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Apple Releases Major iTunes Update

pudge posted more than 10 years ago | from the more-sharing-less-burning-plus-some-wacky-stuff dept.

Media (Apple) 910

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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iTunes 4.5 is a screen hog (3, Interesting)

Spatula Sam (770957) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

Re:iTunes 4.5 is a screen hog (1)

qengho (54305) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996218)


the app now also features a cool track melding feature

That's been available for a while, actually. I wish it could be done after import, because sometimes I forget (or don't realize) that some tracks are seamless on the CD, and have to rerip it to get the seamless iTunes file.

Re:iTunes 4.5 is a screen hog (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8996229)

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).

And thank Zeus for Desktop Manager [sourceforge.net] .

Re:iTunes 4.5 is a screen hog (4, Interesting)

grahams (5366) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996268)

I have always been a Pager/Workspace fan, but a few months ago, after the release of Panther, I decided that I would give Expose a real fair shot as a replacement for the Pager. I uninstalled Codetek VirtualDesktop and forced myself to use Expose for two weeks, and at the end of that time I was going to "declare a victor".

After about a week of Expose, however, I decided that it was terribly better than the Pager solution and decided to never go back... Now I just wish I had some Expose equivalent on the other platforms I use...

Re:iTunes 4.5 is a screen hog (5, Insightful)

Pirogoeth (662083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996235)

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.

Re:iTunes 4.5 is a screen hog (5, Funny)

lacrymology.com (583077) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996249)

"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

Re:iTunes 4.5 is a screen hog (4, Informative)

thesolo (131008) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996250)

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.

Re:iTunes 4.5 is a screen hog (1, Informative)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996354)

He is talking about a gapless output. It takes two seperate tracks and allows them to be played without gap.

Re:iTunes 4.5 is a screen hog (4, Informative)

Raleel (30913) | more than 10 years ago | (#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 :)

Wow, so it's now almost as good as winamp (-1, Troll)

poptones (653660) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996266)

Lossless format support and seamless track transitions - wow! If they'd just get rid of the DRM, just think: you could have almost all the same great features on your Mac I've been enjoying on my PC for more than two years now!

Re:Wow, so it's now almost as good as winamp (1, Insightful)

womby (30405) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996334)

does winamp have a store?
from what I can work out, and you can correct me if I am wrong. the DRM is only available on music store purchased tracks, and no matter how hard you try it cannot be enabled on personal tracks

don't buy music from itunes music store = all the great features of winamp (minus some of the not so great) + better mp3 archive management.

Re:Wow, so it's now almost as good as winamp (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8996371)

Winamp has plenty of stores. The price is all the music you can download for a 1/10,000 chance of being named as the defendant in a lawsuit.

Re:iTunes 4.5 is a screen hog (4, Informative)

selderrr (523988) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996307)

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 !

Update shows iTMS needs more selection (5, Interesting)

radicalskeptic (644346) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

Re:Update shows iTMS needs more selection (-1, Redundant)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996145)

Dave Matthews Band isn't available on iTMS yet. They've got a lot of catching up to do.

Re:Update shows iTMS needs more selection (1)

grahams (5366) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996296)

That's a good thing, it keeps the frat boys away from the nerds.

Re:Update shows iTMS needs more selection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8996212)

Of course the more 'important' feature is the ability to be able to import WMA files into the iTunes playlist.

Re:Update shows iTMS needs more selection (5, Interesting)

ncmusic (31531) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996255)

You also have to remember maybe some bands don't want to be on iTunes. In the case of Radiohead I believe that they only wanted their albums sold as a whole and not individual tracks, because that's how they see their albums.

Re:Update shows iTMS needs more selection (4, Interesting)

amichalo (132545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996335)

According to Apple's press release today [apple.com] , Their library is the largest in the world - 700,000 songs.

One must remember that artists can choose not to distribute their music this way. Notables are easy to recall - Dave Matthews Band, Metallica, Radiohead, The Beatles, etc.

This is temporary. In a few years, no artist will keep their music from this medium, though they may not distribute through the big 5 either. The same press release shows Apple has 450 indy labels represented with iTMS!

Re:Update shows iTMS needs more selection (4, Insightful)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996349)

Agreed, The ITMS is lacking a number of big artist. However, it's getting better. I stopped bitching when Apple placed nearly every single NinjaTune and MoWax artist on the store.

More artist will come. Apple now allows certain albums to be sold in their entirety (some artist didn't want their albums picked apart), and Apple now allows users to print cover art (some artist hated the lack of album packaging).

Global Compression Format War (4, Funny)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996125)

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.

This whole limit of computers... (3, Interesting)

cflorio (604840) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996132)

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?

Re:This whole limit of computers... (4, Insightful)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996155)

Token gesture to the RIAA to apease their fears of the pirates.

Re:This whole limit of computers... (1)

TrueJim (107565) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996258)

...or just making copies of the burned audio CD using your favorite app, such as Toast. That's faster than re-burning from a playlist anyway, so if I want a copy for (say) my home, office, and car, that's how I'd do it.

Re:This whole limit of computers... (5, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996290)

Yeah but the itunes files are at 128k, so a burn then rip is going to result in noticeable sound degradation at this point.

Re:This whole limit of computers... (1)

joeljkp (254783) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996324)

Technically, this violates their terms of service. But who's counting?

OK... (5, Funny)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996134)

Apple Lossless Encoding

So let's bring out the ALE and get drunk celebrating. ;)

But it's not in software update yet?!?!? (2, Interesting)

hc00jw (655349) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996136)

Can someone explain why I can't install it through my preferred medium?

Cheers!

Re:But it's not in software update yet?!?!? (4, Informative)

Raven42rac (448205) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996154)

It will be as soon as Apple announces it later today. You can still download it off the web.

I am straight (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8996137)

so I don't care about Apple

Full speed, icebergs ahead (0, Troll)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996140)

Two icebergs, in particular:

1. stream ripping
2. cheap offshore music sites

The only consumers who will pay $.99 for a track are those who have absolutely no choice due to DRM in media players and mobile phones.

Re:Full speed, icebergs ahead (2, Insightful)

Pirogoeth (662083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996180)

Well, I suppose there might be the honest folks who see $0.99 per song as a value as well...

Re:Full speed, icebergs ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8996210)

afaik neither streamripping nor parallel music importing are illegal.

but you believe consumers will willinging pay more for an identical product, perhaps because it carries the MAC label?

posisbly. i would not.

Re:Full speed, icebergs ahead (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996213)

And people who have fallen in love with the iTunes interface; people who use the iPod (which doesn't have DRM so it's separate from your criteria); and people who have large collections of CDs

Streaming (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8996146)

Does anybody knows of a plugin for the windows version of iTunes that can save the radio-streams to disk ? Preferebly one that can save each song separatly.

Oh, and free :-)

iTMS now accessible through firewalls! (5, Informative)

Pirogoeth (662083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996149)

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!

Re:iTMS now accessible through firewalls! (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996278)

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!

In my house, there are at least seven currently working CD and DVD players. I can put whatever the hell CD I like in any of them and play it. I can take my CDs up to my computer and rip using CD paranioa and encode to FLAC or OGG (or MP3 if I am feeling crazy), and in fact hard disks are so cheap now I don't even have to bother compressing the music.

Technically, I'm breaking the law, even though I'm not depriving anyone of a music sale... (I already bought the damned CDs).

ACK! (1, Flamebait)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996386)

4.5 music sharing is incompatible with 4.0!

I hate Apple's "forced upgrade" policy... sigh.

Missing: Basic Features (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#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 natively [winamp.com] lets you play Quicktime, Real, and even protected WMA files. Movie trailers through iTunes? Any self-respecting geek would skip over using Quicktime's horrible implemenation on Windows, in favor of Media Player Classic [betanews.com] .

Though I love iTunes, it isn't really competing or matching up against the progress of other players. While ease-of-use and "party mixes" might be good enough for your average teen or someone who doesn't ask for much, for myself and others looking for the best music experience, they're falling behind other players in terms of quality in favor of promoting their store/brand.

Re:Missing: Basic Features (5, Informative)

Bill Hayden (649193) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996343)

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.

Re:Missing: Basic Features (4, Informative)

himself (66589) | more than 10 years ago | (#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... (5, Informative)

Millennium (2451) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996399)

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.

Re:Missing: Basic Features (2, Informative)

Mwongozi (176765) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996409)

Queueing and gapless playback are both available.

Queueing: Drop the track you want to queue onto the "Party Shuffle" icon.

Gapless playback: Turn on "Crossfade playback", and drag the seconds slider to zero.

wine? (3, Interesting)

TMB (70166) | more than 10 years ago | (#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]

My Mac sucks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8996163)

I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Mac fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Mac (a 2.0 PM G5) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Pentium Pro 200 running NT 4, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Mac, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

In addition, during this file transfer, Netscape will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even BBEdit Lite is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various Macs, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Mac that has run faster than its Wintel counterpart, despite the Macs' faster chip architecture. My 2.0 G5 with 512 megs of ram runs faster than this 300 mhz machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that the Macintosh is a superior machine.

Mac addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Mac over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

Re:My Mac sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8996280)

That's funny, I use a Mac at home and a PC at work, and I prefer my four-year-old Mac to this brand new PC. My Mac is faster, easier to use, and a lot more pleasant to use. I'm a lot more productive on it.

But really, it comes down to two things: Who is administering the machine, and how much RAM is in it. A 2.0Ghz G5 will choke if there's only 128MB of RAM in it, because it's running into the bottleneck at the system bus. And if the admin doesn't know how to make Macs happy, they'll be slow as balls. A friend of mine used to help the network admin in 6th grade keep the SLs in the Mac lab running, because he didn't have a clue what he was doing.

Re:My Mac sucks (-1, Flamebait)

joel_mac (575677) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996315)

Man, that does suck. If you need to dump that piece of trash, I have a few creative ideas of what I could do with it...let me know and I'll take your troubles away! You can use your Pro to your hearts content.

iTunes (0, Flamebait)

deutschemonte (764566) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996166)

I don't have iTunes you insensitive clod!

Lossless (1, Funny)

aliens (90441) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996167)

This is awesome! Sounds like FLAC for iPods. How could you not want one now???

Mmmmm, lossless goodness, tastes great, less filling.

Re:Lossless (0, Troll)

sulli (195030) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996225)

Because it's proprietary and not FLAC? Yet again Apple pushes its own non-standard format.

Re:Lossless (1)

EvanTaylor (532101) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996345)

WMV... FLAC... Vorbis... All standards right?

Re:Lossless (1)

jdrake (148812) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996236)

well,

technically, it'd taste great, but be more filling, if it can only copmress to half the uncompressed for, that's 15meg/song or so average...

so... light beer is for wussies anyway, it's stout all the way baby! tastes great, as filling as it gets.. well, other than uncompressed...

Re:Lossless (1)

paranode (671698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996245)

Mmmmm, lossless goodness, tastes great, less filling.

Less filling? Are you sure you know what lossless is?? ;)

Apple Lossless encoding (4, Interesting)

amichalo (132545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996172)

Some initial, unofficial reports [macrumors.com] are coming in that a 4mb AAC translates to about 30mb Apple Lossless.

Re:Apple Lossless encoding (1)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996294)

Someone's unofficial report on that forum also indicates that it converts from WMA to AAC.

I'm about to install, so I'll check it out and let you know.

Re:Apple Lossless encoding (1)

eofpi (743493) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996327)

That sounds typical for a lossless algorithm. FLAC claims to be able to get music down to as low as 50% the uncompressed size too (it seems to do this mainly on classical and ambient). But most of the time expect something in the 60-80% range (pop on the low end, speed metal on the high end).

Re:Apple Lossless encoding (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996336)

ohh fuck it *sigh*. Just give me the option to store WAV files (pure redbook audio) on my iPod.

Re:Apple Lossless encoding (4, Informative)

grahams (5366) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996355)

You can play uncompressed AIFF files on your iPod, and it's a pretty easy, lossless conversion between WAV and AIFF.

Re:Apple Lossless encoding (1)

ToteAdler (631239) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996380)

I just ripped a CD 3 times to compare sizes, MP3 50.9 MB, Lossless 345.4 MB and ACC 41.5 MB

PlayFair'ed files not working? (4, Informative)

lotsofno (733224) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996182)

According to comments in ipodlounge [ipodlounge.com] , this new version won't allow playback of Playfair DRM stripped AAC files.

Re:PlayFair'ed files not working? (1)

Abjifyicious (696433) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996313)

That sounds a little bit weird to me, as there shouldn't be any difference between AAC files that are DRM stripped and AAC files that never had DRM to begin with...

Re:PlayFair'ed files not working? (1)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996389)

No doubt the underlying AAC file has a signature, applied by Apple, that Apple can recognize.

I know that for MP3, pretty much every encoder has some kind of characteristic which identifies it in the output - some (eg lame) even put their name and version number explicity in the stream. Encspot is a nice tool which will look for these sorts of things and tell you its best guess as to what encoder was used to generate each of your mp3s.

Multiple Downloads (5, Informative)

thpdg (519053) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996187)

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.

Re:Multiple Downloads (3, Informative)

clf8 (93379) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996284)

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.

Re:Multiple Downloads (1)

thpdg (519053) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996362)

Only if those machines are sharing a LAN, from what I understand. It doesn't help me when I have my work PC behind a firewall in my office, and my home desktop at home, behind it's own firewall, and then a roaming laptop. So far, I've been forced to send to a webserver, a USB keychain, or burn a CD when I get new music
Is there something I'm missing?
It would be nice if someone could create a service to move the files automatically, or just provide locked files on a webserver, somewhere, that you could access if you have a license.

Re:Multiple Downloads (2, Informative)

Ghoser777 (113623) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996291)

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 for apple to have their current policy.

Matt Fahrenbacher

losslessly to half the size of uncompressed CD (-1, Funny)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996193)

**losslessly to half the size of uncompressed CD quality audio.**

hmm, isn't that pretty bad actually? can't you get that kind of compression(get 40mb wav into 20mb file) with just zip&others on pretty easily anyways, fucking _ten_years_ago_.

Re: losslessly to half the size of uncompressed CD (4, Insightful)

goober (120298) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996254)

hmm, isn't that pretty bad actually? can't you get that kind of compression(get 40mb wav into 20mb file) with just zip&others on pretty easily anyways, fucking _ten_years_ago_.

Try playing a .zip file on your iPod...

Re: losslessly to half the size of uncompressed CD (5, Informative)

Herg (564957) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996279)

No. If you try to compress a wav file with zip, rar, etc., you will get very little compression. There is very little repeated data in a wav file. Looking at a wav file with the knowledge that it is audio, however, allows for decent lossless audio compression.

Re: losslessly to half the size of uncompressed CD (1)

Hollinger (16202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996289)

Umm... with "ZIP and others" could you decompress the files quickly enough to keep up with the media stream without spiking the host PC's CPU? And also skip 4:31 seconds into it, or rewind back 30 seconds, and so on?

Re: losslessly to half the size of uncompressed CD (5, Funny)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996298)

can't you get that kind of compression(get 40mb wav into 20mb file) with just zip&others

Absolutely, for WAV files which are half silence.

Re: losslessly to half the size of uncompressed CD (5, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996388)

Actually, Zipping a wav file will do absolutely nothing. There's way too much entropy in a regular song to find similar patterns which it can compress. Also, FLAC only get's about a 60% compression ratio, meaning 100 MB of wav turns into 60 MB of flac

it's just more (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8996194)

shitsack software from a shitsack company.

Slight change in the rules... (2, Interesting)

overbyj (696078) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

Re:Slight change in the rules... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8996340)

Err no, the idea of digital music is that it can be distributed, copied and transfered to different media for negligible cost. The idea of DRM is to place restrictions on the possibilities afforded by digital media. Even Apple users can't think _that_ differently?

iTunes campus goals (5, Informative)

poleman13 (766922) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

My personal iTunes wish list (5, Interesting)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996211)

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).

Re:My personal iTunes wish list (0, Redundant)

amichalo (132545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996398)

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.

Today is your lucky day. Thanks to the folks at Xerox PARC [folklore.org] , you can accomplish your goal very easily.
1. create a new play list
2. select the items in the original play list (select all I presume)
3. drag and drop them into the new playlist

Now you may edit them as you wish.

Also new (5, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

Re:Also new (4, Informative)

Casshan (4998) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996344)

iTunes on campus is not a site-license to the content. It merely allows institutions to redistribute the iTunes software.

Re:Also new (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996402)

Save to AAC from unprotected WMA

That is a nice feature. Though note that this is a an feature for the MS-Windows version only.

Maybe what we need now is something to de-DRM WMA files so that they may all be converted.

about that lossless/lossy choice (1)

real_smiff (611054) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996238)

> Hm, and I was about to re-rip all my CDs at 320 kbps MP3

Hmm well that was silly, either use LAME preset standard and save the space (around 200kbps) or go for lossless (around 700kbps -?) with e.g. FLAC or Monkey's which have been available for a long time and are well supported. I wouldn't use any new un-tried un-tested audio format for my music.

Not sure if this is off-topic, but since you stuck that comment on the end there's my 2p.

Notice the little ad during the setup (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8996240)

I sure that mini-iPod wearing person is a dude. It kind of looks like a guy. If it is, I am sure that he is going to get his ass kicked by some Rio-wearing dudes.

Still not using it (0, Troll)

llzackll (68018) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996251)

Until they remove DRM. Don't let them control what you can do with your files.

Re:Still not using it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8996352)

"your files" are someone else's intellectual property, dumbass.

It makes sense to go up to 5 auth. systems (5, Interesting)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

Goodbye DRM, Hello Lossless (3, Interesting)

pgrst (662201) | more than 10 years ago | (#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)

Another Apple "Innovation" (1, Flamebait)

asv108 (141455) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996265)

Among the new features is Apple Lossless Encoding, which claims to compress losslessly to half the size of uncompressed CD quality audio.

Why not support open standards and open source and use FLAC [sourceforge.net] ? Looks like another apple "innovation" that is just a copy of another product, in this case FLAC, SHN.

New Party Shuffle feature the best part of 4.5 (5, Informative)

amichalo (132545) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

Encoding is free if your time is worth nothing. (5, Insightful)

NullStream (121401) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996281)

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).

Re:Encoding is free if your time is worth nothing. (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996401)

Setup a program to rip, fetch info from CDDB.com, and encode in batch. Then, just rip a few CDs a day if you like. Eventually, you'll get that archive compleated.

They have Cradle of Filth albums!!!!!!! (0, Offtopic)

superangrybrit (600375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996287)

I was stunned. After the deludge of crap music (hip hop, rap, dylan, britney), Apple is starting to listen to it's requests.

Crap crap crap (5, Informative)

tgd (2822) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

Ahrrrgh!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8996320)

Now what am I going to do while I upgrade my Gentoo!!!!

Lossless audio compression (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8996357)

Monkey's Audio [monkeysaudio.com] is another efficient way to compress audio without reducing the quality.
On its site is a comparision chart. MA is able to compress an album to about 53% of its size, while WinRAR does 61.9% and ZIP using WinRAR 2.7 goes all the way up to 91%.
MA is not available yet for Mac and Linux, though.

O_O (0, Troll)

micronix1 (590179) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996361)

all this is too complicated. the restrictions, the formats, etc. i'll stick with my mp3 downloading and occasional cd buying.

Lossless Encoding at Half the Size? (3, Interesting)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996376)

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?

Older iPods (1)

onebuttonmouse (733011) | more than 10 years ago | (#8996395)

I thought for a moment that the enhancements like the lossless encoder would only be available on the latest iPods. However, looking at Apple's site it seems all iPods will be updated. Guess I'll just have to wait and see when I get home.
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