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Inside look at the new features of iTunes 9

Following yesterdays Apple iPod and Music event, where some of the topics were the upgrades to the iPod Touch (no camera) and the new iPod Nano 5G with camera, one of the more positive releases was the improvements to the new iTunes 9.

The launch of iTunes 9 was expected in advance of the event, but there was uncertainty as to exactly what the new features would be, as there was a lot of talk about social media integration, which was partly delivered. We have however had a look at the new iTunes 9 and there are some great updates and additions worth upgrading for.

New design of iTunes 9

There are some design changes to the main iTunes 9 in terms of navigation, but the main change is in the iTunes Store, were the redesign has given it a clear and visual design that puts more emphasis on user experience of flicking and scrolling through great albums, artists, videos, and applications. Personally i find this new layout and design much improved from the previous versions of iTunes Store.

New iTunes 9 store layout

New iTunes movie store

New iTunes 9 app store

One of the features that might be there but i still have not found is Genius recommendations apps based on the applications that i have already purchased. Overall though the new design is an improvement.

iTunes LP

Missing browsing through the large covers for the old vinyl LP records? if so Apple has brought a similar digital feel to the new functionality of iTunes LP. You can download selected albums and get the experience of great visual covers and interactive world of artists images, animated lyrics, performance videoes etc. This is sure to be a popular feature to get some of the classic albums.

New LP feature of iTunes 9

Home sharing

If you are working from several different computers or macs at home, the new iTunes 9 has a new home sharing feature that will allow you to share the content of your iTunes across up to 5 computers/macs. It will also automatically add any purchases made on any of the other computers to your original iTunes library. This is a great feature for families with several computers, or like me that tends to work on a couple of different computers.

iTunes Extras

This is the iTunes version of getting the free extra DVD when you buy a movie. When you buy or select a movie from iTunes to download you will get these extra features with it, such as behind the scenes interviews, trailers, and photos etc.

Genius Mixes

This is the new extension of the Genius feature of iTunes. Apple has taken all that information and collated it so that they can now bring you an endless mix of music that you like. Genius Mixes searches your iTunes library, find the songs that go great together, and automatically creates mixes that go together for you to listen to, without any effort from your own part.

Improved syncing

This is a much requested feature of the new iTunes 9, especially when it comes to syncing and managing apps on your iPhone or iPod Touch. It now allows you to look at each individual app screen on your device and arrange the apps as you wish to have them directly in iTunes and synd it to your iPhone or iPod Touch. This makes life much easier for those that have loads of apps, as it gives you a nice visual way to arrange your favourite apps into themes etc.

My wishlist and other features

The new iTunes 9 store also allows you to save items you want to buy later into a wishlist that you again can share with friends on facebook or twitter directly from the iTunes store. This is expected to be only the first step in a larger introduction of social media interaction from Apple for their iTunes store.

The iTunes 9 store also features downloadable iPhone ringtones for those that have not mastered how to get free iPhone ringtones onto their device.

Let us know what you think of the new iTunes 9 by leaving a comment below. Perhaps some of you have found some hidden gems amongst the features as well.

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Filed in: Apple iPod, Music and itunes

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