Apple debuts iTunes 8 with Genius playlist maker

Jobs just can't stop tinkering with the media player

The new iTunes

Apple's latest iteration of iTunes has sprung a few new features on the music-playing masses, though the expected wealth of DRM-free music never turned up at last night's 'Let's Rock' event.

The latest version features a new way to view your albums (as we showed before), by seeing them as a grid rather than cover flowing through them like a nostalgic record collector.

The TV shows have been boosted too, with HD TV shows coming on board, and NBC returning to the iTunes fold to bring its usual smattering of comedy and whatever else it shows (at least for the US market; sorry Brits, but it seems this will be for our Stateside cousins only).

Genius

A new feature for the latest version of iTunes is the ability to create 'Genius' playlists. This uses Apple-developed algorithms to determine which songs would go well with the current track being listened to, populating a list with up to 100 applicable songs from your library.

The Genius software connects to the iTunes store and sends info on your library and song playing habits (with consent, and totally anonymously), which allows it to communicate with your music and make smarter and more relevant genius lists.

There's also a Genius sidebar that has a look to see what music it thinks you should be buying, so Apple can 'suggest' tracks and albums for you to buy. We knew there would be a catch... if a computer SUGGESTS something, how can we resist?

Available for download today, so look for updates at the Apple web site or through your iTunes player.