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Apple iTunes updated to version 5.0

Apple iTunes updated to version 5.0

Lost in the iPod Nano and Rokr phone shuffle was the latest update to iTunes. Apple iTunes 5.0 does not incorporate a subscription service as some of us suspected, and while there is nothing major to report, the new jukebox client does have some highly useful features that iTunes aficionados will appreciate:

  • Interface has a refined look--not major but tighter--more square; elapsed time/total time of track on either side of meter.
  • You can now organize playlists in folders.
  • Convenient search bar--in your search query, you can hit a tab to find just All/Music/Audiobooks/Podcasts, then Albums/Songs, and so on. You'll see this in Music Store too.
  • Microsoft Outlook syncing with iPod--autosyncing out of Outlook and Outlook express (Windows only).
  • Smart shuffle--"make it less random" so that you're more or less likely to hear same artist.
  • Album reviews--1,000 new iTunes reviews and counting.
  • Parental controls--restrict explicit content, disable sharing/podcasts.
  • New releases--you can see all new releases using tabbed-based section; we like this a lot.
  • For the first time, you can get all of Madonna's albums and songs from an online music source. Originally a foe of digital music, Madonna has now embraced the world of downloads.
  • The entire Harry Potter series is now exclusively available on iTunes Music Store as audiobooks.

We would loved to have seen line-in recording as well as an "up next" feature where you could play DJ, but maybe they'll be in version 5.1.