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Review: iTunes 8

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 02:04 PM

Post your comments for Review: iTunes 8 here
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#2 User is offline   airhead 

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 02:24 PM

iTunes 8 is awesome. They still need to put a face on the internet radio part of the software. It looses them money. They need iTunes to be ably to identify internet radio songs and offer downloads through a radio GUI interface, and offer the purchase of that song through the store.
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#3 User is offline   Schneb 

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 02:49 PM

I too love the new Visualizer (don't forget to hit the question mark key!), however, I wish it could analyze the beat of the music and slow its activity to the beat. I'm listening to soft and slow music and those spheres are flying as if listening to Joe Satriani.
Anyone know a way of slowing them down?
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#4 User is offline   mdawson 

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 02:57 PM

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Think of it as a flattened Cover Flow, the same eye candy with about the same amount of practical use (that is, very little).


In terms of the owner of the library, perhaps it is of little use, but for people browsing another?s library, the Grid view is another visual means to casually scan the library.

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If you?re the type who makes sure that all your albums have cover art, and all the genres are applied correctly in the metadata of your media, then Grid view is going to be your new best friend. If you?re like me, Grid view is going to serve as a reminder that yet another aspect of your life is out of control. No where is this more evident than in the Grid view sorted by genres. Apple has provided a number of tastefully designed stock art images for genres found in the iTunes Store.

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The problem arises when you have music that wasn?t purchased from iTunes. A surprising number of genre name variants crop up, leaving you to either edit the metadata for a cleaner, more organized experience or live with a sloppy iTunes library.


I do not use the default genres provided by iTunes, at least not as is, and to my surprise, iTunes 8 does assign the correct stock icons. It would seem that if custom genres at least start with the standard genre names, iTunes 8 will assign the appropriate stock image. For instance my genres are essentially in the following format:
bq. genre|: subgenre1||, subgenre2| ... |,subgenre_n|
where genre is the main and subgenre_x are the subgenres or styles of the track.

The genres I use are the basics provided by iTunes?e.g., Comedy, Electronic, Gospel, Hip Hop, Jazz, Latin, Pop, R&B, Reggae, Rock, Soundtrack and Vocal, but few tracks in my collection are just the main genre. In my library you are more apt to see:
bq. Electronic: Synth Pop Electronica: Latin Freestyle Gospel: Urban Hip Hop: Electro Hip Hop: Rap, Golden Age Jazz: Fusion R&B: Funk R&B: Philly Soul, Smooth Soul R&B: Vocal Jazz etc.
The only genre not recognized in my list was Easy Listening and iTunes? Unclassifiable category for which Apple has apparently not made a generic icon. The added subgenres/styles have no apparent effect on icon assignments; of course I do have 22 Electronic icons, 3 Gospel, 33 Hip Hop, etc. I have 203 genres according to iTunes.
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#5 User is offline   sheilanolan 

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 02:58 PM

All those great HD shows are not available outside the US which reduces the wow factor for UK users.
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#6 User is offline   mdawson 

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 03:10 PM

The unfortunate side effect of copyright fascism. I can understand the content providers protection their property, but the whole releasing the same content at different times in different countries is ridiculous. I can understand delay that occur due to time needed for translations (e.g., dubbing or subtitling), but the last I checked, the UK is the nation from which the language we Yanks speak originated. I really do not understand this staggered release model for video content.
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#7 User is offline   Axl 

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 03:47 PM

{quote}If you?re like me, Grid view is going to serve as a reminder that yet another aspect of your life is out of control. {quote}

Hilarious! I am long since resigned to the fact that my entire life is out of control. I know all the theory but to practice what I preach... not a chance.
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#8 User is offline   poochie 

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 03:47 PM

"the new visualizes blow"
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#9 User is offline   Stormchild 

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 06:25 PM

Quote

{quote:title=mdawson wrote:}
I do not use the default genres provided by iTunes, at least not as is, and to my surprise, iTunes 8 does assign the correct stock icons. It would seem that if custom genres at least start with the standard genre names, iTunes 8 will assign the appropriate stock image.


For each genre, iTunes 8 matches a substring anywhere in the Genre field. Many of the built-in genres have additional entries for alternate spellings, or genres that they group into another genre (such as "dancehall", which maps to iTunes' "reggae" genre). You can view and edit the list of recognized string-to-genre mappings by opening the "genres.plist" file in the "Resources" folder inside iTunes (right-click iTunes, Show Package Contents, go into Contents > Resources). You'll need Property List Editor, part of the Xcode suite, or a binary-aware text editor such as BBEdit or TextMate.
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#10 User is offline   mdawson 

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 06:59 PM

Yes, I found that out after I posted. Should I every be bored enough, I may consider creating my own genre icons and editing the genres.plist file.

Make that when I have plenty of time and am very bored.
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#11 User is offline   cphoffman42 

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 07:36 PM

I don't think the issue with Genius recommending tracks you already own is due to them being from another source. It just recommended that I buy a track from the same album which I just bought from the iTunes store five minutes before. My guess is that this is a quirk that will be worked out, but in the meantime it's a bit weird.
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#12 User is offline   Howard_Ellegant 

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 07:46 PM

Wow! So tell me after all this fancy schmancy stuff why I can no longer get Batanga radio on iTunes. Stopped a few months (and several updates?) back. Some of us just want to listen to the radio.
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#13 User is offline   mdawson 

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 08:12 PM

iTunes allows you to connect to Internet radio broadcasts.

From iTunes help:

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Connecting to an Internet broadcast

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If you know the Internet address (URL) of a live (streamed) broadcast, you can connect to it using iTunes.

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To connect to an Internet broadcast:

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[quote]1. Choose Advanced > Open Audio Stream.
2. Enter the full URL of the file you want to listen to. For example:
bq.
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#14 User is offline   Howard_Ellegant 

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 08:26 PM

Thanks. I know all that. In iTunes Radio/Latin there is a long long list of Batanga radio stations which I used to click on to connect. Have not been able to do that for months. I open a station in Firefox and when I copy and paste the URL into iTunes nothing happens. Nada. Ain't workin' and that's a fact. No me importa. Except I use iTunes less.
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