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Audio and music software Reviews
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Apple iTunes 8 review

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Manufacturer: Apple

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5 User Rating: Our users rate this 5 out of 10

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

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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Apple iTunes 8 [PCA] Expert Verdict »

Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later, or 32-bit editions of Windows Vista
64-bit editions of Windows Vista require the iTunes 8 64-bit installer
QuickTime 7.5.5 or later is required
200MB of available disk space
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Apple iTunes 8 remains solid, although it still has both its benefits and its quirks as a media organiser, player, and jukebox. None of the new features are what we would characterise as a must-have update, however. Genius is a useful - and generally well-done - addition, and Grid view may make finding music easier. Aside from that, though, nothing about iTunes 8.0 is particularly groundbreaking.

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