iTunes 3

by Peter Wiggin

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Apple has released version 3 of iTunes, their awesome, free digital music jukebox application.

Among the nifty new features are "Smart Playlists," playlists that automatically and dynamically update their songs based on user-defined rules.

iTunes 3 also sports a new song rating feature that you can use to rate songs and if desired, add them to a smart playlist.

Since playlists are the method of transferring songs to the iPod, Smart Playlists will make updating the iPod more dynamic and automatic. New songs by an artist or genre specified in a smart playlist will automatically be added to that list and thus to the iPod.

Other neat features are: "Sound Check," which will automatically adjust output volume to maintain consistent levels; support for content from; support for new .mp3 tags that keep track of playback dates and counts; improved control over music file and folder naming and storage; and a purty new purple dock icon.

What's your favorite new feature in iTunes 3?


2002-07-18 06:36:11
Do you think Apple should maybe call it a day with iTunes? Some of the new stuff seems either engineering-gimmicky (Smart Playlists) or marketing-gimmicky ( integration).

It's a neat little program, but I hope they don't bloat it much further... it chows 25-35% of my sad little iBook's CPU as it is.

If anything, I'm glad that it plays .mp4 audio files (use QuickTime Player to rip a CD audio track to MPEG-4 audio format), but I'm told iTunes has always been willing to fall back to QuickTime-supported media formats and codecs. It'd be nice if iTunes itself had AAC ripping as an option, though, with some appropriate scheme for including the ID3 tags.


2002-07-18 07:13:06
Make up your mind!

"I'd wish they'd stop putting features in but it would be nice if iTunes had AAC ripping."

And doing 25-35% of CPU is not that bad either, consider the heavy lifting required by codec decoding.

Also, percentage CPU usage is not a very good metric since it really cannot stand on its own. When something takes 90% CPU for brief spikes, it doesn't mean that the program is inefficient, it just means its doing some CPU processing.

People may have fixated on it because of some Win 9x benchmarks, where its more cooperative multitasking and not a true multi-tasking OS like OS X. In a cooperative multi-tasking system, an ill-behaved program may starve other processes of CPU time.