 71
Sounds like there's a lot of junk in there - genius links, iMix links, iTunes store links, more limited preferences, not being able to see exactly what I want in my itunes window - all crap to me. I would never use recommendations features, or communication features - all I want is to be able to manage my large library.

The worst thing is that apparently there's no more album view - the only view I ever use. It's by far the most useful to me in keeping my library organized. (List view is a real jumble without album separators, and I like having the album art right there). I'm staying with iTunes 7.7.1, and I hope I can transfer it over that way to a new computer when I get one (going from Tiger to Leopard soon).
post #28 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

The worst thing is that apparently there's no more album view - the only view I ever use. It's by far the most useful to me in keeping my library organized. (List view is a real jumble without album separators, and I like having the album art right there). I'm staying with iTunes 7.7.1, and I hope I can transfer it over that way to a new computer when I get one (going from Tiger to Leopard soon).

There is an Album View, but it's not like it was. I prefer that method too. I get the best of both worlds. Organized and separated by album but get to see the details too. I am going to request it from Apple....
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post #29 of 71
Genius doesn't work with Beatles songs!?!
post #30 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankenSigns.biz View Post

Genius doesn't work with Beatles songs!?!

You're right.

Just because they don't sell them shoulld't mean they can't at least create a Genius playlist for me.
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post #31 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There is an Album View, but it's not like it was. I prefer that method too. I get the best of both worlds. Organized and separated by album but get to see the details too. I am going to request it from Apple....

Or you could poke around a little...



See that little black arrow pointing at the Name column?

Click that and...



Voila!
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post #32 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Or you could poke around a little...
<image>
<image>

SWEET!!! Thanks.
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post #33 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

SWEET!!! Thanks.

Yeah, I'm personally a fan of List view, so while I played around in the new iPhoto-like Grid view (pretty nice), I discovered that strange little arrow when I switched around.

Album view is not only viewable as I demonstrated, but also, if you use Grid view and double click on one of the albums or artists (depending on which view setting you have; it works for genre, composer, etc. as well), that little black arrow will be in the associated list, so you can have Grid view and then when you double-click, you'll have the old Album view.

Glad I could help.
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post #34 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

Sounds like there's a lot of junk in there - genius links, iMix links, iTunes store links, more limited preferences, not being able to see exactly what I want in my itunes window - all crap to me. I would never use recommendations features, or communication features - all I want is to be able to manage my large library.

The worst thing is that apparently there's no more album view - the only view I ever use. It's by far the most useful to me in keeping my library organized. (List view is a real jumble without album separators, and I like having the album art right there). I'm staying with iTunes 7.7.1, and I hope I can transfer it over that way to a new computer when I get one (going from Tiger to Leopard soon).

Can't remember what album view was (I never used it), but you can click the arrow to the left of "name" while in list view and it will show the album art on the far left and all the songs in a list to the right of the album art. Not sure if that helps.

Edit: I see someone already has screenshots up for that, nevermind.
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post #35 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You're right.

Just because they don't sell them shoulld't mean they can't at least create a Genius playlist for me.

Is it me or is the 'genius' feature a gimmick? Looks like a feature thrown in to stimulate sales of music and perhaps appeal to the RIAA.

I guess I feel like I'm quite capable of creating my own playlists.
post #36 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

Sounds like there's a lot of junk in there - genius links, iMix links, iTunes store links, more limited preferences, not being able to see exactly what I want in my itunes window - all crap to me. I would never use recommendations features, or communication features - all I want is to be able to manage my large library.

Did you actually download and use iTunes 8? The links I was talking about only appeared when something was selected and they were subtle at that. The link that appears on the play list brings up two options, iMix or Gift in a little pop-up window when clicked. The links for each song only appear when a song is selected or playing/paused.

I don't get why you're complaining about these links, which you presume to inject clutter into the interface (they really don't) and then have issues with the less cluttered preferences pane.
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post #37 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Is it me or is the 'genius' feature a gimmick? Looks like a feature thrown in to stimulate sales of music and perhaps appeal to the RIAA.

I guess I feel like I'm quite capable of creating my own playlists.

I like the auto-playlist option. It's found great music I've completely forgotten about. I've now got a whole new playlist for the gym to try out. The one that ties into the iTS I am not as fond of, but if I bought my music from iTunes I think it would be pretty sweet. I might use it to find new music that I'll buy elsewhere, but I'll have to see.
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post #38 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

... The one that ties into the iTS I am not as fond of,.

That's what I'm talking about.

Now I know others do it as well, like Amazon, but they really hyped this feature during the keynote and all I was thinking was marketing feature. 'Hey you like this music so and buy this too'. Looks like a bone for the RIAA. But if that gets Apple DRM free music then I guess its worth it.
post #39 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crtaylor View Post

This Apple event was pretty needless if you ask me. It really did not have that "rock" vibe at all, and all of the updates were just minor.

First of all, only the user can create a playlist that perfect fits their tastes. I would never use this Genius feature. I can't even get a decent playlist with the SHUFFLE function on my iPod classic at times.

The new features on the iPods are also very minimal and hardly ground breaking. There used to be an iPod out there that could hold 160GB. Now they just have one iPod classic that holds 120 GB. I know they are probably looks to go for the touchscreen ones more now, but it still looks like the same iPod model.

This really was not a wise move by Apple. They could have not spent all the money on this event and just updated the website. Really a waste of time and effort.

That's your own opinion. It was not a waste of time. The new Nano blows away the old one with all the new features and interface enhancements. I guess you didn't watch the keynote to see them in action. iTunes 8 is significantly better, and the new Genius feature works great if you want to quickly create a new playlist based on a favorite song. Just because you won't use it, doesn't mean others would also find it useless. The new grid view rocks for viewing your music by album cover, far better than Cover Flow. One click on an album will play the entire album. Much easier than having search for that album to only play that album.

The slimmer 80 GB sold significantly more than the fatter 160 GB. So they stuck with the slimmer design and increased the size to 120 GB. I enjoy my 160 GB, and I am sure others do too. So what is your point about there used to be an iPod that held 160 GB? If you want one, buy one at a reduced price, $279 now. The Touch and Nano far outsell the older Classic design, and there really isn't much more they could do with the Classic design. So I am not sure what you are complaining about.

Since iPods of all models continue to sell like hotcakes, this event was not a waste of time or money.
post #40 of 71
Some iTunes Preference Changes, of course you always have to hunt them down:

-Disc Burning options are gone from Advanced. They appear when you click on Burn Disc
-Importing options are moved to the General pane, by clicking Import Settings
-Download Missing Artwork moved to the Store pane
-AirTunes settings moved to Devices pane
-Show Artwork Column under the View menu provides the previous Album view in the List View
-The option to hide links to the iTunes Store appears to be gone, and the arrows only appear when you highlight a song
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