iTunes 7.3 released with new iPhone, Apple TV features

Apple has released iTunes 7.3, the iPhone-ready update to its popular digital media management software. Now available as a download from the company’s web site, iTunes 7.3 handles activation and syncing of iPhones, and also includes the ability to stream digital photos “from any computer in your home” to Apple TV, an omission from the device’s capabilities at launch.

  1. A little confused on how to set up streaming until I saw my Apple TV in the streaming computer’s iTunes. If you click this, you get a Summary and a Photos tab, and you specify which photos to stream here.

    A bit slow over my network but a highly appreciated upgrade. Who would have thought it would come so soon after it didn’t show in Apple TV 1.1?

  2. A few things I’ve noticed in iTunes 7.3:

    After installing, iTunes first needs to update the iTunes library, similar to previous updates.

    Next, iTunes analyzes all audio podcast’s song volume, presumably to enable Sound Check.

    There’s a new “iPhone” tab in the preferences window. (Why is this needed? The iPod preferences were moved from the preferences window to a better interface in the devices section of the library.)

  3. Another thing I’ve noticed:

    Names that begin with non-letters-or-numbers, like “Weird Al” Yankovic, are no longer sorted before the As. “Weird Al” Yankovic is now sorted under the Ws.

  4. Instead of downloading from the Apple site, I used the Apple Software Update for the first time to upgrade from iTunes for Windows 7.2 and it’s just a 11.40 MB download for me.

  5. Nasty surprise when I did the 7.3 update: iTunes library cannot be saved – error (-50). Are others getting this?

  6. Sorted columns no longer sort strictly by ASCII. Tags that start with numbers will appear after tags starting with letters.

  7. I’m extremely irritated that the numbers vs. letters order has changed. This has messed up with my established order for albums that I was very pleased with.

  8. People with sorting issues, this is what the sort options are for. Because I’ve specifically tagged 10,000 Maniacs with the Sort Artist tag as “Ten Thousand Maniacs”, it appears in the T’s. Also, “R.E.M.”, forever appearing at the beginning of the R’s, now appears in correct sequence after defining the Sort Artist tag as “REM”. iTunes has just become smarter and is no longer simply altering the sort tags for items beginning with “The”. If it gets something wrong, you can always manually correct it.

    I wrote an article on this on my blog:, where I go into some detail.

  9. Wow, it’s sorting a little more properly now. I use to have a horizontal ellipsis as the first character for …Baby One More Time (certainly not my favorite in my music library) but it’s good to have that album finally sorted with the Bs. The only thing that would be nice if they fixed as far as sorting would be if things like 10th, 11th, 12th would go after albums with 4th, 5th, 6th, etc.

  10. Does this new sort issue affect playlists too? I have all my favorite playlists starting with characters so they are at the top of the list.

    By the way Japester, you say iTunes 7.1 in your blog article.

  11. “I’m extremely irritated that the numbers vs. letters order has changed. This has messed up with my established order for albums that I was very pleased with.”

    I second this. I had tags in front of some of my albums to separate out things like single songs buy labeling an album as so “[single] Take Me Out”. With this new update all of that is out of whack. Any way to change it back without downgrading the software?

  12. @Anachronism: The article was written when 7.1 came out. It still applies to 7.3.

    The sort options relate only to Track Name, Artist, Album Artist, Album, Composer or Show for individual items in the library. Playlists are not affected as they can’t be tagged. You’ll have to use a system of prefixed characters to sort it.

  13. I know some people don’t like the way things are sorted now, but it’s really for the best. Everyone will just have to re-adjust their tags if any drastic changes were made. What they should really add is something other than just the compilations folder for sorting. I think it would be really nice, if like you said, they could add sorting for things like singles and the like. Even if was customizable so that you could name your own sortings group.

  14. Nasty surprise when I did the 7.3 update: iTunes library cannot be saved – error (-50). Are others getting this?


  15. I’m extremely irritated that the numbers vs. letters order has changed.

    It DOES seem strange after all these years of staring at it the other way around. Oh well, I’m just going to have to get used to 10cc and the like being at the back of the line…

  16. The standard for sorting is numbers before letters. What Apple has done is incorrect and at the very least it should be configurable.

  17. @Qrobur: I agree that in most applications you would find numbers before letters. I’ve just noticed that my 5.5-Gen and my Nano 2nd-Gen now list the numbers at the bottom, but not my Apple TV. At this stage, the iPods are much better at sorting and obey iTunes’ mandate, but the Apple TV doesn’t.

    It’s confusing to have the numbers at the bottom now. I guess Apple thought they were confusing or unsightly. If you can think of numbers as alpha words rather than numerals, you can dictate where they appear in the sort order by converting the numbers to words, e.g., for the band 67 Special, the Sort Artist would be “Sixty Seven Special”. It all depends on whether you can visualise the name as words.

  18. One thing I noticed after installing 7.3 was that applications that use the iTunes scripting interface (like gdTunes for Google Desktop’s sidebar) stopped working.

    The gdTunes website has a simple fix: Exit iTunes, then run “iTunes.exe /regserver” from Start / Run.

  19. I’m also getting the -50 error. Until Apple releases a fix (it’s been nearly a week now) there’s no point adding any new music to my library, which is irritating to say the least.

  20. I just can’t stand looking at my library sorted by artist and see 3 Doors Down at the end
    It’s driving me nuts!!!!!

  21. @Pyrkavios: You could try changing the Sort Artist to something like “aaa3 Doors Down”. Experiment to get it to the top of the list.

  22. Pyrkavios, unfortunately Japester is correct. I’m not sure why Apple decided to run counter to a recognized, fully-established standard (symbols, numeric, alpha) without giving us the option to use the old method, but the only way to force iTunes (that I’ve found thus far) to sort properly, is to set up a lead code before the artist name in the “Sort Artist” field. And apparently, you need to use alpha-numeric characters to do it, as iTunes ignores leading symbols. Which sucks, since I had my compilations and soundtracks nicely segregated from my regular albums, without having to do a genre sort.

  23. I am on the same line as those pulling their hair over the new apple sort order! I hate it and don’t see why I have to change the “NORM” to suit Apple’s convoluted thinking. I agree that in the least Apple should have provided a list option. After all it would require only a few lines of code/script.
    Tell you what I did, after a reformat and reinstall of my system due to a bunch of corrupted files thanks to my son and a frisky virus. 😉 What I decided to do is go back to Itunes version Tell you all what, I prefer the older version’s view of listing the albums to the new. Not to mention that “MY” iPod looks and “Lists” the way “I” want it to be..

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