Thursday, September 08, 2005

iTunes 5: Big Deal or Big Schmeal?

iTunes just released it's version 5.0! As with any version, there may be a lot of hype, mostly because now Apple has released their iPod Nano (a teenier version of the iPod Mini; It's sleek and sexy, but still not worth $200.) and the fact that iTunes can now play through your Motorola ROKR mobile phone, if you have one. Personally, I prefer to have my cell phone be job-specific for cell phone use and I'll use my iPod for my music. I wouldn't want to pull out my cell phone to make an important call, only to find out that all that podcast listening I've been doing has killed the battery. So, Big Schmeal for the Motorola ROKR phone/iTunes marriage!

There ARE a few other reasons to really like iTunes 5.0. If you've been using OS X Tiger for awhile, you're probably already familiar with it's Spotlight feature for searching. I've become so dependent on it, that sometimes I get really lazy about organizing my files in folders because I know Spotlight will find them for me. I won't mention the uber-geeky moment when I couldn't find a book in my house that I promised to loan someone and my mind automatically went to Spotlight, wishing I could walk up to a spot on my wall, type in what I was looking for and have it delivered to me via dumbwaiter (ala Jetsons)! Is that really asking too much?

Ok, anyway... iTunes now has a SEARCH BAR. You can enable it in your edit menu in iTunes. This enhanced search functionality allows you to specifiy your searches within your iTunes library or the iTunes store to All, Music, Audiobooks, Podcasts, Videos, Booklets, Artist, Album or Name.

Another great feature is the ability to create folders within your Source window. You can drag your playlists right into those folders and, for example, keep all your holiday music in one folder. Right now, those folders don't transfer to your iPod but I have a feeling Apple will come out with a new iPod updater that will allow these folders to transfer too. As for now, your playlists still transfer without the folders.

There are some other nice features are Parental Controls. You can disable podcasts, although it would be nice to set a rating level rather than disable/enable all of them. You can restrict explicit content on the music store or just disable the music store altogether. You can also disable the share music feature. iTunes now includes the ability to store lyrics... Big Schmeal. You have to find them, and enter them yourself. Not sure why you'd want to do that, but have at it if you're interested.

The last thing worth mentioning is the new Shuffling algorithm that allows you to select just how random your shuffle really will be.

If you haven't downloaded this newest version, you probably won't be able to avoid it for long anyway, so you may as well jump in.


Anonymous said...

I feel the pull of my Pod Masters today. "Come to the Apple Store. You must have a nano....Come to us......Come......"

I'm not sure if I'll be able to resist. Perhaps I can appease them by getting those Bluetooth headphones I've been wanting to get with my birthday money.


Lee Kolbert said...

Go for it! Everyone should have a periodic indulgence! It is very cute! But then again, you know what they say about men and the size of their iPods... people may talk!