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Apple Releases Major iTunes Update 910

Posted by pudge
from the more-sharing-less-burning-plus-some-wacky-stuff dept.
shunnicutt writes "Apple has released iTunes 4.5 (and iPod software 2.2 and QuickTime 6.5.1) and relaxed some iTunes Music Store restrictions: now tracks you purchased can be authorized to play on up to five other computers, instead of three. However, they reduced the number of times you can burn a playlist to an audio CD from ten to seven. Another new feature is iMix, which allows you to publish playlists on iTMS, including comments on each track. The iTMS also offers a weekly free single for download." crazney adds "This release also changes their network sharing protocol in a way that breaks the open source iTunes sharing applications that have been released (based on my work on iTunes 4.2's DRM)." kefoo writes "Among the new features is Apple Lossless Encoding, which claims to compress losslessly to half the size of uncompressed CD quality audio." Hm, and I was about to re-rip all my CDs at 320 kbps MP3 ... Update: 04/28 14:56 GMT by P : I just tested, and I can listen to previously de-DRM'd AAC files from playfair, but I cannot use either playfair or FairTunes any longer. The former "Couldn't get DRM key for user," and the latter produces a blank file.
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Apple Releases Major iTunes Update

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  • by Spatula Sam (770957) * on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:40AM (#8996118)
    When expanded to properly display the album art and the new large-format videos, iTunes balloons to a size that is far, far to large for any jukebox. It's almost to large to gracefully use on a PB12's display (thank god for exposé). I wonder if this application inflation is part of some nefarious Jobsian plot to make us buy those gigantic cinema displays...

    Additionally, the app now also features a cool track melding feature not mentioned in the heading. This makes it a lot easy to make seamless listening possible for tracks that are supposed to proceed without pausing, So now I can finally listen to classical tracks the way they are supposed to sound. Seamless and lossless. Cool.

    • by Pirogoeth (662083) * <`mailbox' `at' `ikrug.com'> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:49AM (#8996235) Homepage Journal
      Do you normally keep iTunes expanded while listening to music? I agree that it takes up a lot of screen space, but the only time I keep it expanded is when I'm developing a playlist or importing songs. Once I get it playing, it gets shrunk down or hidden.

      Granted, I have a 17" screen, so I don't know what it looks like on a twelve incher, but I've never had any complaints about the interface layout.
    • "nefarious Jobsian plot to make us buy those gigantic cinema displays"

      As with many things in life (bigger budgets/more expenses, bigger houses/more junk), the bigger your screen gets, the more apps you will run... thus nullifying the larger screen's real-estate.
      -m
    • by thesolo (131008) * <slap@fighttheriaa.org> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:50AM (#8996250) Homepage
      Additionally, the app now also features a cool track melding feature not mentioned in the heading. This makes it a lot easy to make seamless listening possible for tracks that are supposed to proceed without pausing, So now I can finally listen to classical tracks the way they are supposed to sound. Seamless and lossless. Cool.

      If you're talking about the "Join Tracks" feature, this is not new to iTunes 4.5, it has been around for quite some time. If you're talking about a new feature for gapless output, then I'll be a very, very happy user.

      Actually, that's my only real gripe with iTunes & my iPod: lack of gapless playback. iTunes has a crossfader, which, if you set it to 0 seconds, does a pretty good job of playing tracks as they should sound on a CD, but it's not perfect, and no such solution exists for the iPod. I know it's an often-requested feature for the iPod, I just hope we see it sometime this year.
    • by Raleel (30913) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:51AM (#8996260)
      re: screen real estate.

      check out space.sourceforge.net. Space.app is multiple desktops for the mac. been using it since like 10.1 :)
    • by selderrr (523988) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:55AM (#8996307) Journal
      what I find a bigger issue is that iTunes can STILL not create playlists over the network. I have my G5 upstairs with all my music, but I would like to have the party shuffle (or an ordinary playlist) hold some tracks on my tiBook in the living room. Especially since the kids now also store their music on the G5 (since that machine is always turned on), but want to create lists locally without having to disturb me when I'm working.

      I've submitted this feature request to apple each time they release a new iTunes version, but still nothing :-(

      Hey slashdotters : help me convince apple of this feature ! click here [apple.com] and ask apple to provide networkable playlists (so NOT copying the tracks over the network, only their URL) Let's see if this can work !
  • by radicalskeptic (644346) <tritone@g3.14mail.com minus pi> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:40AM (#8996124)
    One cool feature mentioned in 4.5 is "iMix", which publishes your playlists to the iTMS for all to see. So out of curiosity, I tried to publish my "top 25 most played [onlinehome.us]" playlist. Out of the 25 songs on the list, only seven were available [onlinehome.us] at iTMS.

    Sure, one could argue that I have eclectic taste in music, but on the other hand, they are missing some pretty big names: Radiohead, Frank Zappa, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Chick Corea...

    On an unrelated note, I wonder if iTMS is going to start offering lossless files. That would be cool.
  • by seanadams.com (463190) * on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:40AM (#8996125) Homepage
    I asked my G5 to play itself at a game of "Global Compression Format War". It started by launching a powerful attack out of Germany, targetting every continent simultaneously. Then Washington fired back at Germany, and within a few months OSS bases around the world joined the fray. The record industry suffered heavy casualties, but just as things were looking really grim, a coordinated nerve gas attack on their behlf, out of California, neutralized their enemies... but only temporarily. Norway distributed a powerful antidote... the secret formula was banned in the US though, so manufacturing was moved to India. And on it went with this simulation... util after exhausting every possible scenario, it concluded:

    "The only winning move is not to play."

    Can't way to see how Apple tried to lock people in to a lossless format... best of luck to you guys, and have fun pissing away your resources on this stupid game.
  • by cflorio (604840) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:41AM (#8996132) Homepage
    This whole limit of computers is kind of redundant if they let you burn audio cd's. Aren't most people burning an audio cd, and then ripping to MP3 from there?
    • by MoneyT (548795) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:42AM (#8996155) Journal
      Token gesture to the RIAA to apease their fears of the pirates.
    • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld.gmail@com> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:53AM (#8996290) Homepage
      Yeah but the itunes files are at 128k, so a burn then rip is going to result in noticeable sound degradation at this point.
      • by SydShamino (547793) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @11:20AM (#8996573)
        There is no noticeable sound degradation reripping at 160k MP3.

        At least not to me, a mere mortal. Perhaps an audio god could detect a difference. But they wouldn't recompress anyway - they'd store them all as uncompressed raw audio after hand-ripping them from the original masters they borrowed from the publisher.
      • by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @11:31AM (#8996705) Homepage Journal
        I've done iTMS AAC ->CD PCM -> 128kbps unemcumbered AAC conversions in the past and there was no noticable sound degradation. Now, iTMS AAC ->CD PCM -> 128-192kbps unemcumbered MP3 conversions did show obvious artifacts, so obviously a lot of this depends on the format you want to convert to, but it does make sense. MP3 will throw away a different part of the content than AAC would, so in an AAC to AAC conversion, the second AAC is throwing very little away (because it's already gotten rid of in the original pass.)
    • by prockcore (543967) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @12:32PM (#8997388)
      This whole limit of computers is kind of redundant if they let you burn audio cd's. Aren't most people burning an audio cd, and then ripping to MP3 from there?

      Why would you do that? Take your protected AAC, open up iMovie, import the AAC, the save it again as an AIFF.
  • OK... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Short Circuit (52384) <mikemol@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:41AM (#8996134) Homepage Journal
    Apple Lossless Encoding

    So let's bring out the ALE and get drunk celebrating. ;)
  • by Pirogoeth (662083) * <`mailbox' `at' `ikrug.com'> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:42AM (#8996149) Homepage Journal
    My work PC is behind an authenticating firewall, so I was never able to log into iTMS and consequently was not able to authorize my work PC to play my purchased music. When I launched 4.5, it brought up the IE dialog box for entering my firewall password, and voila... I could enter the iTMS and log into my account!

    I love the addition of two more authorized computers as well. I'm getting a new PB this spring to give my four Macs/PCs that I would have iTunes on and now I can keep them all authorized!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:43AM (#8996158)
    Sadly, instead of using this update opportunity to add in basic functionality that would increase iTunes' value to avid music listeners, Apple went the route of throwing in some glitzy features for kids to rave over: "OMG the shufflez is teh party!! THE DJ IS ME!!1" They missed out on a lot of items that get requested on their forums.
    • Speed. Though I'm sure many can provide their own anecdotal evidence on how iTunes works fine on their machines, that doesn't invalidate the many, MANY claims of iTunes being a bloated, resource hog (at least on Windows.). Foobar and Winamp with a little tweaking [inthegray.com] open almost instantaenously, while iTunes lags behind on starting up. Even when minimized, iTunes is taking up far more CPU than a media player should (even more than WMP!).
    • MPC/FLAC/SHN/APE/etc. support. If applications like Foobar, Winamp, and QCD can pull it off, why can't iTunes, with it's beefy 19.5 MB download, play simple file formats like these that've been around for years? Wouldn't it work in their favor to allow their users more choice, to let their users listen to their music in whatever format they've chosen to encode them in?
    • Queueing. Once again, something included with XMMS, Winamp, and even MMJB. If your listening to a huge random playlist of songs in Winamp, but want to hear a particular song after the one your listening to, just select the song in the playlist and hit 'Q'. Winamp will finish the currently playing song, then play the song you selected, then return to randomly shuffling the tracks automatically. You can do this with multiple tracks, picking an order you want to hear those songs, and then shuffling the rest. Or you can hit 'J' to search the list of the songs in the playlist [nunzioweb.com], and select the song(s) you want to enqueue.
    • Downloading Songs Off iPod Through The Media Player. Instead of assuming your user is doing something criminal and (flimsily) preventing them from easy access to the songs on their iPod, why not give them the freedom to move songs back and forth onto their hard drives. ml_ipod [winamp.com], a plug-in that lets you manage your iPod through Winamp's media library, not only allows you to transfer songs from your iPod, but lets you even "reverse-sync" them.
    • Support for competing MP3 portables. I think I read somewhere that iTunes may support another mp3 player besides the iPod, but that really isn't enough. Once again, I think it'd be beneficial the popularity of the program if they supported other players. Have they released an SDK for their community to toy with? The Foobar and Nullsoft teams did this, and they got great results [winamp.com].
    • Gapless playback [pretentiousname.com] on iPod. This is a big deal to audiophiles, and I'm really surprised by the iPod's lack of support on this. The Rio Karma does this. Why not iPod?

    Though I'll admit that the join-tracks feature was much-welcomed, what else did iTunes users get? Instead of downloading songs with propietary DRM, now we can encode our songs with a new proprietary DRM--songs that won't play on anything else? I think I'll stick with FLAC. The ability to publish my important music playlists for the whole world to see? I think I'll stick with Audioscrobbler [audioscrobbler.com]. A free song from another bland RIAA-sponsored band? Epitonic [epitonic.com] has always provided a good sampling of independent artists and their music for you to try out. A wishlist to download those Top 40 songs later? Well, why don't I just download the songs now off allofmp3 [allofmp3.com] now with their ridiculously low prices, in whatever format I want, without DRM? Import unprotected WMA files? Winamp

    • by Bill Hayden (649193) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:58AM (#8996343) Homepage
      Support for competing MP3 portables. I think I read somewhere that iTunes may support another mp3 player besides the iPod, but that really isn't enough. Once again, I think it'd be beneficial the popularity of the program if they supported other players. Have they released an SDK for their community to toy with? The Foobar and Nullsoft teams did this, and they got great results

      Yea, they should definitely sacrifice hardware sales to support this free program! Why didn't they think of that?

      Hello? Apple makes money off iPods, not iTunes or the iTMS.

    • by himself (66589) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @11:03AM (#8996394)
      Well, they call your Queueing "Party Shuffle": http://www.apple.com/itunes/playlists.html
      >
      > Now with Selective Listening
      >
      > Of course your party deserves a great soundtrack, and iTunes
      > helps you jump-start your set list. The new Party Shuffle feature
      > creates a dynamic playlist, similar to shuffle play, from either your
      > entire library or a designated playlist. You can review upcoming songs
      > to reorder or delete on the fly, taking charge like the DJ you always
      > wanted to be. You or a guest can add songs to the mix at any time. If
      > you like the random picks, you can always save them in a personal playlist.
      > And of course, you can use Party Shuffle when listening to music alone,
      > too. So your playlist is always full, and always full of good tunes.
      >
      And I think your "gapless playback" could have been helped with the preference for the gap between songs (though that nay only apply to burning CDs). In any case, I agree that it's a very important feature for stuff live albums and arty, no-break albums (of which I have a couple).
    • I minor nitpick... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Millennium (2451) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @11:03AM (#8996399) Homepage
      Actually, iTunes does support several competing players, and has since well before the iPod's appearance. It's not something they advertise much, but it is there.
  • wine? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TMB (70166) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:43AM (#8996159)
    Has anyone gotten it to work under wine? I'd love to be able to use it under Linux, but since they don't seem to be forthcoming on a native client, at least it would be a way to let me give them money! ;-)

    [TMB]
  • by amichalo (132545) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:44AM (#8996172)
    Some initial, unofficial reports [macrumors.com] are coming in that a 4mb AAC translates to about 30mb Apple Lossless.
  • by lotsofno (733224) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:45AM (#8996182)
    According to comments in ipodlounge [ipodlounge.com], this new version won't allow playback of Playfair DRM stripped AAC files.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @11:22AM (#8996591)
      I've previously converted 19 iTMS songs to stripped AAC with Playfair 0.5 and iTunes 4.5 plays them just fine.

    • by Niles_Stonne (105949) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @11:27AM (#8996644) Homepage
      Good for Apple.

      The whole reason they can get so many of the labels they do is that they protect their rights. I know it sucks for the little guy who wants to give music to all of their friends, but I find their version of DRM within acceptable limits, unlike most other DRM systems.

      • by slughead (592713) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @11:50AM (#8996928) Homepage Journal
        I hope to god this is redundant.. I'd be really scared if I was the only one who noticed.

        This is exactly what the anti-DRM nazis were talking about.. they CHANGED the licensing agreement and nobody cares.

        Do you realize what this means? They could simply one day revoke all but 1 of your machine licenses, put all your m4p's into one big encrypted image, and turn your genitals into scrambled eggs and there's nothing you can do about it because YOU agreed to it by buying DRM.

        Sure, THIS time it's not a big deal, in fact most people will be happy with this new way of doing things.. but doesn't it bother you that they can take as well as give?

        Seven burns down from Ten on tracks you already own.
        Think about that..

        And no, I'm not a stinkin pirate or anything like that. Just think if the implications
        • by Mr Guy (547690) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @12:24PM (#8997297) Journal
          Well sorta, but also largely wrong.

          You're right about the DRM agreement changing, but only sorta. They EXPANDED what you could do, DRM wise.

          They agreed to let you play on 3 computers, that's what I agreed to when I signed up and bought many many songs. Now they said I can use 5 computers, I'm happy.

          The second change isn't to the DRM. I can still burn a song to a CD as many times as I'd like, as I agreed to. What they don't let me do, through software, is burn the same PLAYLIST more than 7 times. In other words, I can't make the exact same CD more than 7 times. Change a single song or (I believe) even reorder the songs and you can burn them another 7 times. It's not a DRM change, it's a tool change.
        • by amichalo (132545) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @12:30PM (#8997367)
          The music I purchased before under the 10 burn/3 computer DRM could remain under that DRM. All I have to do is NOT AGREE TO THE NEW DRM. This would keep me from buying new music with this user ID, as I have to agree to the DRM, but would not effect the old music.

          So Apple is faced with an issue. They couldn't just cut something out, without giving people a reason to agree to it. I nthis case, to continue shopping at the store and gain the ability to use 2 extra computers, I have to give up 3 identical CD burns. Big deal. Th emost I have ever burned is 2.

          I see your point, but I think that reasonable business desires will keep DRM in check because otherwise, people wouldn't buy it at all.
  • Multiple Downloads (Score:5, Informative)

    by thpdg (519053) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:45AM (#8996187) Journal
    Nice to release on the anniversary, and draw some attention.
    My one complaint with the service is that you can't download the source file multiple times. So, I may have a license to listen to it, but I have to get the file from somewhere, if I lose it. They let you listen to your music on 5 machines, but you have to transport the file itself to those machines, by yourself. A real pain in the butt.
    Beyond that, it's fantastic, and I recommend it to anyone shopping for a service.
    • by clf8 (93379)
      1. Backup your files, why does everyone complain about this.
      2. You don't have to copy the files to 5 different machines. Have it on one, iTunes will stream it to the others. The machine still has to be authorized to play it if it's protected. But you do NOT have to physically copy the file.
    • by Ghoser777 (113623)
      Multiple downloads could present a somewhat large financial issue for apple... like when a person with 10,000 songs downloaded wipes their harddrive and then suddenly wants to just redownload them again. Or if a person authenticates 5 computers and wants to populate 40,000 songs on the other 4 computers via Apple instead of over a lan or firewire drive. Perhaps there should be some middle ground... like you can only redownload a limited amount of songs in any given period, but there is pretty good reasons
      • by prockcore (543967) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @01:29PM (#8998081)
        Multiple downloads could present a somewhat large financial issue for apple... like when a person with 10,000 songs downloaded wipes their harddrive and then suddenly wants to just redownload them again.

        Anyone who's spent $10k at iTMS deserves to be able to download load them again.

        Apple happily lets everyone and their grandmother download all those huge movie trailers for free, I think they can spare some bandwidth for the guy who just gave them $10,000.
  • by overbyj (696078) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:46AM (#8996196)
    Notice that the DRM scheme has changed. You can now burn 7 playlists to CD when it used to be 10. However, the flip side is that you can now authorize 5 computers as opposed to the old scheme of 3.

    Not a bad tradeoff in my opinion. I can't remember the last time I played a physical CD. Sure, there are going to be those that complain about not having the CD but really, the idea of digital music is so that you don't have to lug around a CD.

  • iTunes campus goals (Score:5, Informative)

    by poleman13 (766922) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:46AM (#8996198)
    More important than this update is Apple's new push to provide music to college campuses. Their information is available here http://www.apple.com/education/itunesoncampus/. As a Penn State studnet whos money is being wasted by a garbage contract with Napster, I hope that iTunes begins to displace Napster all over the country. Napster is a shoddy, two bit service that offers a marginal utility at best. I'm rooting for iTunes and AAC in the battle for university contracts.
  • by Dark Paladin (116525) * <jhummel@jo[ ]ummel.net ['hnh' in gap]> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:47AM (#8996211) Homepage
    And maybe this is available in other MP3 players - but this is my list after setting up some new Smart Lists this morning:

    1. Nested lists: so I could have one list that says "if genre = rock", then a sublist that just has "if My Rating is > 3" or "if year published is 2" and the other "if My Rating is > 3" (which I use to differentiate between "Background work music" and "Driving kick ass music".

    2. Copy playlists: Another major issue with the above is that if I have 2 playlists that are 90% the same, I'd like to set the first one up, then just copy the list logic into a new one and only edit the 1 or 2 differences.

    3. iSync iTunes I have a laptop, and so does my wife. Right now, all of our music sits on a Master hard drive on a Powermac, then synced to my iPod, which when I'm at work I plug into my laptop and place on "manual" (so it doesn't copy the laptop music files). This works out, but it's not what I'd like.

    What I'd like is to go home, sit with my laptop and have it say "Oh, I see Playlists X, Y, and Z on your main computer have updated, and I've updated these MP3 tracks ratings/tags/etc. Let me sync up."

    Then I could select the lists I want on my laptop from the main machine and only those files would be copied to my box. Since, if I buy music from the iTunes Music Store I can play it on 5 separate machines, it would be nice to have an "auto-sync" kind of system.

    I think that's about it for now. I like the option of a new lossless recording (if I ever get my computer tied into a good sound system I can use it - I think there's some new devices that can stream from your Mac to from about $200 that might be worth a look).
  • Also new (Score:5, Informative)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:47AM (#8996214)
    iTunes on Campus [apple.com], which lets academic institutions site license iTunes Music Store content for their users delivered by Akamai's distributed network, which now not only includes over 700,000 songs from all 5 major labels and 450 independent labels, but also thousands of audiobooks, periodicals, and journals.

    Also new is the ability to import unprotected WMA into iTunes, and an iPod update [apple.com] to support Apple Lossless Encoder.

    And last, iMovie 4.0.1 [apple.com] has been released.

  • by Rude Turnip (49495) <valuation@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:50AM (#8996252)
    A couple weeks ago there was a discussion on /. about iTMS. One of the points I made is that I haven't used iTunes in a while because I have 4 computers at home and it was a hassle to keep authorizing/deauthorizing them because you were limited to three authorized systems. Another point was made that Apple should expand the number of authorized computers to 5 because their OS X "family plan" lets you install OS X on up to 5 computers...therefore they should be consistent.

    As for reducing the playlist burn amount from 10 to 7, I don't think anyone will notice. Although CDRs are dirt cheap, they are pretty wasteful for the small amount of music they hold. Flash and HD music players are the way to go.

    Good work, Apple! Next step: Get the songs I buy on iTMS to work with TiVo's Home Media Option.
    • Tivo (Score:3, Interesting)

      by simpl3x (238301)
      I don't understand why Apple isn't getting these apps running under Linux... Or Palm... Or Symbian. Damnit Steve, stop playing the proprietary game already. I respect software which needs to be purchased, but only on apple hardware, or windows--your main competition--is just wierd. Use a few million in cash and get the software ported. I have enough shiny Apple hardware... but, lets talk about that rumored phone... iWant.
  • by pgrst (662201) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:51AM (#8996256)
    what will be real interesting is if APPLE start selling lossless from the iTMS.

    Previously the DRM limitations forced people to burn to cd then re-rip with out drm. the problem with this is

    drm'ed mp3 > cd > mp3

    the problem was that drm'ed mp3 !=mp3
    because when the mp3 is ripped from the burned cd, it will not be indentical to the original mp3.

    with lossless encoding this problem is fixed because

    drm'ed lossless > cd > lossless

    drm'ed lossless = lossless.

    Obvioulsy APPLE is aware of this, they have effectively removed the DRM issue (at least for files that start as lossless)
  • by amichalo (132545) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:52AM (#8996267)
    The Party Shuffle feature gets rave reviews from me.

    In the past, I have used a playlist I call "now playing" to move music in and out of during a party. This can be a real pain when you really just want to play a few playlists back to back.

    Party Shuffle changes all that. It allows you to easily DJ a party. You select how many "just played" songs and how many "upcoming songs to show. You then select a source, be it your music library or a playlist or a smart playlist (think Rock or Pop where 1979 year 1990). You then can easily manage what is coming up in the list and view what just got played. You can click the "refresh" (where Burn and Import are) and the list will be regenerated at random. You can also give preference to the higher ranked songs in your library.

    Lastly, and this is a feature of the entire music library, not just playlists or Party Shuffle, the same "arrow" icons that show up in the iTMS when you search for a song are present in iTunes. This means you can click an arrow for a song name, album, or artist and it will launch a search on iTMS. But say you don't like that feature? Well you can of course turn it off in preferences, but you may also hodl down "option" and click it. The result? it searches only YOUR library, not the iTMS.
  • Hm, and I was about to re-rip all my CDs at 320 kbps MP3 ...

    You either have very few CDs or way too much time on your hands.

    I was considering making higher bit rate versions of my library but would only hire my brother to do it for me (over 200 albums).
  • Crap crap crap (Score:5, Informative)

    by tgd (2822) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:56AM (#8996319)
    They don't warn you that once you upgrade, you can't access shared music on older versions of iTunes. Now I have to go upgrade all my systems.

    Don't install it if you don't have time to upgrade all your computers, if that sort of thing matters to you.
  • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @11:02AM (#8996376) Homepage Journal
    I don't know about you, but to me half the size of uncompressed audio sounds like a lot. How do gzip, bzip2 and FLAC stack up?
  • Is this FLAC? No. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by p940e (539763) <play@slowch[ ]ren.com ['ild' in gap]> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @11:07AM (#8996449)
    I when I saw "Apple Lossless encoding" a part of me got really excited thinking that they had finally decided to start supporting FLAC [sourceforge.net] files, but just given it their own name.

    That doesn't seem to be the case. These files are given the file extension '.m4a'. Attempting to decode them with the CLI flac program only produces errors.

    It's a shame too, because FLAC is really starting to pick up as the lossless format of choice for internet distribution. In certain cirlces at least. If Apple had decided to throw their weight behind, it could have really taken off.
  • by CdBee (742846) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @11:15AM (#8996532)
    At the time iTunes for Windows was launched, I went to the suggestions page at apple.com and suggested a WMA importer for iTunes, and suggested on /. that others do the same, as a malrge number of users have ripped all their music to WMA and therefore couldn't play it in iTunes.

    I am glad Apple were listening - it's really pleasing to see a major company release a tool which will reduce the number of Windows Media files in existence in the world.
  • Damnit, Steve! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by teamhasnoi (554944) <teamhasnoi&yahoo,com> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @11:52AM (#8996957) Homepage Journal
    Why can't iTunes share songs over the net? Tie it 5 MAC addresses or something, but at least let me listen to my songs sitting on my Mac at home while at work. No, I don't want to fill up my powerbook with AACs and mp3s. I could then play my tunes at a pals house or coffee shop or elsewhere.

    It seems that Apple could do the same thing that they're doing with DRM, and authorize 5 computers to share via IP. (on different subnets) - I have no interest in P2Ping music with all the leaches out there, but the ability to share my Library over the net with a few others would be quite welcome. (iTunes 4.0.1?) It seems like iTunes is one program that really shows the limitations that the RIAA puts on Apple. Of course, I could get an iRaise, and go buy an iPod, but i'Ve got enough iCrap to carry around.

  • Apple lossless (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Josh Coalson (538042) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @11:53AM (#8996962) Homepage
    If someone will host a clip in apple lossless format, preferably a one second sine wave, un-DRMed, along with the original input (WAV or AIFF) and the stream parameters (bps, sample rate, #channels, exact length in time or #samples) I can take a look to see if it's FLAC or FLAC-like inside (I developed FLAC).

    Josh

  • by gerardrj (207690) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @11:59AM (#8997029) Journal
    The "join" feature still only works during CD ripping, there's not way to join tracks that you've purchased from the store or already imported. This is SO annoying. The systems have more than enough computing power to merge these songs without having to start over.

    I'm guessing I will have to cave in and re-rip all my CDs that should not have gaps between the songs.
  • By the numbers (Score:5, Informative)

    by amichalo (132545) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @12:06PM (#8997105)
    Well the results are in and between Apple's Press release [apple.com] and the Steve Jobs conference call [macminute.com] there are many numbers to consider.

    140,000,000 - Annualized song sales at current rate
    100,000,000 - Number of songs projected to be sold in 1st year
    70,000,000 - Number of songs sold the first 365 days of the service
    2,700,000 - Current rate of songs sold per week
    1,000,000 - Number of songs available by the end of 2004
    700,000 - Number of songs available now (5/04)
    450 - Number of indy publishers with music on-line
    10 - Previously allowable identical CD burns
    7 - Currently allowable identical CD burns
    5 - Current number of authorized PCs and/or Macs
    3 - Previous number of authorized PCs and/or Macs
    70% - Market share of iTMS digital music sales
    5% - Market share of Apple desktop/laptop/server sales
    0 - Number of more successful on-line music services
  • CD-Text? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nvrrobx (71970) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @12:32PM (#8997387) Homepage
    Does iTunes 4.5 support CD Text? I have yet to understand why iTunes hasn't had this support! Just about every burner on the planet supports it. Even factory car stereos support it now.
  • by ek_adam (442283) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @12:41PM (#8997484) Homepage
    You can now use other playlists as criteria for a Smart Playlist. Create one playlist that is a combination of several other playlists.
  • by whizzer1187 (775339) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @03:29PM (#8999739)
    To quickly assess how well the new iTunes 4.5 lossless compression scheme works I picked 10 songs at random from my collection to convert to Apple Lossless Encoder format. The good news is that each song only took a few seconds to convert on my 1.0 GHz PowerBook. Noticeably faster than when I ripped them to WAV files. Unfortunately the compression ratio is not that good. The aggregate compression ratio of the ten songs was 1.5:1. The min, median and max were 1.3:1, 1.5:1 and 1.8:1. This is by no means a thorough evaluation, as my collection is heavily skewed to rock music and far more samples would be required. I would have expected far better however, given that the high correlation between the two stereo channels gives an almost brain dead 2:1 compression to start with, and other lossless projects on the web claim closer to 4:1.

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