Mac users are often regarded as very loyal customers, but that's because they have very good reasons, such as iTunes, to stick to Apple products. iTunes has become one of the most widely spread music managers today. The release of the iPhone and the new iPod models has only contributed to increase this popularity, thanks to the seamless synchronization of contents between the computer and your device. Now with iTunes 8, Apple continues to develop and improve this music software masterpiece with fresh new features that enable users to make the most of their multimedia library. Managing your iTunes library is a piece of cake. You can view extended information about each track, edit their tags and rate them. Also, iTunes lets you comfortably browse through your library with the amazing Cover Flow system or the newly implemented grid view, which displays cover artwork sorted by album, artist, genre or composer. And for those of you who work in a LAN environment, the great news is that you can share your music libraries with your network mates. One thing I particularly like of iTunes as music manager is its ability to create playlists. The Smart Playlist tool enables you to create almost any kind of playlist based on just about any criteria you set: artist, genre, date added, star rating or even the number of times you've played each song. Another great playlist is the so called Party Shuffle, which comes in very handy when you invite some friends over to your place. You can then leave iTunes working as a DJ and play music on its own, but if you drop by the PC at any time, you can freely add more songs to the list or rearrange them in any way. Regarding playlists, iTunes 8 includes now an exciting new feature called Genius. Just like other popular music sharing tools, Genius learns from the tracks you play on iTunes and recommends you similar songs, either from your own library or from the iTunes Store. In this way you can easily build thematic playlists by grouping similar songs, and also meet new bands you may not know about. The only drawback is that Genius needs to gather information about your music library and send it over to Apple in order to work, something that privacy freaks won't be happy about. However, if there's something where iTunes is not perfect yet, that's the player function. You may disagree here, but I think the iTunes player falls too short, especially when compared to its music manager side. It does have some interesting features, like the Smart shuffle function and crossfading playback, but I still find it too simple. I also missed the ability to control the player from anywhere with global hotkeys, which is great if you listen to music while you're working on the PC with other apps. Fortunately there are some plug-ins that cover this need. In all, despite these slight flaws, iTunes is probably the best choice to manage your music collection –and that includes Windows users.
English Recent changes in iTunes:
<Improvements in performance and stability
Some bugs fixes, such as improving the quality of created MP3 files in some computers and improving accessibility with Windows-Eyes 7.0