New features in iTunes 7

At its September 12 media event, Apple introduced new iPods, its future iTV release and a shiny new iTunes 7. According to some, this announcement was altogether disappointing and a sign of slowing down in Apple’s spectacular growth. We still couldn’t help getting all excited about the new version of iTunes, and here a few of its features.

The interface has been polished and, apart from the logo having swapped green for blue, there are plenty of cosmetic and under-the-hood tweaks. When you’re playing music, you get to choose between three different views: the classic list, Grouped Artwork view (a list revealing all album covers) and the cool CoverFlow view, great for skimming through your albums. The iTunes Store has lost the Music label because, true innovation, it will now offer movies and games for your iPod on sale. You also get a download manager, where you can organize the podcasts, audiobooks, movies and albums you download.

But the real buzz is in iTunes’ simplified iPod music management. It is now much simpler to organize the media on your portable MP3 player and you can sync your files downloaded from the iTunes store from one PC to another. Personally I like the restructuring of the player and the download manager works great when you’re getting loads of podcasts. I was disappointed when I realized though that CoverFlow doesn’t work with podcasts, even if you have the artwork. A great improvement is the chance to snatch artwork from the store, so no more endless hours spent on Amazon looking for all my album sleeves. iTunes 7 is getting better and I can’t really see any other media player/manager getting close to it.

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