Apple iTunes 8 gives you a fresh way to browse your music, improved accessibility for the vision-impaired, and a new automatic playlist-generation feature dubbed Genius.

Apple iTunes 8.0 brings some interesting new features to the table, but it's far from a groundbreaking update.

Alongside new iPods, Apple yesterday unleashed iTunes 8, the newest version of its media player application. Apple iTunes 8 gives you a fresh way to browse your music, improved accessibility for the vision-impaired, and a new automatic playlist-generation feature dubbed Genius. Judging from our test-drive of iTunes 8.0, the new features are useful, but none are particularly groundbreaking, must-have additions.

One of the big enhancements in Apple iTunes 8 is the Grid view, which displays your collection's album covers visually in a grid. Within Grid view, you can sort your music by album, artist, genre or composer. As you mouse over an album's cover-art tile, a Play button appears. Skim your mouse over tiles when sorting by Artist, Genre or Composer, and the tile will quickly flash the album art for items sorted under each category. Click on the tile to play all songs or videos in the tile. Double-click the tile to view everything categorised under that tile.

In our experience, this arrangement made locating music quickly somewhat easier - if you want to listen to a certain album, you can use Apple iTunes 8's tile-based view to find it visually, instead of doing a search for it. But this feature won't drastically change the way you organise and find your music.

In addition to the new Grid view, Apple iTunes 8 continues to let you browse your music by List view, in which you can see details about your music and videos, and by Cover Flow view, in which you can flip through album covers as if you were using a jukebox.

NEXT PAGE: is Genius, you know, genius?

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