Apple releases iTunes 8.1

Update adds support for newly released iPod Shuffles, along with some security fixes, new Genius features, and support for CD imports to iTunes Plus.

Apple released an update to its iTunes music management software on Wednesday, adding a host of enhancements as well as support for a new line of iPod Shuffles it released earlier in the day.

In addition to some security fixes, iTunes 8.1 adds new features to Genius--a feature that lets you put songs together in your library that somehow "go great together"--and support for CD imports to iTunes Plus.

Among the other enhancements Apple made:

•  Allows friends to request songs for iTunes DJ.

•  Adds Genius sidebar for your Movies and TV Shows.

•  Improves performance when downloading iTunes Plus songs.

•  Provides AutoFill for manually managed iPods.

•  Allows iTunes U and the iTunes Store to be disabled separately using Parental Controls.

The update comes on the heels of Apple's unveiling earlier Wednesday of a new iPod Shuffle . The new device, which is smaller than a AA battery, adds a new VoiceOver feature that can recite song titles, artists, and playlist names, as well as provide status information, such as battery life. Apple claims the gadget's battery life clocks in at 10 hours.

In conjunction with the iTunes update, Apple also released an update to Front Row, its media application for that allows users to access music, movies, and TV shows in one place, although the company did not detail the update.

 

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