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Apple releases iTunes 8.1

post #1 of 48
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As anticipated, Apple on Wednesday evening delivered iTunes 8.1 with performance enhancements, support for CD imports to iTunes Plus, and new Genius features. Separately, the company also updated its Front Row media application.

iTunes 8.1 (65.4 MB) "is now faster and more responsive," Apple says. "You will enjoy noticeable improvements when working with large libraries, browsing the iTunes Store, preparing to sync with iPod or iPhone, and optimizing photos for syncing."

In addition, iTunes 8.1 provides several other improvements and bug fixes, including:
Supports syncing with iPod shuffle (3rd generation).
Allows friends to request songs for iTunes DJ.
Adds Genius sidebar for your Movies and TV Shows.
Improves performance when downloading iTunes Plus songs.
Provides AutoFill for manually managed iPods.
Allows CDs to be imported at the same sound quality as iTunes Plus.
Includes many accessibility improvements.
Allows iTunes U and the iTunes Store to be disabled separately using Parental Controls.


iTunes 8.1 also includes a couple of security enhancements.

Front Row Update 2.1.7

Meanwhile, Front Row Update 2.1.7 (13.3 MB) has also been released, promising to deliver improved compatibility with iTunes 8.1.
post #2 of 48
The new iTunes DJ feature is awesome! It works so well. Only issue I see with it is not everyone having the latest Remote.app.
post #3 of 48
TestTestTestTestTestTestTestTestTestTestTestTestTe st
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post #4 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipodrulz View Post

The new iTunes DJ feature is awesome! It works so well. Only issue I see with it is not everyone having the latest Remote.app.

Can't they download it OTA while on your wifi?
post #5 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandros View Post

Can't they download it OTA while on your wifi?

There's something wrong with iTunes authentication at this moment. I can browse the store on phone and mac fine, but can't do anthing specific to my account.

Also, browsing the store IS significantly faster. It's like they upgraded the WebKit build it uses or something.
post #6 of 48
What is special about the iTunes Plus encoding that iTunes couldn't encode before? I thought it was 256kbps encoded constant bit rate, and the program already had that for a long time. The only thing I can think of is that it's now a pre-made setting that's in the drop-down list instead of something that you manually enter as a custom setting.

Quote:
Downloading isn't the only performance improvement. The new version can load large libraries, browse the iTunes Store, and sync devices "faster than before."

Good.

Quote:
Manually managed iPods can now use the AutoFill technology previously reserved for the smaller-capacity models of the iPod product family.

I'd say this was overdue.
post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by probably View Post

Also, browsing the store IS significantly faster. It's like they upgraded the WebKit build it uses or something.

That's what I'm guessing.

They also introduced something that now won't work because iTunes URLs seem to be halted (though they were working just minutes ago):


That's what the Customer Reviews section of Yelp's iTunes App Store page looks like when visited from its URL:
http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/M...284910350&mt=8

Again, those links aren't working, at least on my end. As you can see, all reviews are now stamped with a date and version number. In addition, it appears as though you can now simply rate apps, rather than having to write a review for them.

Not major changes, but iPhone devs have been asking for date/version stamps for awhile and the system even allows you to view the most recent version's reviews or all reviews for all versions for all times.

These improvements haven't spread to all apps, nor can they be seen by casually browsing the store. Hopefully this update will be finished by tomorrow. I discovered it before updating to iTunes 8.1 tonight on a different app (Trips - Time Manager, I believe).

EDIT
Ok, found one example of this that can be found by browsing around: Pocket God. It's the top paid app in the App Store. You have to browse to it to see it; scroll down to the bottom of its page.

Oh, and now URLs appear to be working again (including the one for Yelp above). Here's the one for Pocket God:
http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/M...301387274&mt=8
False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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post #8 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by probably View Post

Also, browsing the store IS significantly faster. It's like they upgraded the WebKit build it uses or something.

I don't believe it uses WebKit to render. It's served in some kind of custom XML.
post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandros View Post

I don't believe it uses WebKit to render. It's served in some kind of custom XML.

It also seems with 8.1 that font rendering and choices are far better on the store. It looks great.
post #10 of 48
Well, I wonder if Apple has changed its (i)tune on using Front Row as a front end to send iTunes Audio over wireless networks to Airport Express remote speakers? This is such a glaring and unfortunate oversight... or is it a strategic marketing decision so they can sell more appleTVs? we're only talking audio here. How cool would it be to use Front row to browse music and deliver and control that music to your Airport Express? Seems like a no brainer. But up to know this hasn't worked...

any words?
post #11 of 48
i just did the upgrade via software update.

i had (emphasis on "had") a dozen playlist folders, each of which contained multiple playlists. after the upgrade, all of the playlists that were in the playlist folders have been moved up a level, so now i just have lots and lots of playlists.

it wouldn't be that big of a deal, except that many of the playlists in several of the folders have the same name, so now i have 4 or 5 playlists named "a" (for example) and 4 or 5 playlists named "b" (for example). it's gonna take time i don't have to sort that out. thanks apple.

anyone else have the same issue?
post #12 of 48
Zandros,

Apple mentioned in private at WWDC that "a lot of it's lines, including iTunes, use WebKit, and couldn't be built without it."
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

What is special about the iTunes Plus encoding that iTunes couldn't encode before? I thought it was 256kbps encoded constant bit rate, and the program already had that for a long time.

This is really just a marketing point. Before v8.1 iTunes default CD import was to copy at 128KBps AAC. You always could have changed it manually, but now it's the new default.
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post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

Zandros,

Apple mentioned in private at WWDC that "a lot of it's lines, including iTunes, use WebKit, and couldn't be built without it."

Zandros is correct, it uses custom XML with WebObjects, not WebKit.
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post #15 of 48
After updating to iTunes 8.1 and updating the Remote App to 1.2 I can no longer get my iTunes to see my iPhone 3G. It syncs just fine and mounts in the device list like normal but when trying to connect to my iTunes Library through the remote app when it presents the 4 digit pass code, thats as far as it goes. iTunes never gives me a place to enter that pass code.
post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Zandros is correct, it uses custom XML with WebObjects, not WebKit.

No, the iTunes store is RENDERED with WebKit in iTunes. It may well be served at Apple via WebObjects, but it is most definitely not rendered on the client using a server platform.

WebObjects = Server Side
WebKit = Client Side
post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesilv View Post

No, the iTunes store is RENDERED with WebKit in iTunes. It may well be served at Apple via WebObjects, but it is most definitely not rendered on the client using a server platform.

WebObjects = Server Side
WebKit = Client Side

Unfortunately that is not how it appears to works. There is reportedly no HTML on the client side being rendered. It renders specialized XML using QuickTime's core framework. Think of how the default QT interface pops up on Windows with an advert laden with images and links that looks reminiscent of the Apple's iTunes Store.
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post #18 of 48
Obligatory... But is it snappier???
post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

It also seems with 8.1 that font rendering and choices are far better on the store. It looks great.

Interesting. Downloading now.
post #20 of 48
What is iTunes DJ and friends requesting songs? How does this work?
post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

What is iTunes DJ and friends requesting songs? How does this work?

It's the old Party Shuffle paired with Genius to make it more intelligent instead of having you setup a playlist ahead of time.
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post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It's the old Party Shuffle paired with Genius to make it more intelligent instead of having you setup a playlist ahead of time.

Ah...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Obligatory... But is it snappier???

iTunes Store seems snappier...!
post #23 of 48
I have an old Quicksilver at home I'm using as a media server for my ATV. My current media collection is 90+ days worth of movies, TV shows, music, audiobooks, etc (and growing). and iTunes can really drag at times. Yesterday I was going through my movies and came across 20 out of 160 movies that had spontaniously become corrupted. Some in the last two weeks.

The release notes indicate better performance with large libraries and I was wondering if anyone has applied this to a large library yet and given it a test drive. Are the improvements supposed to be related to speed, stability, or maybe dealing with spontanious corruption? I'll probably wait until this weekend to upgrade since I don't want to risk the stability of my library until I'm sure it won't hose my system.
post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

What is special about the iTunes Plus encoding that iTunes couldn't encode before? I thought it was 256kbps encoded constant bit rate, and the program already had that for a long time. The only thing I can think of is that it's now a pre-made setting that's in the drop-down list instead of something that you manually enter as a custom setting.



Good.



I'd say this was overdue.

In 8.1 there is a new iTunes Plus option is the import seeting drop down, it is the new default. It appears to the 256mps, VBR.
post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlashmanBurgess View Post

After updating to iTunes 8.1 and updating the Remote App to 1.2 I can no longer get my iTunes to see my iPhone 3G. It syncs just fine and mounts in the device list like normal but when trying to connect to my iTunes Library through the remote app when it presents the 4 digit pass code, thats as far as it goes. iTunes never gives me a place to enter that pass code.

It might seem like an obvious question, but are you on the same wifi network?

15"MBP 2.66GHz Intel Core i7, 24" iMac 3.02 dual, 4GB Ram, Logic Studio, Apple TV (3rd Gen), 16GB iPod Touch (4thGen), Airport Express.

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post #26 of 48
Interesting how the ad copy for the new Shuffle says up to 1,000 songs, with a footnote fine print disclaimer that it's 500 songs using 256. Maybe they should reverse those numbers now that 256 is default, with this "new feature."
post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by sc54321 View Post

It might seem like an obvious question, but are you on the same wifi network?

I have exactly the same problem as FlashmanBurgess, and all of iTunes diagnostic tests confirm network connectivity is OK. (Remember he said the passcode is accepted by iTunes, proving LAN connectivity).

It just does not get to the final act, which is finding the library.

Anyone else with a similar problem?
post #28 of 48
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post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by sc54321 View Post

It might seem like an obvious question, but are you on the same wifi network?

Unlike your issue, FlashmanBurgess, when I enter the remote passcode, iTunes tells me "Your remote is now able to control iTunes", but the same as you, my iPhone tells me "could not find library"
post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Obligatory... But is it snappier???

From the start of the article:
Quote:
iTunes 8.1 (65.4 MB) "is now faster and more responsive," Apple says.

Apple wouldn't lie, would they?
 
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post #31 of 48
8.1 made about 100 songs in my library lose their path to their location ok the disk and I can't get the updates to my App Store apps. Both are easily fixable with some repetitive work, but I would have rathered it not occur, of course.

Anyone know of a script for the first issue?
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post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

What is iTunes DJ and friends requesting songs? How does this work?

It allows you to view a DJs music catalog and it allows you to request songs right from your iPhone or iPod touch, it's like if you where to walk into a store and if they got iTunes DJ enable you could just request for songs instead of listening to all the crap they got, pretty cool i'll say.
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

it's gonna take time i don't have to sort that out. thanks apple.

but you've got time to read and post on AI?
post #34 of 48
My main concern was that iTunes would hang when processing the files for iTunes Plus tracks, resulting in an album taking 2+ hours to download, more often taking 3 hours....anyone noticed if this issue has been addressed ? This is the true test of 'snappier'
post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by sc54321 View Post

It might seem like an obvious question, but are you on the same wifi network?

Yes. Only one network in the house.
post #36 of 48
Yikes! After upgrading to 8.1, I noticed that I can no longer upgrade songs and albums to iTunes Plus format.

Can anyone on the older iTunes check to see if this is an iTunes store thing, or just a version 8.1 thing? There were still a whole bunch of tracks I wanted to upgrade, but I was waiting on them for budgetary reasons. I know Apple said that offer could end at any time, but I'm hoping it's just an upgrade thing and perhaps I can downgrade back to the previous version of iTunes to grab those last tracks and albums that I wanted.
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanthohappy View Post

Yikes! After upgrading to 8.1, I noticed that I can no longer upgrade songs and albums to iTunes Plus format.

Never mind. The option is back. Must have been some upgrade bugs with the store interface that needed to be worked out.
post #38 of 48
It might just be me but i reset the calendars on my iPod touch and now they are all the same colours as in iCal!
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It's the old Party Shuffle paired with Genius to make it more intelligent instead of having you setup a playlist ahead of time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Ah...

My mistake, it's considerably more involved than what I stated.
http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2009/0...on-with-i.html
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post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

From the start of the article:
Apple wouldn't lie, would they?

Scrolling through my 6000-song library is definately faster and zippier than it used to be, but it's still not as fast as say scrolling through a website in Safari. Still a nice improvement.

And the iTunes store is quicker as well indeed.
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