If you haven't already heard, Apple updated it's iTunes software adding a number of very neat features to the jukebox and the music store. My favorite and most concise summary of the new features comes from RAILhead Design:
Apple has updated iTunes to v4.5, making the following enhancements:
- CD Insert Printing: After burning a CD you can create and print a label insert directly from iTunes.
- WMA Support: You can now import WMA (Windows Media) files (unprotected files only).
- Lossless Encoder: You can import CDs into iTunes with sound indistinguishable from the original recording but at about half the size.
- Links to iTunes Music Store: Songs in your iTunes library automatically link to the iTunes Music Store, allowing you, for example, to find more music by an artist you like.
- Party Shuffle Playlists: A new Smart Playlist that is continually updated with songs from your library. "Party Shuffle automatically chooses upcoming songs from your Music Library or Playlists. You may add to, delete or reorder the upcoming songs at any time."
- Compilation Grouping: iTunes can keep compilations grouped together when browsing.
Apple has also added some new features to the iTunes Music Store:
- Free Downloads: Each Tuesday selected singles will be available, for the next week, for free download.
- Wish Lists: You can create a playlist of songs that you want to buy and then purchase them later.
- Published Playlists: Users can publish their own playlists as well as view playlists published by other users.
- Music Videos: Users can view videos for selected iTunes Music Store songs from within iTunes.
- Movie Trailers: Movie trailers available from Apple's QuickTime website are now viewable from within iTunes.
- Radio Station Charts: Playlists/charts from over 1200 US radio stations are updated weekly and available for browsing.
All in all, that's a pretty impressive update, Apple! I'm particularly fond of the CD Insert Printing -- something I wanted from day one of the iTunes Music Store. Compilation grouping will also be nice, and it will be interesting to see what singles Apple makes available for free. Be sure you download the new iPod Updater, too, or you won't be able to take advantage of the new iTunes features.
I've already tried the CD Label insert feature and love it! The additional features in the music store are also most welcome and really streamline some of the operations I regularly complete: viewing new movie trailers, checking local radio playlists for music (although the Twin Cities' classical station is MIA), and watching Music Videos (maybe VH1 Top 20 will be stricken from the TiVo)