New iTunes version still not fully Vista-ready

An update released Monday addresses several compatibility issues with Vista, but a few outstanding ones still need to be fixed.

A new version of Apple's iTunes software released Monday addresses a number of compatibility issues with Microsoft's Windows Vista, but a few problems remain.

The updated version supports the upcoming Apple TV product and includes an improved album-sorting feature, but still does not fully support Windows Vista. The new download, iTunes 7.1, is available on Apple's Web site.

When Vista arrived at the end of January, Apple told Windows users that iTunes was not yet ready for Vista because of compatibility issues. In the most dire scenario outlined by Apple, users could corrupt their iPod simply by plugging it into a Vista PC running iTunes. Problems were also reported with playing back content purchased from the iTunes Store on Vista PCs, Apple said in early February.

The new version fixes several of those issues, but a few outstanding issues remain and Apple is working with Microsoft to finish the job, said Derick Mains, an Apple spokesman.

One problem that needs to be resolved is that ejecting an iPod using the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon in the system tray could result in a corrupt iPod; Apple recommends that users always eject their iPods within the iTunes software. Also, iTunes is not supported on the 64-bit versions of Vista, and contacts from the Windows Address Book may not sync properly to iPods.

More information about the remaining problems, as well as tips for getting iTunes to work properly with Vista, can be found in this document on the Apple site. Apple does not have an exact time frame for when the remaining issues will be corrected, Mains said.

Microsoft's deployment of Windows Vista has run into problems with application compatibility and driver availability, frustrating some users who have made the early move to the new operating system. Businesses aren't expected to do so until much later, after they've made sure all of their internal applications will play well with Vista.

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