updated 01:55 pm EDT, Wed September 9, 2009
Also incorporates new iTunes Store
Confirming rumors, Apple has unveiled iTunes 9, a major revision of its music and video jukebox software. The interface of the software has been improved for better layout and navigation, including a new app management system, which simulates the iPhone interface and lets users rearrange apps individually or in groups. Twitter and Facebook integration has been added to allow creating wishlists, or gifting media.
iTunes 9 introduces Home Sharing, allowing transfer of music, movies and TV shows amongst up to five authorized computers in a home network. Family members can view up to five iTunes libraries, view only the portion of these libraries they do not have, import content directly to their own machines, and automatically add new purchases from other systems. New too are changes to Genius technology, such as Genius Mixes, which automatically generate endless playlists based on library analysis.
Of major significance is a revised iTunes Store, which has been given a cleaner interface with top-aligned menus, allowing faster jumps between sections. The store view can be now maximized within the interface, and when browsing, users can see previews by mousing over some items, or clicking a Quick View icon to access both preview and purchase options.
Some albums are now being sold in the new iTunes LP format, which provides an interactive presentation with photos, liner notes, animated lyrics and performance videos. Debut albums include Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited, Norah Jones' Come Away With Me, The Grateful Dead's American Beauty and Dave Matthews Band's Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King: iTunes Pass.
Movies at the iTunes Store now include the extras of their DVD counterparts, such as interviews, photo galleries, special clips and making-of footage. Some introductory titles include Twilight, Batman Begins, Wall-E and Iron Man.
Apple has further added precut ringtone downloads, with over 20,000 currently available at $1.29 each. iTunes 9 is now available for download.