Home > Apple > On 1st Birthday, iTunes Unwraps New Features On 1st Birthday, iTunes Unwraps New Features Submitted by many readers 2004-04-28 Apple 50 Comments Apple Computer on Wednesday celebrated the first birthday of its iTunes Music Store by unveiling more than a half-dozen new features for the popular online music service. More info on MacMinute. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 50 Comments 2004-04-28 5:39 pm First off, happy birthday to a great online music service! A little upset that albums don’t cost 9.99 like at the beginning, but it’s still cheaper then Amazon and places like that. But these new features I think are great, and should push the popularity of iTunes even more. Being able to publish playlists to the music store. I’m actually pretty excited about this little update, we shall see how it takes off. 2004-04-28 5:47 pm Well, glad to see an update. Each update has crashed less and less for me. The previous only died on restarts. Maybe this release will live through that to. I like iTunes a lot. Just not the most stable thing on earth for some people. Maybe I will get an iPod soon. But I might hold off till it can make toast and has refrigeration. Now thats inovation. 2004-04-28 5:56 pm A very good update, party shuffle is nice, print cd jewel cases is great too! I like iMix and the addition of music and movie videos. They have a ton of Beastie Boy songs now and a free song from Foo Fighters too! I think they are giving away more free songs in the future but not sure how many or how often. Overall this just pushes Apple even more into the elite of the digital music experience. Keep the innovations coming! 2004-04-28 5:56 pm Does anyone know what method Apple is using for the Lossless encoder that’s built into iTunes? FINALLY [btw] 2004-04-28 6:06 pm who knows? maybe it’s FLAC? Apple should specify what technology was used. but anyway, instead of “Apple Lossless Encoder” I would really appreaciate full support for ogg… 2004-04-28 6:11 pm I can actually find KMFDM and Cradle of Filth albums. Unfortunately, iTunes is not available in Canada. 2004-04-28 6:13 pm Kinda Cool that they are going to be giving away a free song every week. Good advertising and gets people to start using iTunes Store. 2004-04-28 6:14 pm they are using their own algorithm. some one on /. did a quick comparison between ALE FLAC and Monkey. ALE is slower to encoded than FLAC, has about the same compression as Monkey (55 – 60% compression YMMV) but it has real time decompression so it decodes faster. why not ogg? well I would say that having a lossless codec that I can use to store masters in and then convert to MP3 or AAC on the fly and use to make CDs from is a significant addition. ogg is not needed, period. sure the code is GPL and free as in beer, but the AAC standard is still open where anyone can read it. that is good enough for me. 2004-04-28 6:17 pm umm, 1) if you have not noticed, most 3rd party apps on windows use more memory than their MS counter parts. 2) in order for APple to make the porting easier, they had to create a layer that needs to be loaded into memory that makes the app run on windows. 3) you have a gig of ram!!! what are you complaining about!!! 2004-04-28 6:19 pm sorry, slight mistake ….WMP 9 — 8,672k iTunes 4.5 — 29,064k with no music playing. 2004-04-28 6:22 pm >1) if you have not noticed, most 3rd party apps on windows use more memory than their MS counter parts. Wrong. WinAMP only uses 8 MB here too, just like WMP. >2) in order for APple to make the porting easier, they had to create a layer that needs to be loaded into memory that makes the app run on windows. that’s not my problem though >3) you have a gig of ram!!! what are you complaining about!!! I only have 256 MB (which is still a good amount). iTunes is simply too heavy, what’s so difficult to see? 2004-04-28 6:24 pm winamp is a pretty small app, yes, but is it cross platform? NOOOOO WMP on Mac is pretty heavy…that is a cost of cross platform. 2004-04-28 6:32 pm let me amend that, WMP use to be heavy on the mac at any rate, I don’t care much about how much memory something uses. it is a strawman argument used to find a problem with a great app. people complained about Mozilla being a memory hog…it is a better app than IE, so I don’t care. people complain the word on mac is a memory hog…. it is a better app, so I don’t care. itunes on the PC? memory hog, I don’t care it is a better app. the memory usage of a single app has little impact on the usability of that app and no impact on the running of the system 2004-04-28 6:46 pm If you think WMP is only using that much memory you’re kidding yourself. The majority of the memory used by WMP is buried in shared libraries and show will never show up under WMP. 2004-04-28 6:48 pm I only have 256 MB (which is still a good amount). iTunes is simply too heavy, what’s so difficult to see? There is no version of Mac OS X and no version of windows (2000 or later) for which 256 MB is a “good amount”. 2004-04-28 6:51 pm Not trying to refute the fact that iTunes likes RAM, but 256M is not a good amount of memory at all these days. Its scraping the bottom of the barrel, whether you use XP or OS X. Purchasing more RAM is one of the cheapest, most effective upgrades to a PC. 2004-04-28 6:55 pm >and no version of windows (2000 or later) for which 256 MB is a “good amount”. I am sorry, but you are very wrong. I am using XP PRO with 256 MB and it is 100% usable with no slowdowns: winamp, trillian, IE and OE all open at the same time and other apps load fine if I need them. Honestly, it works fine with 256 MB RAM. 2004-04-28 7:15 pm Jon: I am sorry, but you are very wrong. I am using XP PRO with 256 MB and it is 100% usable with no slowdowns: winamp, trillian, IE and OE all open at the same time and other apps load fine if I need them. Honestly, it works fine with 256 MB RAM. I use Winamp, Trillian and Opera; upgrading my RAM to 512MB was one of the best upgrades I’ve done. It isn’t mainly in the load times, rather it is when you’re using – there are less incidents where you find your system gasping for more memory while your hard disk goes full time with virtual memory. 100% usable, but 256mb is the lowest I would recommend anyone to go. Get a RAM upgrade and you’ll see what I mean. 2004-04-28 7:16 pm Keep in mind iTunes for windows is also running Safari (webcore) in order to render the music store pages. 2004-04-28 7:38 pm Keep in mind iTunes for windows is also running Safari (webcore) in order to render the music store pages. Are you sure that iTunes for Windows uses WebCore? 2004-04-28 7:50 pm The iTunes web store does not work for me! http://img.osnews.com/img/6856/itunes45.png The previous version was fine. 2004-04-28 7:58 pm The same thing here (on a Mac). I think the just get a lot of load at the moment because of the new songs. 2004-04-28 8:54 pm Don’t worry Eugenia, that happened to me on my Mac. I tried it again and it worked fine. though you have to agree to the new user agreement before you can download the free song. 2004-04-28 8:55 pm I used to run 256MB just fine on my OSX 10.3 iBook 500MHz. I recently updated to 384MB in the hopes it would speed up the one painfully slow app (Lyx) — but nope, that one program is still dog-slow (& I don’t think it’s entirely the iBook’s fault). As for everything else, it doesn’t seem to run much faster than before. Maybe it’d be different if I upgraded to more RAM, but I doubt it. 2004-04-28 9:06 pm Encoded files pop out with a .m4a extension. You can’t modify any settings for the loseless encoder. I haven’t messed around with it in QT yet… 2004-04-28 9:06 pm The speed increase I saw across the board when I upgraded from 512MB to 1GB of RAM on my MDD G4 was amazing. Same thing went for my old P3 running XP when I upgraded from 256MB to 512MB. RAM helps. 2004-04-28 9:07 pm And to think im running iTunes fine on 128 MB of ram… 2004-04-28 9:23 pm did someone test how responsive 4.5 is? I run 4.somthing on a 600MHz Laptop witf 384mb ram. would be great if it’d have less lags (especialy when swithing tasks) 2004-04-28 10:14 pm In my mind, lossless audio is a BIG deal. I’m not going to pay for a song that inherently has less quality than a CD. For the type of music enjoyment I do, OGG, ACC, MP3 don’t cut it; so inclusion of a LAC is great news. What *bites* is that apple *created* their own codec. Why the world would Apple thow yet another LAC into the picture. FLAC was gaining ground; now we’ll see it stifled due to competition from a proprietary codec. Why, because Apple wants a corner on the market. How many 3rd party apps and devices can (or have plans to) adopt this codec. I reiterate, this *bites*! 2004-04-28 10:23 pm >I only have 256 MB (which is still a good amount). iTunes is >simply too heavy, what’s so difficult to see? >There is no version of Mac OS X and no version of windows >(2000 or later) for which 256 MB is a “good amount”. Actually, I am running XP Pro w/ 256 MB and I use iTunes and it runs swimmingly. Eliminate all unnecessary services and use TuneXP http://www.driverheaven.net/dforce/ and 256 MB will suffice. If after shutting down all the junk, and there’s still problems, switching to the Windows Classic theme may well be the last thing to try. 2004-04-28 10:35 pm I have a 2800+ with 512 ram and iTunes runs great, as good or better than my old iMac. 2004-04-28 10:36 pm It would be cool if Apple ported more iApps over to windows, or even their new app, Motion! 2004-04-28 10:48 pm > It would be cool if Apple ported more iApps over to windows, or even their new app, Motion! Cool? Yes. Probable? No. Unfortunately, iTunes was ported for the revenue stream, a potentially ongoing and permanent revenue stream (with possible iPod spin-off sales), rather then a one-shot software sale. iApps are as likely to be ported as the possibly-fabled-possibly-not-fabled x86 version of OS X is likely is likely to be released. 2004-04-28 11:23 pm >>In my mind, lossless audio is a BIG deal. I’m not going to pay for a song that inherently has less quality than a CD. For the type of music enjoyment I do, OGG, ACC, MP3 don’t cut it; so inclusion of a LAC is great news. What *bites* is that apple *created* their own codec. Why the world would Apple thow yet another LAC into the picture. FLAC was gaining ground; now we’ll see it stifled due to competition from a proprietary codec. Why, because Apple wants a corner on the market. How many 3rd party apps and devices can (or have plans to) adopt this codec. I reiterate, this *bites*! I haven’t been able to find much info on the lossless audio encoder, but the files it outputs are .m4a and I would assume that any .m4a player will be able to play them. 2004-04-29 12:04 am well, since FLAC does not want DRM in it, Apple created their own, and you get a better decoding time than you do with FLAC. 2004-04-29 12:11 am 256mb ram is to litle. dure you can use the computer but i dosent run smotley. i wouldnt touch a modern computer with less than 512 for now. well 256 is oka for older windows like 98 or 95 or for my linux server without X. 2004-04-29 12:23 am I still wouldn’t use iTunes. You Macheads may think it is the best thing to ever happen to media players, but I think it is a big P.O.S., almost as bad as MusicMatch Pukebox. As for the whole iTunes store, if I can’t play the music I buy on my portable device (iRiver IFP 390) or on a machine where iTunes is not installed, then I don’t have much use for it. I wonder though, does this new lossless format allow me to convert from whatever they’re using to MP3 without any loss in quality? 2004-04-29 1:47 am There are quite a few posts here which assume that Apple will start selling songs in a lossless format. This is not going to happen. The point of the lossless format is that you can now rip your CD’s without quality degradation. 2004-04-29 2:17 am for those wondering exactly what it is: it’s an extention to mpeg4 that allows lossless encoding (hence why lossless files still have the .m4a extention). it is wrapped in the aac container just like standard mpeg4 and fairplay-mpeg4 encrypted files. so for those who don’t get it.. aac is a container (much like avi and mov are different container formats) the codec is mpeg4 with extentions. the funny thing is i had an argument with a friend for about 10 minutes that there was no way the lossless encoder could be mpeg4, since lossy encoders simply, by design, don’t do lossless. but it turns out we were both half right 2004-04-29 3:20 am If you had 5 gb of ram, you’d probably be using mac, loving iTunes, have an ipod, and laugh at twits who call mac products POS. Cause you’d see who was up to thier eye’s in it, and who was not. Don’t like mac? good on ya’. I’m the jerk who has a mac, 2 gb of ram, a G5, and coming up….. an ipod. If your not envious that’s cool ( just check your pulse, just in case!!!) . Ain’t rich, work hard, single, so I can afford to buy the best I can get my mitts on. If that pisses you off, too bad. Let’s just accept the fact that apple, ipod, and itunes are the best .. and get on with it! 2004-04-29 3:37 am f you had 5 gb of ram, you’d probably be using mac, loving iTunes, have an ipod, and laugh at twits who call mac products POS. Cause you’d see who was up to thier eye’s in it, and who was not. Ok, maybe I should have clarified … Actually, I was talking about iTunes for Windows. I duno … maybe the Mac version is better, but I’m just not impressed with the Windows version at all. See, I dont’ really have a need a player, burner, ripper, etc all in one app, because I use seperate apps for these purposes, all of the better than iTunes at their respective tasks. I mean, if I could just unload the parts I’m not using to make the thing run fast like all my other apps, perhaps I would consider it usable. But as it stands, iTunes is a pig when it comes responsiveness and system resources. (However, in all fairness, I have to get it props for the LAN P2P-sharing capability, that feature is pretty cool.) 2004-04-29 3:44 am I use iTunes at Work on Windows XP, and I have been very happy with it. In fact, it has features that require a subscription from other players. The only feature I would like added is additional codecs to include MS’s format. 2004-04-29 7:05 am I think Apple Lossless Audio Codec is the MP4 AAC-Lossless Codec that would be standardized in the autumn. It is based on the LPAC lossless audio codec and will be standardized under the name MP4-ALS. http://www.nue.tu-berlin.de/forschung/projekte/lossless/mpeg4als.ht… http://www.nue.tu-berlin.de/wer/liebchen/lpac.html 2004-04-29 7:24 am The reason itunes is slow is because it runs on quicktime, both on mac and pc. sure apple could have used code/api’s that are native to windows but qt is a superior multimedia platform and since they are in competition with ms there is no telling that ms would make some mm api’s unknown/crippled/[insert whatever] also, because they used qt they are able to add new mm features e.g. movie trailers without adding significant new and different code for each platform i.e. instead of coding for mac + win they code just for qt. as they added more features the code for each platform would look increasingly different making it more expensive to maintain – both code-wise and in terms of feature parity 2004-04-29 8:24 am iTMS does NOT use webcore on either Mac or Windows!! 2004-04-29 12:10 pm Darius: Who really cares what you think?! 2004-04-29 12:22 pm I have 768MB of ram right now. The Mac I’m going to be buying soon will have a gig or more. it will also probably be 200mhz faster than my current PC. For that matter, my PC is faster than my mom’s 350mhz PII. That was faster than the P90 we had for about four years. Waaah, whatever doesn’t run on my computer! it should run on a 8080! Grow up. There are some things that just don’t work well or are easy to do on slow processors/small memories. Granted, optimization is a very good thing, but complexity is a tricky beast. I wouldn’t expect something like OS X or windows XP to run particularly well using its technologies on a system with a small memory. Look at all the prefetching XP does. That wouldn’t fly with small memory, now would it? I’m honestly not sure if OS X does the same thing, but I get the feeling it does in some way, so there’s an argument there. Ahh, the rambling. 2004-04-29 6:21 pm Dan, iTunes for Mac has a plug-in facility allowing for either visualization or audio plugs, I use an open source Lame plug for encoding. Does the windows version of iTunes allow for plug-ins? If it does, surely someone (even Microsoft) could write a WMA plug-in? 2004-04-29 8:31 pm I still prefer the Russian site http://www.allofmp3.com/ . Only one or two cents per MB and you can choose how you want the music encoded. Also the selection is much better than iTMS. 2004-04-29 11:02 pm Hari: Yes, iTunes/windows allows for plugins. To be more exact, quicktime for windows does. Did I hallucinate, or was a new version of the ogg-vorbis quicktime plugin released not too long ago? Has anyone tried it, and if so, have they gotten rid of the long freezes? (The last version I tried wanted to read the entire file to get a title. Given a few songs in a playlist, things were completely unresponsive for a few minutes while loading.) If so, I’ll be all over this new iTunes.