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iTunes 8.1 adds iTunes Plus import, Genius for movies

updated 02:00 pm EDT, Wed March 11, 2009

iTunes update

Along with the new iPod shuffle launched on Wednesday, Apple also quietly introduced iTunes 8.1. The company claims to have improved performance when loading large libraries, browsing the store or syncing devices. The Genius sidebar feature, previously only available for music, will now recommend TV shows and movies to the user. The items can be previewed and purchased directly from the sidebar.

Following the recent expansion of 256-kbps iTunes Plus tracks, the program now allows music imports in the higher-quality format.

iTunes 8.1 should be available soon, although Apple has not yet provided a date.

by MacNN Staff





  1. jones948

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "Following the recent expansion of 256-kbps iTunes Plus tracks, the program now allows music imports in the higher-quality format."

    It's always allowed that. My library is 320 kbps. Why is this being touted as a new feature?

  1. griffd2004

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Yea this is nuts, its all over the web as some great new feature. Nothing new here except the default! h*** this goes all the way back to SoundJam which is where iTunes came from.

    Hmm, does this mean your 320 setting will revert to 256?? :)

  1. boris_cleto

    Joined: Dec 1969


    RE: Huh?

    Maybe the new default setting rather than 128?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I sure hope the large-library startup time speed up is true. It takes over 30 seconds, if not longer, for iTunes to start on my dual g5.

    And Apple is touting the higher capacity import as "Automatically import music from your CDs as higher quality, 256-Kbps iTunes Plus files. "

    Does this mean that the files, while aac, are actually then digitally signed/watermarked to your itunes account? To me, that's what iTunes Plus means.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So why did Apple 'announce' 8.1 if they weren't going to release it? It's a bug fix release with support for the new iPod. Man, glad they got me all excited that it existed, only to find out it doesn't exist.

    But who knows, maybe they've made it so that the 'genius' feature doesn't slow the software down so badly.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    a few things

    Apple, in their zeal to make old things new again, decided to rename 'party shuffle' to 'iTunes DJ'. I guess they didn't like the fact there was a feature in the software that didn't have the 'itunes' name on it.

    It does seem to start faster, but mounting my classic is still dog slow. Guess iPod mounting is only good if you put just 40 songs on an iPod or something.

    Maybe the iTunes Plus business isn't so much about the bit-rate as it might actually use the same encoder they use when creating the music on iTunes. People claim that the files out of iTunes sound better than ones they rip themselves...

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