Tuesday, September 12, 2006

First look at iTunes 7

Once again fine kudo's to Apple for a nice update. iTunes 7 has launched, and with it are some impressive new features. Of main concern are the new movies, but I was excited to see the nice interface and sort options. An already easy way to get around my music just got better.

As you can see the tv show sorting is improved. You can quickly get to an episode and it feels far less clumsy than it use to. Shows are organized episodically by the show itself and this makes browsing around quite a bit nicer. If you don't like this, Coverflow also supports tv shows as seen below.

New in the preferences pane aren't particularly stunning, as they just now reflect the options for the new functionality. Notably you can show "Movies" distinctly apart from "TV Shows". "Video" is no longer applicable as Apple has branched these two things apart. This is actually quite nice as you may go on to build libraries of tv shows and movies apart from one another.

The parental controls will be of particular interest as it's very intuitive. You simply select the rating you wish to restrict to and you're set. Of course the enterprising child/adolescent will no doubt challenge you, it's nice to see this initial level of protection.

Seen below is the very nice song/album browsing function of Coverflow. Unfortunately I have a lot of music on here that doesn't come from common albums, so I am left with the blank music note, but on the others it's a very nice way to present the music. I was very impressed nonetheless.

Also seen below is the refined interface. Quite frankly I prefer this as it's more refreshing to see the text against a dark background. I find as Apple goes along they seem to put less emphasis on application consistency and on just what works in certain situations. I can't knock this, it looks nice to my eye at least.

Here is the handy utility that recovered some of my album artwork. Very easy, once selected you see iTunes list the number of songs without artwork and a dialogue that it's checking for artwork.

Another nice feature to make its debut is the backup feature. If you have some dvd-r's, rw's, or DL's...whatever your fancy, Apple has put together a very simple utility to just back these up to a series of discs.

Once you select your applicable option and click "Backup" the iTunes dialogue area simply requests you insert a disc. If you use CD's and decide to backup 10-15GB worth you have my sincerest empathy.

That's just a preliminary look at the new version. I will hopefully get a chance to play more with it. I'm very happy with what I've seen so far. Apple has done quite well in progressing forward with all this, and I am one happy user for it.


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