Considering how major the changes were between iTunes 4.2 and 4.5 -- requiring an new version of the iTunes Music Library files -- we've received surprisingly few reports of problems, which is a very good sign. In fact, one of the biggest "problems" that has been reported is actually an undocumented feature change in iTunes itself.
Volume control changes We've received a few reports of systemic volume changes since upgrading to iTunes 4.5; most readers are under the impression that music volumes are lower since upgrading to iTunes 4.5. However, the issue is actually that Apple has changed the scale of iTunes' volume slider. Posts by a member of the iTunes team in a thread on Apple's Discussions forums explain the change:
"The volume slider in iTunes is now logarithmic, like most stero volume knobs. This makes it have a more useful range, but you might need to adjust the position to get the volume you are used to...Human hearing is logarithmic, which is why stereos have log volume.
"We got complaints that iTunes didn't have log volume, which means that when you adjust the slider, you can move it a lot at one end and it doesn't sound much different, while at the other end moving it a little makes a big difference.
"With log volume, moving the slider an equal amount changes the volume by the same amount throughout the entire range of the slider...The maximum volume did not change, i.e. the max is still 100% like it was before."
The advantage of iTunes' new volume scale is that you have finer control at lower volumes than before. This MacFixIt Editor welcomes the change, as it makes it much easier to fine-tune the volume late at night when quieter levels are necessary.
iTunes Sharing; issues with large libraries? As a few readers have noted, due to the fact that iTunes 4.5 updates your Music Library, you cannot share an iTunes 4.5 Library with earlier versions of iTunes. In order to share your Library using iTunes Sharing, you need to upgrade all copies of iTunes to version 4.5.
However, reader Ron Morris reports an inability to share larger libraries, even after upgrading iTunes on all his computers:
"I have 40gb of music on one machine that I share around the house on my other machines. [iTunes 4.5] won't ever load the library. I thought it just might be slow the first time so I left one machine loading for 4 hours but it wasn't able to load the large library. Each machine could share their smaller libraries."
Problems playing purchased music in iLife apps Reader Steve Streza reports that after installing iTunes 4.5, QuickTime 6.5.1, and iMovie 4.0.1, he's no longer able to play music purchased from the iTunes Music Store from within iMovie. However, this is the only report we've received of such a problem; if you've experienced similar issues, please drop us a note.
Problems with iPod Update 2004-04-28 We've received a few reports of issues using iPod Update 2004-04-28 to update various iPod models. Reader Bob Monoghan writes:
"The iPod updater doesn't recognize my 5Gig iPod. All that appears is a message to connect an iPod. Even if one is connected already. Reseting the iPod doesn't seem to help."
Stephen Richard was able to update his iPod, but has since been unable to use it:
"After updating a 2G 20GB iPod using the iPod Update 2004-04-28 (iTunes 4.5, OS X 10.3.3, PowerMac G4 400MHz), iTunes 4.5 displays the following message: 'iTunes cannot read the contents of the iPod. Use the iPod Software updater application to restore the iPod to factory settings.'
"The iPod is clearly visible in the 'Source' column in iTunes 4.5 and the iPod?s song files are clearly visible behind the error message and the scroll wheel on mouse can be used to move down the list of songs installed on the iPod.
"The exact same problem was replicated on G3 900 MHZ iBook w/640MB Ram, running Panther 10.3.3, iTunes 4.5. [The] interesting thing is that after rebooting into OS9.2.2 (installed on separate partitions) on both of the above mentioned machines and using iTunes 2.0.4 there is no problem. Firmware seems to have been successfully installed because it shows as version 1.4 in the 'About' window on iPod. (Was 1.3 previously)"
Drop us an email with your iTunes 4.5 experiences at Latefirstname.lastname@example.org.