418 words on iTunes
Another Stevenote, another iTunes update. But not a mind-numbingly refreshing one, one that completely redoes iTunes to make it fresh and speedy again. Instead we get what looks like the usual bunch of patches to accomodate new Apple ‘features’ in their store or hardware.
iTunes 7.6 needs to ‘upgrade’ your music library and it seems that Apple got the hang of ‘doing the right thing’ here – making a backup of your old library first and then creating a new, updated one. With that safety net in place the upgrading worked just fine for me, of course.
Great innovations in this update of iTunes include support for German film ratings in the censorship preferences as well as a new icon for Booklets (apparently files whose names end in ‘.itb’). As things go with Apple these days, a booklet file icon isn’t recognised by something looking like a book on the icon itself but simply by by putting the letters ‘ITB’ on the standard iTunes files icon.
And I suppose there are changes for the iTunes store’s upcoming film renting amendments inside. Not being able to access these from Germany at this stage, I have to suppose that things basically work but not quite as smoothly as you’d want them to. The old problem of coding for lawyers rather than for users, I suppose.
Interestingly the – ever disabled – entries for ‘extended subtitles’ vanished from iTunes’ View menu. But a new ‘Audio & Subtitles’ submenu appeared in the menu to the left of it. I suppose the old items are hidden in there, but I couldn’t get that submenu active or open with the files in my library (even though submenu items are never supposed to be inactive if I’m not mistaken). This does lead to the hope, though, that Apple may take the previously neglected issue of multi-lingual soundtracks and subtitles for films more seriously at some point in the future. I won’t hold my breath, but at least iTunes knows about languages like ‘Central Khmer’ now for some elements of its subtitle UI now.
Also for the benefit of iTunes store changes, we find some strings about renting stuff in iTunes and the application seems to require at least QuickTime 7.1.3 (rather than 6.5.2) now according to Apple.
To top things of – for optimum Windows compatibility I presume – iTunes now comes with a ‘safe mode’ (invoked by holding the Command and Option keys while it launches). This disables visualisers:
Yeah, um, whatever.