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iTunes 8 brings HD TV shows, Genius lists; NBC back

updated 01:40 pm EDT, Tue September 9, 2008

iTunes 8 announced

Apple has announced the release of iTunes 8, the latest version of its music software for Macs and PCs. Features in the new software include "Genius" playlists, which automatically match songs thought to go together. iTunes can also recommend tracks to buy via a sidebar, and recommendations will be based on anonymous uploads of user data, meant to gradually improve the accuracy of what shoppers are offered in the future.

Another feature of the update is a grid-based album browsing view, an alternative to CoverFlow which lets users sort by criteria such as artist.

The announcement brings with it the availability of HD TV episodes through the US iTunes Store, where people were previously restricted to near-DVD quality. Notable in the debut is the return of NBC, which had previously deserted iTunes on the basis of conflicts over pricing. The network has since provided shows for other iTunes storefronts however, such as the UK. HD TV shows are priced $2.99 each.

[Photo courtesy of Gizmodo]

by MacNN Staff



  1. MeandmyMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Still not the $4.99...

    asking price NBC wanted when they left iTunes in a huff. I guess Hula and Amazon and where ever else they took their stuff didn't meet NBC's expectations. So, besides $2.99 for HD programs, what did NBC get for being out of the US iTunes eco-system for the time they were gone? And the really big question that has to be asked, what is going on over at NBC? They run their news side into the ground by allowing MSNBC to become the joke it has as a news cable outlet and then this with their entertainment division? If there ever was a company that should be sold and the monies collected be returned to the shareholders - this is it!

    Well they are trying to salvage their news by demoting Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews and now they are trying to rectify their entertainment division by coming back to iTunes. Welcome Back!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    is there really that many TV shows that make one go "Wow, I'm glad that's in HD!". And such that it's worth $1 more per episode?

  1. Nemco

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No big deal...

    I've just given iTunes 8 the acid test here and I'm not impressed. The genius feature is a nice idea, but pointless to me, since most of the music I buy isn't available in the iTunes store in the first place.

    The album view is a nice idea as well... I'll never use it, but it does give a clear overview of what album art you're missing, if you're as obsessed about that as I am. I am wondering though why we need yet another set of buttons and interface colours? I thought Apple's idea was to make everything more uniform?

    Oh, and Apple? In 8.1, please give us back the option to disable the arrows next to songs and playlists... I know you need to make money, but I really don't need to be reminded that absolutely everything can link me to the iTunes store.

  1. MiMiC

    Joined: Dec 1969


    HD Music Vids??

    That might actually be worth the price!!

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iTunes 8 Crashes Vista

    iTunes 8 crashes Vista sending it to the Blue Screen of Death as soon as you plug in your iPhone or iPod. Check the Apple support forums as it's happening with alot of people. As usually Apple is blaming everyone but themselves and has released another flawless product! Apple, you have released another bomb and you better start owning up to the problems you are creating!!!!

  1. MiMiC

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iTunes 8 Update?

    iTunes 8 is not a software update? Does that seem odd?

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I installed it on my

    MacBook Pro and it works as advertised. Genius isn't that great since it just pulls up more songs from the same artist basically. Maybe it will get smarter as time goes by. I wouldn't call it a big improvement, but it works fine for me with no glitches or crashes.

    One thing I noticed is that iTunes in OSX is slower than the Windows (XP) version when it comes to typing in searches and scrolling. I've always been satisfied with iTunes and I like the new visualizer (Magnetosphere). I think Apple did a decent job.

  1. MacSpudster

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iTunes/iPhone GUI bad

    I have officially sent this text to Apple, Inc., prior to posting them here. As such, I gave Apple, Inc., sole ownership of these interface concepts, owing me nothing. As such, posting them here in TMO's forum does not give TMO or anyone else in the world ownership of these ideas. Of course, someone could try to file a patent on these ideas if they think they can, to try to get royalties from whomever uses them; good luck!


    I have iTunes 8 and iPhone 2.1 software installed.
    They are still a BAD lot of software updates, GUI-speaking.

    So, the word is definitely out that games are THE biggest seller on iPhone/Touch 2.x devices from the App Store.

    I'm NOT one of them who has a slew of games installed.
    Rather, I have 5 screens of 'productive' apps / icons, or 80 apps total, as there are 16 apps per screen.
    So, even if you have 5 screens of 'game' apps, you're in the same boat as I: The HELLish management of those icons.
    Let's even concede that you may only have 3 screens, that's 48 apps. Or lets even concede that you have 48 apps, but choose to use 5 screens, sort of "grouping" apps on each screen.

    Thus, working with ANY of these scenarios, have you ever tried to move an app from the MAIN / homescreen to the 5th screen? DAMN this is friggin' frustrating.

    Why haven't any reviewers on MacNN, iPodNN, TMO, MacWorld, iPod Observer,, etc., (Ilene Hoffman, Victor Marks, etc. ) totally dogged Apple for not providing a better means to "manage" these apps?

    Specifically, that when you install a new app, it gets posted to the first available spot on your iPhone/Touch. THen you have to move it to where you want it, trying to drag it to whatever screen you prefer.

    Then there's the RESTORE NIGHTMARE of those 48 to 80 apps. The are all reinstalled. No problem there.
    The nightmare comes in re-organizing all these apps on the screen(s) you prefer.

    Here are the two methods which need to be implemented in iTunes 8.0.1 and iPhone/Touch 2.1.1:

    1) iTunes 8.0.1: The ability to group the icons on a 'screen', similar to manual playlists for songs. I recommend they call them "ScreenLists". When viewing the Applications list, you can choose to view icons by "ScreenList", actually seeing an iPhone/Touch like screen wherein wherein you can 'drag' the apps between the various screens in the order you desire them to appear.
    - Secondly, create a NEW screen when installing new apps, versus tossing the app in the first available spot. Let the user then decide where to put the app icon.
    - Thirdly, let the user 'name' each screen for their own category focus.

    2) iPhone/Touch 2.1.1:
    - A list-view of all installed apps, alphabetical, just like the Artists or Playlist or Songs lists. There'd be an alphabet scroll area on the right, too. The user can quickly view and click the app they want to launch, versus having to hunt for the darn thing on which screen it is on.

    - What about installing apps on the iPhone/Touch? Install the app in the last screen, creating a new one if necessary.
    - Provide the ability for the user to be able to organize which screen an app is to appear on (basically a ScreenList editor).

    - Put a 'button' (touch area) to the left of the battery presenting a list of category screens the user can jump to. THis would be 2 touches (clicks) versus the 4 swipes (touches/clicks) the user would need to do to get to a preferred category that is on screen 4 or later.

    My name is Bryan Carter, 10-year Apple veteran; known at Apple as bRYgUY, and former team member of the Apple User Interface Group in the late 80's. I solved 3 of the top 5 issues the (then) HyperCard team was facing in the final weeks before HyperCard was introduced; and in a weekend at that. There's my credentials, for what their worth.

    Life is rough; then you fly or fry.

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