iTunes 8.0 hands-on: major enhancements and problems

iTunes 8.0 hands-on: major enhancements and problems

Ben Wilson

iTunes 8 includes some significant enhancements for iPhone and iPod Touch owners, but the improvements depend on your device's OS version. Unfortunately, a number of users are experiencing difficulty applying the iPod touch v2.1 update, which is required for some iTunes 8-related improvements.

In our hands-on testing we found the following, OS-specific enhancements and issues:

For the iPod touch (OS 2.1)

  • Backups are significantly faster -- less than a few minutes on average
  • A capacity Meter now displays application space used on the device
  • Application updates and software installations are somewhat faster

For the iPhone 3G (OS 2.0.2)

  • Photo imports into iPhoto - still no fix for "ghost" thumb nails (frame with no picture)
  • Syncing iPhone still takes a very long time
  • Capacity Meter does not display Apps space used on the device
  • Behavior largely unchanged

For the iPod Touch (OS 2.0.2)

  • The iPod touch v2.1 Firmware update cannot be applied by all users. The update can be purchased but will not download and install. AppleCare agents have been unable to resolve the issue and are referring users to iTunes e-mail-based support (expect 24 hour or more delay in response)
  • iTunes reports error "iTunes unable to load data class information from sync services. Reconnect or tray again later." Clearing the error dialog results in the iPod syncing if this fails unplug the iPod and plug it back in again.

Based on these initial experiences, we recommend that you wait until your device can be updated to OS 2.1 before installing iTunes 8.