iPod, iTunes updates hide major new features | iLounge News

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iPod, iTunes updates hide major new features

Coinciding with the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Apple has released iPod Updater 2006-01-10 and iTunes 6.0.2, both classified as “point releases” of its key software packages for iPods, Macs, and PCs. Though the company originally had not published details on many of the new features of these programs, iLounge’s editors found several hidden treasures in each of them, most of which have now been confirmed on Apple’s web site.

imageiPod Updater 2006-01-10 upgrades the fifth-generation iPod and iPod nano to software versions 1.1, adding support for on-screen FM radio tuning, the display of accessory-specific color on-screen logo graphics on the Do Not Disconnect screen, and bug fixes. Bug fixes have also been implemented for both versions of the fourth-generation iPod (black-and-white/color), and iPod mini.

Originally described by Apple only as including “stability and performance improvements over iTunes 6.0.1,” iTunes 6.0.2 adds several major new features to the music management software. Most notably, iTunes now handles automatic H.264-format video conversion for the iPod without requiring the purchase of Apple’s QuickTime Pro software. Right-clicking on any video track now brings up a “Convert Selection for iPod” option. iTunes also allows users to stream audio wirelessly to multiple AirPort Express receivers at once, a feature previously found in standalone audio distribution systems such as Sonos’ ZonePlayers.

In less positive additions, Apple has created a mini iTunes Music Store (the “MiniStore”) which displays by default whenever you look at your Library or Playlists. The MiniStore analyzes the music you are listening to and suggests similar options for purchase, a feature that is already being described as unwelcome “spyware and adware” by several writers. You can turn off the MiniStore by selecting Edit > Hide MiniStore.

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Comments

41

You’ve all missed the best bug fix in the latest iPod firmware…live updates for smart playlists are working again on the iPod!!! (On my 4G at least.)

Posted by Craig on January 13, 2006 at 2:07 AM (CST)

42

When are we going to be able to have lyrics on a 4G!

Posted by Zal on January 13, 2006 at 7:28 AM (CST)

43

The iLounge article says that 6.0.2 allows streaming to multiple Airport Express, but it’s not obvious how to do this. Any help?

Posted by gator on January 13, 2006 at 10:53 AM (CST)

44

“It would be useful to have a “file under artist

Posted by mr dirby on January 13, 2006 at 3:43 PM (CST)

45

To stream to multiple AirPort Expresses I think you choose “Multiple Speakers” from the speaker menu at the lower right of the iTunes window?

It’s pretty cool being able to simultaneously play through the computer speakers and the AirPort Express at the same time now.

Posted by mikebat on January 13, 2006 at 6:00 PM (CST)

46

Here’s an Apple KB article describing the star-rating bug:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=303119

Posted by mikebat on January 13, 2006 at 6:00 PM (CST)

47

There’s a list of changes for the iPod Updater itself here:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=93786

Plus some of the “bug fixes” in software 1.1:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=302255
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=301910

Posted by mikebat on January 13, 2006 at 6:07 PM (CST)

48

I just installed the iPod updater and found that it does not allow me to turn on the backlight by pressing and holding the menu key.  I was also not able to reboot the iPod by using the Menu and Center buttons.  I ended up reinstalling the original software, and am now reloading my library onto the iPod.

Posted by The Pink Avocado on January 13, 2006 at 6:51 PM (CST)

49

It’s almost funny. How long have I been saying that the iPod needed to be able to get an FM receiver (although when I said it, I also mentioned that it should be able to turn the iPod into a recorder that would record whatever FM signal the user was listening to—if he or she wanted it to—in 128 kbit p/s stereo or higher)? Now it finally gets one when I no longer need it. The only reason to have it was to be able to record Howard Stern on the go, and now he’s on Sirius so there’s no point in this. If only Apple starts making all the chip-(not HDD-)based iPods so that they can be powered by batteries that the users can easily find in stores and replace themselves (i.e., AAs and 9-Volts) before I lose interest altogether.

Posted by Jack on January 13, 2006 at 10:48 PM (CST)

50

where or what is the ‘‘on-screen logo graphics on the Do Not Disconnect screen’‘, update?

Posted by Carlos on January 14, 2006 at 3:44 PM (CST)

51

I’m with Craig…after updating my iPod, I thought I noticed a bit of a hesitation selecting one of my more complex playlists. Worried a bit. Then a few hours later, after I left that playlist (that filters our songs that have been played in the last x months) and returned to it I noticed that the number of songs had dropped. Waiting with bated breath until midnight to see if the number goes up as tommorow’s unfiltered songs joins the list. If so…

WOOO HOOO for the return live playlists!!!

Posted by Frank Patrick on January 14, 2006 at 5:55 PM (CST)

52

It didn’t install without your knowledge.  You willingly installed the iTunes update, didn’t you?  Go back a version if you don’t like it.

A rather glib response, don’t you think? Does it pain you that your heroes at Apple may have actually created spyware, and that’s the reason you’d rather the world ignore it?

Since my earlier post, I’ve downloaded a copy of the 6.0.2 installer onto one of my Windoze machines, and started the install process, but stopped when the EULA screen popped up. I figured for kicks I’d read the EULA first…

The 6.0.2 EULA makes no mention of MiniStore, or of potential data collection or hard drive /library analysis of any sort.  You never have any opportunity to say yea or nay to it beforehand, because based upon the EULA you never know it’s coming (hence the claims around the internet from peeved users that it’s hidden and deceptive). For all anyone knew from the licensing agreement and from Apple’s own announcements, they were merely installing a “fixed” version of iTunes. Of course if you think Ministore is a ‘fix’, then happy happy, joy joy. If not…scream ‘spyware/adware’ at the top of your lungs. Your choice.

I DO know however, thanks to the EULA, that iTunes 6.0.2 is not suitable for use in operating a nuclear power plant or air traffic control. I suppose that’s a helpful thing to know. Or that some Apple lawyer was really, REALLY bored when he/she wrote this EULA.

Or…someone ACTUALLY DID TRY to operate a nuclear facility with iTunes….and I thought Vonage commercials were as stupid as it comes. Tsk.

Posted by flatline response on January 15, 2006 at 7:38 AM (CST)

53

Here’s a more thorough investigation of what the MiniStore is actually doing. It *is* possible to find out what data is being sent from your computer: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20060111071001306

(Read the opening at the top, and then scroll down to a post by “avramd” dated 9:03 am on Wednesday—it’s about halfway down the page.)

Also, here’s a tech note from Apple about the MiniStore:  http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=303066

For me, this is a non-issue, completely different from the recent Sony issue and other forms of spyware.

Posted by BJ Nemeth on January 15, 2006 at 1:17 PM (CST)

54

“I updated iTunes this morning, then went to try and set-up the Smart Playlist again only to find out that I can’t set it to less the 1 Star anymore.  It automatically changes it to 2 Stars.”

I can create one just fine. I dont know why you are having trouble with it.

Posted by cow on January 15, 2006 at 3:34 PM (CST)

55

Here’s another link with a thorough examination of this issue: 

http://www.mcelhearn.com/article.php?story=20060112110630773

Posted by BJ Nemeth on January 15, 2006 at 6:04 PM (CST)

56

as a couple others have mentioned the latest update disables the Hold Menu Button down to turn backlight on and off

it did it to both my nano abd 5th gen ipod - both 2 days old and software update screws up a useful function

Posted by simon gardener on January 15, 2006 at 11:20 PM (CST)

57

I just downloaded the 6.0.2 and tried converting a Quicktime Video stream with the Convert for iPod function, and it looks like I found a loop in the software, as it converted it to a full MPEG-4 file, that syncs with the 5G.  THAT is pretty cool.

Posted by Bill on January 18, 2006 at 4:52 AM (CST)

58

Just a thought, “Hidden” is not synonymous with “Disabled”  Just because the Mini-store is “Hidden” doesn’t mean that it isn’t still collecting data.

While I agree that the data sent isn’t that big a deal, it is being sent and recorded (at the very least by apple’s firewall).  Apple has chosen the needs of its marketing department over the needs and views of the end user.

Posted by __redruM in Gaithersburg, MD on January 18, 2006 at 1:53 PM (CST)

59

the only reason that I updated to 6.02 was because of the AirTunes enhancement of being able to play multiple locations at once. Which they advertise as a new improvement on the itunes page. Not until after i upgraded did i find out that its just for osx and not XP. nice going apple. you do realize most of your companies income comes from XP users right? I do love some thing apple but they aways manage to poke a stick in my eye for being an xp user (cant switch. work programs dont run OSX) when my beloved 3G dies I think i am going off all things apple

Posted by cz10 on January 23, 2006 at 10:02 PM (CST)

60

Sound quality of MP3 files in my Itunes library is really poor on the Ipod (metallic noise in the back) after installing the IPOD Updater 2006-01-10, while the quality of files from original CD’s is good… Have tried to solve the problem with the equalizer, but doesn’t work. Will reinstall the previous updateriPod Updater 2005-10-12 (MAC), but it isn’t available on the Apple site.. Please help

Posted by A3 on January 27, 2006 at 3:33 AM (CST)

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